In my neighborhood…
…I said hi to a Hindu while walking past the Pentecostal church that is across the street from a mosque.
…I saw a family playing cricket on the tennis courts.
…I heard a man and woman fighting in their apartment.
…there is a Mormon church. Yesterday Heather told me that one of the “elders” got in trouble for using his cell phone in the library.
…garbage is collected only twice each week.
…tornado sirens are tested the first Tuesday of each month.
…I met a security guard who told me that when he works the annual Taste of Chicago event he gets to eat free. I suggested to him that probably his friends could get a discount on said food and then asked him if I could tag along and be his friend next year. He thought that was funny.
…I have seen many empty whiskey bottles on the sidewalk.
…the Chicago River is narrow, shallow and muddy.
…there are apartments for rent and houses for sale.
…there is a store that sells used bikes.
…there are many Korean restaurants.
…ball playing is not allowed in the alleys.
…you can borrow fishing poles from the library. I hope in the winter they check out hockey sticks and jock straps.
…there are many trees providing respite from the summer heat.
…a Vietnamese woman was walking her two dogs when she saw me washing my windows. She came over and told me she was looking for a three bedroom apartment for her friend. “Do you know of any on your street?” Yes, I did. Maybe her friend will be our friend.
…we bought a glass of lemonade for twenty five cents from two little girls.
…we live across the street from a Muslim family and below some South Americans.
…I have seen Brasilian flags displayed in more than one home.
…I saw a middle-age man passed out in the alley. An uneaten hamburger was sitting beside him on the concrete.
…a one-way street becomes two-way when it dead-ends.
…there is a Mexican restaurant you would miss if you blinked. In this restaurant, one taco is enough to fill you up and they are only one dollar and fifty cents each. On Tuesdays they serve Chinese food.
…there is a Korean Presbyterian church. Everything is written in Korean except the text on the church van.
…the closest grocery store is Aldi. They sell American products at Aldi prices and have coin-releases on their shopping carts.
…there are many Laundromats.
…there is a new playground under construction in the park that is a block away from us.
…not many people recycle.
…they sell proper ice cream sandwiches.
…there is a Yeshiva. The boy-students wear large-brimmed hats, blazers and tassels.
…some people have curtains while others have cardboard boxes taped over their panes.
…our dog has seen many squirrels. So has my son. They respond about the same.
…most windows have screens.
…I met a cashier named Xenia who was told by a co-worker not to sit on the bench we were sitting on because earlier that day “the dirty homeless man” was sitting there and “who knows what he did”.
…there is a new restaurant due to open soon that features fusion cuisine from the Galapagos Islands and Japan. Try saying “giant tortoise sushi” ten times fast.
…there is an “adult” bookstore. The nearest movie theater is also “adult”.
...some areas are heavily littered and some are kept tidy and pruned.
…school starts on August 9.
…some cars look like Lightning McQueen and some look like Mater.
…shalom is both "now" and "not yet"; a measure of tolerance exists but unreserved love is far from epidemic.