I’m back from France, feeling lousy from a cold, jet lag and the inevitable disappointment of real life.  Just as I was contemplating my escape to a life in Paris (step one: learn French), I rode my bike home along the Lakefront Trail in the crisp autumn air and remembered why I love Chicago.

It’s good to be home.  More coherent ramblings to follow.

P.S. For anyone interested, I’m posting a lot of France photos on my other blog, Dream Camera.

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11 thoughts on “Home

  1. Elisa M says:

    We missed you. Can’t wait to hear all about it. Facebook made it look like a great time!

  2. Spencer says:

    I had a similar experience recently, feeling cramped in my tiny new apartment, I found the closest piece of green on google maps and rode up into the hills. It reminds you one of the many reasons to love life and bicycles. Thanks!

  3. Welcome back, ladies!

  4. Neighbourtease says:

    I moved there for grad school when I was 23 and, though I pretty quickly bailed on grad school, it took a lot longer for me to leave Paris. Am glad you loved it :) I look forward to hearing about bike stuff happening there now.

  5. Melissa S. says:

    Welcome back!

  6. Dave says:

    That whole blog post sounds terribly familiar from my own recent experience (including the cold, only for me it involved learning Dutch, not French) :)

    Autumn weather in Portland is helping me feel more at home as well.

    We’ll see how that goes… there are so many things to like about European cities – like public space you can actually just BE in.

    How did America go so terribly wrong in this respect?

    Best of luck settling back in!

    • NancyB says:

      “How did America go so terribly wrong in this respect?”

      Dave, I’m not sure how you can say that as a regular reader of Dottie’s blog. Almost the entire downtown Chicago lakefront (thanks to Daniel Burnham etal..) is a public space one can actually BE in!

      Dottie, you are a great ambassador for a great city.

      • Dave says:

        Yes, and Portland’s waterfront is too – but in other countries, they have kept their cities so that the *entire city* is public space you can just be in – not just a few spots here and there. Trust me, there’s a big difference.

        How many places in Chicago can you walk down the middle of the road comfortably without worrying about drivers getting angry at or hitting you? How many places in Chicago can you step out into the road at an intersection without a signal knowing 100% that the people driving will stop for you? How often do you go out in the evening and see swarms of people just out walking for enjoyment around the city?

        Maybe Chicago is much different than Portland, but compared with cities like Amsterdam or Vilnius or Paris, Portland just simply is not comfortable to be out in the public space, for the most part – it’s huge, overwhelming, noisy, busy, and you have to be careful all the time so that you don’t get in the way of someone else’s progress, be it cars or bicycles or whatever (yup, I ride a bicycle, but even most bicyclists here are always in a hurry to get somewhere). People aren’t very good here about sharing public space, and I’m pretty sure that’s a U.S. thing, not just a Portland thing.

        It’s not that there aren’t great things about Chicago, and Portland, but our use of public space is just categorically different than many European cities.

  7. Milo. says:


    How did America go so terribly wrong in this respect? – Cars, money, everyone in a rush.


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