Sunday, August 12, 2012

Eavesdropping "With A View!" - Lakeview East / Boystown

This is how my Saturday evening began:


Boystown Where Rainbows GrowBut on a Saturday night, "Al Fresco" seating isn't exactly conducive to casual reading. I'm not the first to comment on the unique qualities of Chicago's neighborhoods (see to right). But Lakeview East, colloquially known as "Boystown," is quite the melting pot of personalities. 


I know. I really didn't set myself up well for the whole "peace and quiet" thang - sitting in the middle of the sidewalk. Amidst the heels hitting the ground, the sporadic ambulance sirens, and plethora of languages I could not understand, it occurred to me that documenting the bits and pieces of convos that passed me by may make for a more interesting use of my time. Below is a very brief "case study" if you will - about an hour and a half's worth of eavesdropping on people who make up this 'hood.

(I'm apologizing up-front for the poor people descriptors - they are large generalizations. It's obviously not my intention to offend or use derogatory language! But hopefully you're forgiving, and can understand how they might provide a better context. 'Girl' and 'Guy' and 'Dude' do make up most of these people quoted here, and I'm guessing they range between mid-twenties to early-thirties.)

Here we go:

"They say this coffee place [Intelligentsia] is better than Starbucks..." - 40-something woman in long jean shorts, a grey starchy T-shirt, white tennis shoes, and a fanny pack.

"Meanwhile..." - girl telling a story to her friend

"F*%^. My computer did not just turn off..." - dude in cycling gear and a hoodie pulled over his head sitting to my left

"Take a left." - guy to date walking into Intelligentsia

"What'd you call that?..." - teenager in skateboarding get-up

"Always?" - girl to guy in a button down
"Yeah." - guy putting his arm around her

"And I'm like, 'What'd I do?!" - big guy shouts to his group of friends

"Keep your voice down, especially when you're with my coworkers..." - flamboyant guy to girl

"Plus like, computer. Plus like..." - guy

"My hungover... HAHAHA. I mean, my hangover, hahahaha..." - girl to her friends

"That's where I'm gonna find my future place at..." - girl

"My joystick... on my joystick." - Tattooed dude to the girl under his arm, slyly laughing.

"Just have fun, and let the dogs out during the day." - flamboyant male

"I really wanna move back to LA." - another flamboyant guy

"Is that coffee place any good?" - girl

"Lolita?! ... It smells like coffee, and I love it!" - girl shouts loudly to group of friends
"Oooh, it does!" - girlfriend confirms

"Georgetown. That's where he really wanted to go for undergrad." - Valley girl (that's what she sounded like)

"Yeah... That is hard." - 40-something woman says somberly to friend

"Today is the day. I don't know if you can see it. But today is different." - very flamboyant man to other man

"I look like Harry Potta..." - guy says in British accent, smiling

"Observant." - girl to her partner
"Observant." - partner confirms, smiling with his hand over her shoulders

"This is the best coffee." - flamboyant male

"Pre-tend, you're burning..." - older woman to group walking out of Intelligentsia

"I think Romney is in more trouble than the media is letting on." - 40-something male to the table to my right

"Ohhhhh" - girl

"I know! It's so cute. Wow." - girl talking on phone

"Don't f*&^ with this one, baby. Don't. f*&^. with this one." - girl in pink tank and black and leopard printed pants to friend, smiling deviously

"... A little less important for us... " - Dad says to 4-yr-old son

"... And I'm laughing so hard, I can't even say it!" - girl to group of friends

"I love you for it. Sure." - flamboyant guy

"Uh huh." - girl

"Ahh, you just don't wanna know about it! Don't ask, don't tell!" - flamboyant guy

"He was wearing these red japanese jeans. They looked like seersucker. Dude. It was awesome." - guy in the hoodie and cycling gear sitting to my left tells a friend he ran into

"That's why we get paid the big bucks, right?!" - same guy

"Marmalade and onions, all mixed together. It was awesome." - same dude

"He's completely. wrong. Absolutely completely wrong. At the end of the day, it just wasn't interesting food." - saaaame guy

"Alright, be well, dude. Take care." - same guy

"Can we see the necklaces and stuff, Daddy?" - little 5-year-old blondie

"This is one of my favorite blocks." - 50-something male

"They have their own building. They have staff. They have interns..." - girl 

"This [al fresco dining] is something they're trying to do everywhere in San Francisco." - guy seated to my right to his friend
"They don't have enough room." - friend replies

"We walked all the way back for nothing!" -  guy exclaims to his group

"I didn't drink that much; I only had three beers." - the other guy to my right

"She's on the one hand tried to encourage me..." - tall well-dressed man shares with friend

"B-A-M-E-E" - guy to girl

"I thought she was in pretty good shape..." - 40-something man

"Yeah, and then I'll vomit everywhere, and then just stay in for the rest of the weekend." - flamboyant guy

"Sam has a crush on you." - guy says to friend on my right
"Sam wants me to buy a house." - friend retorts
"Sam has a brain crush on you." - guy
silence
"Have you seen his apartment?! It's beautiful." - guy

"Forget about it." - a mom to her child

"We can go to Starbucks..." - girl

"A lot of people like it," - girl pointing to Intelligentsia 
"I don't care for it."

"That drug. Ecstasy." - guy to my right

"They serve small portions, too." - guy to girl walking with Walgreen's bags
"Oh, like tapas?" - girl

"Every now and then, I think she's just like, a normal person." - guy to my right

"Two-bed, two-bath. Craigslist. Holy S*&^! $3750. With a view!" - other guy to my right

"I'm like, 'Sorry grandpa!'" - woman in late 30s

"And then we show up at the place, and there she was!" - loud guy to group

"I thought you were Eastern European." - girl

"Correct." - guy

"Fun, right?!" - guy chuckling

"I love that that place was on the scavenger hunt." - guy

"That's a party bus." - girl to group of dressed-up girls
"They are not partying. They are just sitting." - other girl says in disgust

"Are you gonna stay here in Chicago?" - girl to guy
"Yeah... I've already been here seven years. I figure I'll stay here." - guy to girl

I feel like I need to add that there was a lot of laughing in my hour and a half of documenting. I liked hearing that. Also, last night may have been especially lively due to Market Days

Suffice to say, I may continue to do this in different hoods... But for now, like the dude in the hoodie and cycling gear said, be well.

-RM












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