Things I've noticed around Chicago and vicinity

Plus a small helping of opinions...
  1. A somewhat portly middle-aged guy in a non-motorized wheelchair. He was having an animated conversation, holding his phone to his left ear, and turning the wheel of his wheelchair with his right hand, but barely moving along the sidewalk. A good candidate for a Bluetooth ear clip thing.
  2. A gaunt older black gentleman asking for money from drivers, at stoplights where Lake Shore Drive ends/begins, at Hollywood and Sheridan Road. Multiple lanes of traffic, some making a right turn. He causually jaywalks from one stoplight to another as each red light ends. I'm amazed. I jaywalk more than most people, but this is a very dangerous
  3. Continued...intersection where bad accidents happen. I don't think I'd ever jaywalk like this here, except maybe at 3 AM. This guy is paying close attention, and is a lot braver than I am. And he's motivated...this is a workday for him.
  4. In Pilsen, a once-Czeck, now overwhelmingly Mexican, neighborhood, in the doorway of a building, someone has painted a human-sized, lovingly-done, beautiful representation of the Virgin of Guadeloupe, with her green cloak of stars. I'm neither Mexican nor Catholic, but this was breathtaking
  5. Kayaking in the Skokie Lagoons, 14 miles north of town, for long stretches all you can see are water, trees, sun and sky. And occasional blue herons and egrets. A thin veneer of wilderness in the sprawling metro area.
  6. I overheard my neighbor, a Cuban woman in her thirties, yelling, in a voice equal parts anger and exasperation: "I'm only one person!!! I'm the mother! I'm not 2 or 3 people!! I can't do everything!!!"
  7. I'm on the bus and I see a Chicago cop patrolling along Sheridan Rd. on a bicycle. Whatever your opinion of cops, I, personally, really feel better about the ones I see on bicycles. They are trim, and seem somehow much more approachable.
  8. Chicago's bike-sharing program Divvy has increased the # of sites in my neighborhood, not a touristy area, from 0 to perhaps 6. It's kind of nice for those who would like a bike, but DIVVY DOESN'T OFFER HELMETS: no humans at sites. A woman on a Divvy was killed by a truck July 1. I don't know if a helmet would have saved her, but helmets do help.