Outside River Run

Kate on Kate

I was born and raised in Chicago. One of those melting pots you always hear about. There were still quite a few unmelted lumps when I was growing up there.


One of our next-door neighbors was Norwegian or maybe Swedish. Old-timers, dyed-in-the-wool with an untold number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, a lilt in their English, talking about the way things used to be. Erickson’s Delicatessen. The still in the basement. Al Capone. Bugs Moran. The loose ladies of Twenty-Second Street. Before all the others came: the Italians, the Poles, and then the blacks after the war, then the gays.


How much better it was, so much to look forward to, then the sadness when it all came undone, when everything they treasured was lost, discarded, replaced, gentrified.