Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Superior blog.

Furious storms last night, beginning at about 4:30, lasting a long time for those of us awakened by it (30 or so minutes by the clock, which is always such a literalist about matters like time-keeping). It was the second night in a row I’d lost sleep around that hour, but on Monday morning it was for no good reason. I just woke up and stayed that way too long.

Furious editing at the office today. We’re looking to wrap up the last issue of Real Estate Chicago by Friday; then we start the re-launch, becoming a magazine called Real Estate Mid-America. Same company, same staff, same offices; somewhat different magazine. More on the transmogrification later.

Despite the editing flurry today, I took time to go over to the Wrigley Building for a haircut. My regular barber in the Civic Opera Building has been on vacation for weeks and weeks now, it seems, and I wanted to get it cut before an event I must attend tomorrow. So I went to my former regular barber (1998-99), who didn’t remember me. He’s cut a lot of heads, I figure.

Returning from the Wrigley Building at about 5 pm, I caught a commuter boat back to the vicinity of my office — a nice five-minute ride along the Chicago River. Vastly more pleasant than a bus ride, and cheaper than a taxi. Hadn’t done it in several years. You get to see the sweep of the riverside office buildings, dozens of them, and the undersides of a half-dozen bridges, with foot and car traffic streaming across them.

That reminded me that I haven’t written anything about our three-hour tour among the Apostle Islands, up there on Lake Superior. It wasn’t a bad boat ride, but the trouble with those islands is they aren’t especially scenic from a boat. Tree-covered pancakes, mostly, with a few rises and a couple of interesting sea cave entrances, plus a few lighthouses. My conclusion is that the real way to do the Apostles would be to find a small boat, land on a few of them, and do some walkabouts.

But with a small child and an itty-bitty baby in tow, you do what you can. Once the clouds cleared away and the rain stopped that morning, and the upper deck was opened, some of the majesty of Lake Superior was more openly visible. The lake’s English name, as I understand it, is a straightforward translation of the French, in which “superior” designed the upper position on the map among the Great Lakes — so perhaps the Upper Lake might be a more correct translation. But where would the poetry be in that? Superior carries just the right load of awe.


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