The 2016 Olympics: Chicago

The more I wander, the more Chicago still feels like a home base. My upbringing in its green-lawned suburb of Naperville is always contrasted to the culture and values of each other state or country that I live in. So when I found this blog entry about Chicago's chances for the 2016 Olympics Bid, I got excited about the prospects of my city being all over the world so I could see it where ever I go in "Chicago 2016" t-shirts!

Chicago seems to be the humble "3rd coast" of the USA. Outranked in population by LA and NYC, seldom at the top of the podium for sports championships (with the exception of the repeat three-peat by the Chicago Bulls in the 90s), Chicago is often described as "big as New York without the attitude". What we lack in population and victories, Chicago makes up in political corruption. Every time I call home, Dad gives me the update on the latest federal probe into state and city scandals. The Governor was indicted today. The mayor's streets and sanitation department was subpoenaed today. And so it goes.

Well, like most cities who host major international events, Chicago will have to clean up their streets and their act to make a good impression. Maybe Chicago politics will be clean by 2016. Then again, maybe the Cubs will win a World Series by then, too. Like a true Chicagoan, I can always hope can't I?


Going Back to Monterey

Gilda and I went back to Monterey for the long weekend. It was great to get out of crowded LA (although it was loathe to let us go with heavy traffic on our way out). Monterey was colder, quieter, and less congested by far. Such a welcome relief! The town is a popular vacation spot, but Gilda and I had the distinction of having lived there for two years, so we knew all of the local spots to visit: Old Monterey Cafe, Point Lobos, parks, and old classmates and professors from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

It was wonderful to sit on a dune above Monterey Bay, watching the waves crash down blown by winter winds from way out in the Pacific. It has only been a year and 4 months since I lived there, but so much has happened since then. I'm just getting started to put roots in Long Beach. Revisiting Monterey made me want to pick up those roots and transplant them in Monterey. But Gilda would have to coordinate the same thing. It seems that moving so often gets harder and harder. That's why it counts so much to plan ahead and decide where to live. But sometimes it decides for us based on what's available at the time.

We grow up with horizon-less dreams but eventually we have to deal with the mountains, trees, and other landscapes that shape how those dreams will become reality. But then again, who am I to say that I know best? There's Someone who knows a lot better than I.

Countries I have visited

Where I've been in the USA