Friday, June 29, 2007

80's Moment - Tears For Fears

I just saw the Gary Jules version over on Homer's blog, and it inspired me to find the TFF version. Both are great

Thursday, June 28, 2007

We're Home

Today, I'm quite tired. Twelve hours were spent yesterday on the road between Chicago and Hot Springs... and it was a hard twelve hours! Just over 700 miles from the driveway of our English-American friends, Graeme and Nikki, to our own. Only stops to top off the petrol, snacks & drinks, and quick potty breaks took us off the Interstates of 80, 57, 55, 40 & finally 30. Had we not encountered two construction delays (1.5 hrs in Illinois & another half-hour in Arkansas), we would have made record time.

I enjoyed Chicago. It was my first visit. Aside from Joe driving us into the city on Monday to deliver our Tiffany lamp to Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, I did the remainder of the driving in & to & from the city center. Yes, I got my first experience of Chicago rush hour traffic in the rain, down the Eisenhauer Expressway (I-290). Wow!! And I think I did extremely well. There were a few that we passed who didn't make it...... I hope they're okay, b/c their cars were really fucked-up.

What amazes me is how expensive it is to live within the city nowdays. Joe directed us to his old neighborhood in boys' town. Simple row house on Melrose... enough room on either side of the houses to drive a car... surprisingly a large number of trees lining the street... and now you can't buy one under $800K, with property taxes running about $8000/month. Hmmm...really a no-brainer to me b/c I know if we had the kind of income it would take to support such a household... I certainly wouldn't want to live in a row-house.

Perhaps many folks think the same thing, because condos are popping up all over the place up there(north side/lakefront/Wrigley Field area) In six blocks, I think we saw probably 10 buildings west of Halsted in the process of being converted. One on Halsted, finished and ready to move in listed for $475K. The pictures were cute. It had a great front deck over the street. The unit was quite small. But to live one flight above one of the gayest streets in the country?!? I dunno... I'm not about 'all that' anymore.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Neighborhood Elements

465 Prospect Avenue. A wonderful house...and it just happens to be for sale and is ready to move in to.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Sunday Rain

This afternoon started out to be so sunny and pleasant. Gradually though, clouds began to boil-up from the south-west, until they completely blocked the sun. Minute by minute, my friend Charles and I noticed that the air was growing with the activity one can sense before some serious storms make their presence known. Now, it is just after 5PM, and a very active thunderstorm cell has certainly interrupted what was once a perfectly sunny day. (I did get enough rays on my knees to get a little sunburned, though.)

Both Ann, our good friend and neighbor across the street, and Charles spent the afternoon poolside with me. I had a nice visit with my oldest sister, Liz, who was in town to pick-up her daughter from Camp Tanamaka nearby. Ann went home around 2PM when the sun was becoming less and less present, and Charles stuck around until just before the first huge drops of rain began to fall.

I sat on the porch, enjoying the misty breeze, the thunder, and watching the torrents, when I noticed three male figures running down the street. All Hispanic...perhaps a father and his two boys. They were completely drenched, soaked to the bone as we say here in the South, and I thought to myself, "What's the point in running now?".

Friday, June 08, 2007

Madness in my little town

Those of you who are familiar already know that Hot Springs, Arkansas is a charming tourist town. People from all over come and enjoy the laid back atmosphere... the Victorian architecture... the new influx of artists and galleries... but one problem we often have to deal with here is the traffic problems all of these tourists create. In the old town center, only one narrow four-lane road (Scenic Arkansas Highway 7) carries ALL the traffic in a North-South direction. This is due to the terrain limitations that lie on either side of the road. Steep mountainsides begin their upward thrusts just behind the cute streetfront buildings on the west side-the same on the east just behind the old bathhouse row, and the National Park property surrounds all of it.

So you have basically what looks like two big butt cheeks (mountains), with a narrow strip of land within the valley that contains all of the hotels, bathhouses, restaurants and shops, and one four lane road. Add tourists into the mix, and you've got one tremendous headache for getting around town. Unless one chooses to 'hoof it', of course. But this weekend, matters are extreme...

This weekend, Hot Springs is playing host to several annual events, that typically play-out on separate weekends. We have an annual classical Music Festival, the world championship Retriever (dog) competition, the Arkansas Bar Association annual meeting, and the H.O.G. rally (stands for Harley Owners Group)...ALL OF THEM CONVERGING on this town at once.

At this very moment, I could walk out my door on Quapaw Avenue, and within five blocks of walking, I would be downtown amongst nearly every lawyer in Arkansas, 25,000 brutally loud Harley Davidson bikes (and the men - mainly - that ride them), and classical musicians from all over the country. For some reason, I don't think I would see that many Golden Retrievers...but perhaps their owners, yes.

Actually, I just got back from downtown. And it is pure madness, I'm telling ya! And just wait until tonight when all of the attorneys and bikers get drunk. That will be a definite sight to see. But I urge you...if you do not already live in Hot Springs, stay out of town this weekend.

It's pure madness!