So now that we have Covid immunity for a bit, life is beginning to return to semi-normal. The biggest return being,
It’s been a year since Covid changed the landscape of life for all of us. Hard to believe it went by as quickly as it did, even when it dragged. Bruce and I can’t wait for the city to reach herd immunity status. Summer is coming and we’d love to see some of our city activities return. Chicago is a great place in the summer.
Vaccine here we come!
You’d think there would be lots of fodder for a blog post lately. But I’ve abandoned more starts than I can count. I don’t know if it’s leftover Covid malaise or if I just got tired of the news. Either/And, I think. So I’m going to share an ongoing saga particular to Chicago right now. It’s a critical/superficial one…
What retail store will be installed on the Magnificent Mile’s Water Tower Mall?
For those of you outside of Chicago, the Mag Mile is famous in Chicago. It’s where tourists roam for a true Chicago shopping experience. 20 years ago, Mayor Daley reinvigorated it with major overhauls and made it a safe and enjoyable place. The mile is a block or so away from the lake, and it’s a high rise, huge, traffic bound, horn honking, people watching experience. The Art Institute is there, along with Millennium Park where summer concerts happen under the stars while viewing the skyline. Incredible architecture too, especially the Tribune building.
Back to the WTM…Target is interested, and the radio audiences are agog. To some folks, a Target on the Mag Mile is akin to suggesting Salvation Army Store move in. One radio host expected to discuss one topic and when her guest arrived she ended up moderating a passionate argument against Target rearing it’s red circle sign in the mall. As she took calls, the local people who live there were overjoyed.
Target didn’t phase them at all!
Their needs are the same as everyone else’s, they just have them delivered to the doorman who directs them to their apartment. Just because they have a million dollar view of Lake Michigan (in an apartment that costs significantly less than a 50yr old California home with freeway noise) doesn’t mean they don’t need toilet paper like the rest of us regular folk.
Target has an enormous presence here in Chicago. There seems to be one on every block. In fact, I’ve organized errand trips around which Target I want to haunt. They invest back into the community. They were the only shopping place you could browse during lockdown, ka-Ching!They’re clean, friendly, have great service and more than anything,
They’re affordable! (I’d say cheap but…Mag Mile and verbiage)
The radio talk migrated into a discussion on shopping in general. Most are disappointed in the franchising of our current shopping experience. Brand name stores are the norm everywhere and big box stores are moving to unheard of places. The general gist is that shopping on the Mag Mile should be an experience you can’t get anywhere else. If you can buy it at Target, you shouldn’t be able to buy it on the Mag Mile. Prime example, Jeni’s Ice Cream…which you can find at,
As of yesterday, Target is a done deal for WTM. The hope is that they will customize the store to fit the location. Maybe offering a dining experience (other than a drink machine and popcorn) and services only found in this location. It could be that they will design a uniform for the employees more in line with the demographic. Can’t you just see everyone is tailored red vests, black pants, white shirts and little black bow ties?
With the rise in online shopping, brick and mortar stores are hurting, which in turn, leaves malls hurting. The Mall is a staple in American Life. It’s a rite of passage for teens, they even existed in the olden days when I was a kid. Fremont CA had several. The Hub for one. I had my ears pierced at the Montgomery Wards store there in 1975-ish.
As Bruce and I watched a rerun of a 2000’s show on a new TV station, I noticed that all the ads were for online shopping, mostly through Apps. As I pointed it out to him we kind of chuckled at how life has morphed as technology continues to advance. I wondered if those stores would eventually become brick and mortar ones. It’s the usual progression, but in this day?
It’s anyone’s guess
Don’t you wish there was a place to go for all your spiritual needs, a one stop shop experience so to speak? Where you could hear teaching, sing and worship, read a challenging, ancient book, and see familiar faces that remind you that you have more family than your natural one? I think it’s called…
Admittedly, no church is perfect. But as this past year will tell, not attending church is also imperfect. I credit it with the abundance of conspiracy theories embraced by so many, who would normally never entertain them. And the lack of rich fellowship has caused the loneliness and aloneness among singles to skyrocket leaving them in dark emotional places. Teens have especially suffered over the last year as attributed to the rise in teen suicides.
Quarantine is hard…
Bruce and I have done what we can over the year to keep ourselves focused on God’s Kingdom. We’ve had people here for small groups and I’ve done sewing with a few. None of it brought Covid to our life (thank you in person job). We didn’t live in fear but we were respectful of the protocols and let others do as they felt they should.
But it’s not enough!
For us, the return to church is a milestone of normalcy. We crave the faces, waves (vs hugs) and worship that we shared with our spiritual family. We look forward to being there, hearing the message and coming away refreshed and prepared to face whatever the week brings our way. It’s a touchstone to the eternal world we inhabit while we live out our temporal life. We were meant for community with others who share our faith.
And there ain’t no App for that!