“It occurs to me that I’ve spent my entire adulthood trying to integrate my travel life with my “real” life, hoping I might bridge that unbridgeable ocean between home and away. Why else would I model my apartment after far-flung hotels, if not to persuade my ideal self to come back and live with me?”
In June 2011, I embarked on a year-long project that would bring me back to each of my hometowns to learn more about the places I’d lived. There were many that had shaped me — from Montreal and Toronto to San Francisco and New York — and I wanted to get a good feel for their
October 21, 2011, Washington, DC: It was Thanksgiving 1990 when my parents first took us to New York City. It was shortly after they announced we’d be moving from Baltimore to the Northeast. At my sister’s request, we visited the Plaza Hotel that weekend, searching its hallways for Eloise, the fictitious character just her age who
October 4, 2011, Washington, DC: We could stay there in Chicago, I think. We could help the grandparents unpack. Attend the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago the weekend after next. We could stay to witness the growth of the city’s bike sharing program, to spend time with our cousin as her schedule lightens up.
October 2, 2011, Chicago, IL: I slipped out early this morning into my old neighborhood. From the Lincoln Park Zoo by Lake Michigan, I walked west on Armitage, with occasional detours down its side streets, including one that was once my own. A friendly row of bikes lined the sidewalk as I rounded the corner
October 1, 2011, Chicago, IL: The enormity of this town is striking if you’ve been gone for awhile, from every perspective and from every angle. From above, you’re a monster looking down upon miniature cars, on people the size of ants. From below, sleek buildings loom large on narrow lots, rising seemingly higher than in any
September 30, 2011, Washington, DC: I’m heading back to Chicago today, back to one of my former hometowns. Like the photo taken in my old Chicago apartment pictured above, my recollections of this city are bright and welcoming and familiar and textured. The Chicago I know includes that one-of-a-kind second story apartment off Armitage St.
June 16, 2011, Washington, DC: Okay, so maybe it seems an odd choice to begin a year-long study into the concept of home with nearly three weeks of travel. But here’s why it makes sense to me: In 32 years, I have lived in 27 houses or apartments in a dozen cities or towns. There