03 January 2007

[Second] City on the Make [in Estonia]

...[O]nce you've come to be part of this particular patch, you'll never love another. Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real.

It isn't hard to love a town for its greater and its lesser towers, its pleasant parks or its flashing ballet. Or for its broad and bending boulevards, where the continuous headlights flow, one dark driver after the next, one swift car after another, all night, all night and all night. But you never truly love it till you can love its alleys too. Where the bright and morning faces of old familiar friends now wear the anxious midnight eyes of strangers a long way from home.

So...bypass the forest of furnished rooms behind The Loop and stay on the Outer Drive till you swing through Lincoln Park. Then move, with the lake still on your square right hand, into those suburbs where the lawns are always wide, the sky is always smokeless, the trees are forever leafy, the churches are always tidy, gardens are always landscaped, streets are freshly swept, homes are pictures out of Town and Country. And the people are stuffed with kapok.

-- from Chicago: City on the Make by Nelson Algren, 1951

The hard necessity of bringing the judge on the bench down into the dock has been a peculiar responsibility of the writer in all ages of man. ...[W]e are now in a gavel-and-fingernail era. The struggle is not to bring the judge into the dock, but to see who can get closest to him on the bench.

For Chicago lives like a drunken El-rider who cannot remember where he got on nor at what station he wants to get off. The sound of wheels moving below satisfies him that he is making great progress.

-- from Chicago: City on the Make with an afterword by Algren, 1961

01 January 2007

No School

I think the last time I was off between Christmas and New Year's was my senior year at Rosary College - 1982.