_DSC0111.jpg

Blog

Houses in this city

Houses in this city are the oddest things. Not in terms of their appearance but rather the fact of their existence. Or more specifically, their locations. Types of buildings are usually bunched together: residential streets full of vintage Chicago buildings, reflective skyscrapers, even the city's cultural institutions seem to reside in the same neighborhood. But sometimes a house just pops up out of nowhere in between a tower and a grand piece of pilastered architecture. It's like 12 Grimmuald Place walking on the ground; seen from above it must look like Carl's house in "Up" before its flight to Paradise Falls. The one above I came across walking from the Chinese Consulate to the Driehaus Museum. It seemed out of place at first, but somehow added to the appeal of this city. Urban houses are akin to the Chicago River: which other metropolis holds such a large body of water in the heart of downtown that is so fully integrated into the fabric of its everyday life? There is a culture around the water: you can kayak, take boat tours, dine in restaurants, and stroll along its banks. Well...maybe Venice. And...Lake Mendota in Madison, WI. And...perhaps numerous other cities I haven't visited in the world. But the point is! I really enjoy the unexpected...the un-citylike in a city. It brings a touch of whimsy, a moment of pause, an element of humanity outside of human industriousness. It brings a sense of home.

Veronica Zhang