Rohit's Realm

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September 06, 2010

Bye Bye Chicago

A little bit over three years ago, I said goodbye to San Francisco, and in a distressingly optimistic post some days later, I said hello to Chicago (more specifically, much loathed Hyde Park). Today I say goodbye to my city of residence of the past three years.

The first question that long time readers might ask is why today and not, say, when I actually moved out a few weeks ago? Simple: yesterday was when I really left. Though I might have vacated my apartment and driven back to OC in early August, I drove off into the sunset having already solidified my plans to return over Labor Day weekend. The primary purpose of the trip was supposed to be a wedding, but in the end, the weekend ended up being much more than that. It was a nice capstone to my life in Chicago—my last hurrah, in other terms.

So, what to make of my time in Chicago? In the past, I have not tended to wax nostalgic about goodbyes, and certainly, tonight I will not. But unlike the other times, I do feel compelled to write more than a couple lines about leaving Chicago because we (Chicago and I, that is) have a more complicated relationship than the other places above. And by complicated, I mean, troublesome.

Although it was not always reflected on this (worthless) site—mostly because I was utterly failing to write—Chicago and I didn't always get along. I dedicated a nontrivial number of tweets to the subject, and God help those who had to hear me complain in person (because no mortal force would). And between the cold and the potholes and daily journeys to loathsome Hyde Park, at times I even thought I didn't like the place.

But a profound realization struck me as I hopped on the Blue Line to O'Hare yesterday afternoon to leave the city for the foreseeable future: I had a good three years in Chicago. Actually, I had a really awesome three years in Chicago. Despite all the bitching (and with me, there is always a lot of that), I thoroughly enjoyed law school; made quite a few friendships that I suspect will be with me even after I have left; rocked and raged (sometimes too much); and am leaving with enough familiarity of the city that whenever I return I will not feel like an outsider. Chicago really deserves more credit than I gave it.

To say, therefore, that I am leaving without any hint of sadness would certainly be a lie. But nor would it be truthful to say I am leaving distraught. Unlike when I moved to San Francisco, I came to Chicago with a very particular purpose—law school—and very set time frame—three years. I do not think I even once entertained the notion of remaining there afterward. And now, law school is done and those three years are up; it is only appropriate that I am leaving.

So, Chicago: we've had a good run, in retrospect, and I am glad I got to hang out with you for three years of my mid twenties. I will certainly always keep with me the memories of all the good times we had, and will no doubt even miss you on occasion. But as all things must eventually come to an end, so too must our relationship that was so marked by tumult; happily, it isn't the ultimate arbitrator—death—that brings about this result, but only a mere change in circumstance. I promise to visit and keep in touch; I sincerely hope you will do the same. Goodbye, Chicago; it's been real.


Bye Rohit!!!

Has Chicago said goodbye back to you? Its parting gift to me was a set of dented rims, which make my car shake and rattle at any speed over 50 mph. Ask Dan and he'll tell you: it's really scary to be in my car.

Oh yeah, definitely. I basically had to replace all four of my tires the month I left, and the shocks on the left side are jacked but the dealer needs to order some part from Japan and it's going to cost mad cash to fix. Thanks, potholes!

Dented rims? That's a pricey parting gift. Pave the roads, assholes!

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