In Praise of the Drive

Along the Drive, © 2012 Celia Her CityIt’s all too easy to grow blasé about the city.  I live in a congested neighborhood, where any drive or commute can turn into a hassle; and, all too often, I start out on it stressed out or weary.

Regardless of my mood, I can never be entirely blasé when I’m on Lake Shore Drive.  Not only is it fun if you’re behind the wheel, but everything you see is absolutely beautiful: the architecture, the Lake itself, the parks and landscaping.  The Drive has a zillion moods and zones, and let’s not forget the people-watching. . . . The Drive is like a beautiful necklace adorning our city.

This panorama shows the path that the Drive follows on the near north side, as it threads along the Gold Coast, with the beach on one side.

Click image to enlarge.

Our Fair City

Our Fair City

What’s a great city without traffic?  We have plenty.  But traffic is part of a city’s poetry.  People love to see traffic in their views.  And if their city’s traffic is the worst, they like to brag about that, too.

I once worked in a building with a spectacular Lake Michigan view, and an amazingly intimate view of Lake Shore Drive.  When the weather was bad, people would gather at the windows to see the storm coming.  Their attention would invariably shift, though, to the remarkable traffic snarl building on the Drive.  The drama of bad traffic is one with which we all identify.

I have mixed feelings when driving back home from the countryside.  I feel pride when I see the skyline, repulsion at the ugliness lying at its skirts.  The city is an intensification of everything: human problems, human glories.  The closeness without closeness makes for stressful living.

This picture has been texturized with a grain effect.