ridin’ on the southwest chief (somehow sung to the tune of “city of new orleans”)

It felt like we were looking into everyone's backyard in a way, kind of seeing the reality of the lives of these people as opposed to the Disney-esque setting in which most towns and cities want to present themselves. I saw a lot of backyards that had pick-up trucks in various states of disassembly , but this authenticity made these little New Mexico towns appeal to me that much more.

chicago seen through cheesehead glasses

Us Chicago natives are weaned from an early age to become architecture snobs, with aesthetic critiques of the playground equipment not uncommon by the age of five--so my words should be taken with some grains of salt. But the bottom line is that I was saddened to see the old Maxwell Street neighborhood go. Certainly it needed sprucing up and cleaning up, but I think it could have done without losing the essence of what the neighborhood was about. What had landed here was something completely different.