Day 102: Giant Cranes Hitting my House

Once again the weirdness that there is my life has resulted in a short, forced blogging-hiatus. So, what happened in the last few days? Well, just to conclude that segment: I got a haircut. It’s not really short and not terribly funky, but it is messy in a way I still do not know how to handle. Not sure of that is good or bad. I will color it soon.

Most of this weekend and of yesterday, however, I spent apartment hunting, which is really a quite annoying project. I thought it would be easier to find an apartment at this time, since so many students are on summer break, or are leaving Chicago. No such luck. The rental agencies are ridiculously crowded. Additionally, rents are really going up in Chicago at the moment. I was not able to find anything comparable to the apartment rents I encountered when I first moved here. After seeing a lot of really crappy places I made a decision yesterday and filled out an application for a studio in Lakeview. It is pretty large for a studio and (here’s the kicker) only one block from the lake and the park, which means lots of outdoor time for me in the summer. I also luckily managed to find a place in East Lakeview and stay away from the frattasticness of Wrigleyville. All in all I think I could really like this area as the setting for my last Chicago year. Seems relaxed with a lot of interesting coffee shops, bookstores, etc. Now I just have to hope that my application will be accepted. Everyone: think positive thoughts!

The other part of this weekend was dominated by the giant crane that fell on the house attached to ours. The Chicagoans among you have probably seen this on TV by now, but what essentially happend was this: the high rise next to ours is being remodeled. The construction company brought in  gigantic crane to lift the air conditioning units (several stories tall) on top of the roof of that bulding. As the crane lifted these large ac units the panvement gave way and the crane tipped over, hitting and effectively getting stuck in the building next to ours. In fact, the crane hit the building so hard that it (as well as the adjacent building on the other side) now have severe structural damage (and we are talking about large buildings here). The crowining achievement of this crane was its ability to also hit a gas main, which caused four downtown city blocks to be shut down, our buildings to be evacuated and the shutdown of the el train for quite a while. This happened on Saturday morning–they were just able to clear the debris yesterday evening. My personal favorite moment was when I got back from inline skating along the lake on Saturday evening and was told by a police officer that I was not able to get into my building. He advised me to just consider this a part of big city life and to go out and enjoy a nice night on the town. This made me worried about the ways in which the Chicago PD selects their officers, as this particular one clearly seemed to be blind. I stood in front of him in shorts and a T-shirt, sweaty, an old bandana on my head, on rollerblades, holding nothing in my hands apart from the now useless keys to my apartment. Nice night on the town? What do he expect me to do–pawn my rollerblades to rent a tux and have one drink in the Signature Lounge? I did not even have shoes, for crying out loud! Well, that situation also resolved itself a while later, as it had become clear that the different officers were busy watching the whole thing and did not communicate with each other (translates into sneaking back into the apartment). 

Well, that was this weekend. Here some pictures of the crane, TV crews, etc.–hope I can make them fit. I took these pictures while smoking on our fire escape (at that point we had not heard about the gas main yet).






  1. Wheeew! The pics make me realize once more how much I miss the city. Cityscapes are so much more comforting for my mind and soul – the most beautiful mountains cannot do to me what the city does!

  2. Really? I cannot tell you how much I miss nature. I am so glad that there is this beautiful bike and running trail long the lake. That way I can actually enjoy Chicago’s dramatic skyline, since it is somewhat more balanced in opposition to the lake and the park. But seriously: I enjoy the perks of the city, but I am going nuts without nature. I need to be able to go hiking, mountainbiking and walk a dog through a forest. I think my next tattoo is going to include a tree. As I said before: I love trees (yes, and I also love lamp). 🙂
    But Chicago is generally a beautiful city. If I have to live in a city, I am glad it is in this one (by far my favorite in the US).

  3. I suppose it has a lot to do with surrounds you – and I am not very good at memorizing my past views on issues. At the moment, there is beautifuly scenery anwhere I go – when I still lived in a city, I was very happy with the little Großstadtidyllen (big city idylls?) that I found in parks. But it’s true, I am going to miss the 700m mountain that’s on the edge of our tiny town and that’s so fabulous for a three hour hike.

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