PROJECT chicaGO: Home

“April is the cruellest month breeding” — T.S. Elliot

Readers, PROJECT chicaGO is back after a month-long break. Thanks for being patient and sticking with me. I am excited to share and take you to places I had a chance to check out during the month of March in the following weeks to come. Meanwhile, can we just take a minute to let this very fact sink in: it’s April already…!

So far, April in Chicago hasn’t looked the prettiest. It’s been snowing, raining, sunny for an hour and cloudy the next. In fact I’m sitting in front of a glassed window in Dollop Coffee and I see snow flying everywhere across the wind. argh..

April, being the fourth month of the year, can haze out the hopes and wonders you set in the beginning of the year. Then it just keeps going. Once the ridiculous snow is gone, flowers start to bloom and sunlight gently crawl between the blinds to wake you up in the morning, there’s no need to look back. You absorb all there is spring can offer to you. New year’s resolution? Forget that. It’s spring time. Am I right?

Amidst this awkward, delusional, cruel, yet exciting month of April, this PROJECT chicaGO post is going to step back a little and remember what’s really at stake. This post is not going to be about the “GO.” It’s going to be about home.

Lazy April Saturday morning spent at my home in Chicago (Photograph by Joanne Yj Kim)

I’ve been a nomad for a while. It has its perks. I had a chance to travel abroad over the years (Seoul, Kyoto, Hong Kong, London, Berlin, Athens, Dubai, Bangkok, and so on), but never had a luxury to live at a same exact space for more than a year for the past decade. Then finally, I am now officially a Chicago local and will be living here in my tiny humble abode for at least 2 years. I’m not going to lie: this whole thing about “home,” as sweet as it sounds, has been making me feel suffocated at times. But I’ve also been learning that this impulse and desire to want to go somewhere really should stem from our privilege to choose to not-go.

“Going nowhere, as Leonard Cohen would later emphasize for me, isn’t about turning your back on the world; it’s about stepping away now and then so that you can see the world more clearly and love it more deeply. ” 
Pico Iyer, The Virtue of Stillness

PROJECT chicaGO began as a gesture to root myself in celebrating this season of being found at home in this city. I wanted to share that journey and offer back to the community of both tourists and locals with information on places I’ve visited in Chicago as an arts journalist.

Staying home is easily underrated and unappreciated, when really it deserves a whole lot more of our attention. In only doing so, our “GO”s stay meaningful.

*This was originally posted in PROJECT chicaGO’s online publication.