Thursday, December 07, 2006

Don't It Always Seem to Go . . .

My home is not a haven these days. For reasons best known to the condo board, the managing agent, and the City of Chicago, it has been determined that our porches must come down and be rebuilt. Right now.

I know it has to be done. These are pretty sad and sorry porches here. The building dates to the early 1920's and I suspect these were original.

Looks like a fine tenement, doesn't it? The apartment builder's in Chicago in the 1920's didn't much care what you saw from the back. Only servants, garbage men, tradespeople or such-like non-entities approached the building from the rear.

It is disconcerting to look out your back door and see stairs to nowhere.

We have been barricaded in for our own safety. Lest we absent-minded Hyde Park types forget and try to step off into nothing. Or fly.

Two days, and this is what we've got.

Two days of it sounding like the construction is going to break through into my kitchen. Two days of buzzing and pounding to the accompaniment of intermittent crashes. I'm sure Charles Ives could have done something with it. Or Jimi Hendrix.

With all this dissonance, why am I working on this? My least favorite, must grit my teeth, what madness made me start, project?

Is this really the time to prove myself a disciplined knitter? Is the ten additional inches I've produced these past two days worth the cumulative aggravation? I don't think so.

Two days. We've been told the project should take 2 to 3 weeks. What are the chances they'll finish early? Or even on time? Or maybe have moved on to the second set of porches by this time next week?

Meanwhile, I'm going to go find me some pretty knitting.

Some completely useless factoids, but I love Chicago and Hyde Park so these things are endlessly fascinating to me:

1. I'm not entirely kidding about the non-entities bit. Our unit had what I would consider a large closet which was, in point of fact, the maid's room. Off the kitchen, of course. Some of the units still have them. Real estate agents generally refer to them as "bedrooms." Some of the more accurate ones call them "studies." I think the smartest ones point out the advantages of enlarging the kitchen.

2. In the photo with all the debris, with the porches gone you can see little doors beneath narrow windows. The doors were to accommodate the ice delivery back when refrigerators really were iceboxes.

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