From Above

chicago winter nights - photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

chicago winter nights – photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago


 

chicago winter nights - photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

chicago winter nights – photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

 

-nah

Lunch @ IPO

Meetings for me in the Loop allow for us to join each other for lunch.  Last week, hubs snuck us into the W Hotel to surprise me with one of my favorite indulgences – truffle fries!!!  Sure they were the side dish to some very tasty sandwiches, but the truffle fries had my eyes . . . and heart.

-nah

NoMI

Why can’t Restaurant Week be Restaurant Weeks?  It’s difficult to cram so many restaurants into one short week.  Last year, we had such high hopes for a week of savoring numerous meals from various locales.  Eeehhh – didn’t happen.  Two restaurant stops.  TWO.  Right.  We laughed for days about our expectations.  Much more realistic this year, we made it to one.  I made reservations at NoMI Kitchen to surprise hubs with a pre-birthday celebratory lunch.

NoMI Kitchen is a swank restaurant housed in the plush Park Hyatt.  Since it rests on North Michigan Avenue, the dining experience includes a wonderful view of Chicago’s historic Water Tower and shoppers scrambling along Magnificent Mile.

Does your city offer a Restaurant Week?  

-nah

Home

i heart chicago

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

This is our home.  Beautiful, isn’t it?  For the past year and a half, we’ve been apprehensively proud to call Chicago home.  We are proud to be residents of a bustling and diverse city that always has something exciting in which to participate.  However, it’s ludicrous to be unabashedly proud to be Chicagoans when 513 people lost their lives to violence in 2012. 513 gifts left unopened.  And in the first month of this year, 42 homicides were committed.  Another 42 gifts unavailable for our world to open.  Then name of one of those gifts has been echoed across our nation and even world.  Hadiya – a Swahili name meaning a gift.  The following is a poem written in her honor I found on a memorial page.  Unfortunately, home includes far too many memorial pages and beautiful poems written for those gone far too soon.

Hadiya
by T. Hall

there was once a graceful flower…
she soulfully danced in her garden,
as the blazing orange hello crept magnificently into Chicago skies,
she danced,
everyday…
joyously!

˜Hadiya.

there was once a beautiful flower.
she swayed splendidly in the winds…
the feet of passersby always halted by her imminence…
she was special.

˜Hadiya.

there was once a brilliant flower…
who taught lessons of living out bold…
and capturing your dreams.
the other flowers listened intently…

˜Hadiya.

i hear that flower through bitter, blustery, January, winds
echo
change.

i hear that flower in the softness of powdery, February, snowfalls
saying
now.

˜Hadiya.

we hear you…

~burst forth passionately into the horizon,
the pageantry of GOD’s elysian courts await its newest
angel…

How would you describe your home?

-nah

Dear Snow: A Love Letter

Dear God, Mother Nature, Snow-makers, Al Roker(?),

Two years ago when I excitedly accepted my future husband’s request to relocate to Chicago, I had happy visions of city dwelling, restaurant hopping and snow.  Yes, snow.  Though I’ve skied numerous times and have resided in areas that have received the unusual and unsuspecting snowstorm, I really was excited about the opportunity to live in a city allowing me to be in constant expectation of snow.  It had absolutely nothing to do with the hot, humid, unrelenting, miserable summers Houston offered.

Imagine my kid in the candy store-like excitement last January when the skies released a beautiful and abundant 9 inches of snow.  Sure, it took my bus driver an hour to travel the two miles from work to home, but my eyes couldn’t get enough of this white stuff that was wreaking all types of havoc on the evening commute.  I even opted to get off one stop prior to my usual one to finally and properly break in my snow boots and get a sufficient quad workout lifting my legs with each stride all while allowing the snow to gently fall on me.

Now I know many Chicagoans curse the very mention of you in a forecast.  Not me.  I’ve eagerly listened to the local meteorologists and often check my weather app waiting with bated breath for snow in the forecast – all for the chance to marvel at your beauty while giving my snow boots another walk around town.

Dear snow – please come.  Soon.  I promise to smile and attempt to whistle while running walking my errands around town.  I’m sure lakes, rivers and reservoirs all appreciate their increasing water levels if you should happen to visit.

                                                                                                                                                                    In eager anticipation,
                                                                                                                                                                          Ayanna

Are you experiencing a normal winter in your neck of the woods?

-nah