WBEZ | Edgewater http://www.wbez.org/tags/edgewater Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Olympians-and reporters-head home from Sochi http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-02-24/morning-shift-olympians-and-reporters-head-home-sochi <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/by U.S. Army IMCOM.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We get a post-Sochi games wrap-up from Chicago Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair. Also, what&#39;s the future of drug policy? And, we talk with the director of a new film that looks at the battle over gay rights within the black community.</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Olympians-and reporters-head home from Sochi" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 08:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-02-24/morning-shift-olympians-and-reporters-head-home-sochi Romeo and Juliet with a side of fries http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/romeo-and-juliet-side-fries-108407 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Image1_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zKR0wD1GHhI?rel=0" width="620"></iframe></p><p>In Chicago&#39;s Edgewater neighborhood a new theater group is presenting Shakespeare&#39;s classic Romeo and Juliet in an unconventional venue: a pub. Specifically the free performances are happening on the large patio of Moody&#39;s Pub at 5910 N Broadway. Director Ned Baker and Rabid Bat Theatricals have <a href="http://bar-and-jay.squarespace.com/info/" target="_blank">six performances left</a> in the run: August 14, 19, 20, 21, 26 and 27.</p><p><em>Andrew Gill is a web producer for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="http://www.twitter.com/andrewgill" target="_blank">@andrewgill</a></em></p></p> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 12:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/romeo-and-juliet-side-fries-108407 Changing Edgewater http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-06/changing-edgewater-107650 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/25--1948z-image_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><div class="image-insert-image "><iframe frameborder="0" height="450" scrolling="no" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/INTERACTIVE+DATA+PUBLISHING/2013+Projects/June/BeforeAfterSchmidt/EdgeWaterBeforeAfter.html" width="620"></iframe><br /><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></div><p>Today&#39;s pictures are from the North Side Edgewater community. The 1948 photo is dominated by the Edgewater Beach Hotel. Before Lake Shore Drive was extended north in the 1950s, the hotel had direct access to the lake, and really did have its own beach.</p><p>The hotel closed in 1967 and was torn down a few years later. The double-deck buses are long gone, too.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-06/changing-edgewater-107650 Rivendell Ensemble acquires permanent digs http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-08/rivendell-ensemble-acquires-permanent-digs-87615 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-June/2011-06-08/New-Rivendell-Space.gif" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="600" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-08/New-Rivendell-Space.gif" title="Stage-worthy if not stage ready: the Rivendell space prior to construction." width="400"></p><p>The award-winning <strong>Rivendell Theatre Ensemble</strong> has announced plans for its first-ever permanent location after 17 years as an itinerant company. The troupe will move into a double storefront at 5779 N. Ridge Avenue (at Glenwood) in the Edgewater neighborhood. The company hopes to open its 2011-2012 season in the new house on Oct. 16, if the construction, inspection and permit process goes smoothly.&nbsp; The play will be <em>Falling: A Wake</em> by Canadian author Gary Kirkhamm, helmed by founding artistic director Tara Mallen.</p><p>Rivendell's Ridge Avenue landlord, who owns several buildings and businesses in the neighborhood, has paid for some of the major capital improvements such as a new concrete floor. Off-Loop theater landlords rarely are so generous. This has left Rivendell with modest built-out costs of only $175,000 to shoulder themselves, now speeded along by a $40,000 completion grant from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. The double storefront will feature a flexible theater space seating 45-50, which Rivendell will rent out between its own productions.</p><p>Three years ago there were several news reports that Rivendell would open a theater at 5775 N. Ridge, just across the street from the new location, and owned by the same landlord. That never happened, although Mallen says Rivendell has used that smaller space for offices and rehearsals. "I've been squatting there for years," she jokes. She's looking forward to having Rivendell's name on a door at last. After 17 years as an itinerant troupe she says that "people know our shows but don't know it's us." Rivendell will be near neighbors with other Edgewater theater companies such as City Lit Theatre on Bryn Mawr and Raven Theatre on Clark Street at Granville.</p></p> Thu, 09 Jun 2011 02:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-08/rivendell-ensemble-acquires-permanent-digs-87615 Revision Street: Gabriela Fitz (III) http://www.wbez.org/blog/anne-elizabeth-moore/revision-street-gabriela-fitz-iii <p><p><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><o:p></o:p></span><em>I&rsquo;ve just asked Gabi about her dog Blue, who, during the course of our conversation has become very very concerned about its own tail. There&rsquo;s been barking, jumping, moving around&mdash;dog things. Things I don&rsquo;t understand.</em></p><p><em>It&rsquo;s all stuff Gabi&rsquo;s OK spending time on&mdash;in fact, she and her friend Lisa started a non-profit business several years ago out of their homes called IssueLab. Their entire mission is to explore the kinds of things I don&rsquo;t understand.</em></p><p>We essentially archive research done by other non-profits, <em>she tells me. </em>That includes all kinds of things: community ethnographies, large-scale survey reports, longitudinal studies. There&rsquo;s an enormous amount of research produced by non-profits every year, but there&rsquo;s no publishing system for it, no way that it gets archived. It doesn&rsquo;t get cataloged by the Library of Congress, there&rsquo;s no journal system. Grant makers who fund the work don&rsquo;t actually hold the work or archive it.</p><p><em>What this means is: social service organizations and other non-profits are forced to waste financial and human resources either hunting down or re-conducting research with every new program. (Which goes a long way toward explaining why problems like youth homelessness or street violence have never been met with a coordinated, effective response.)</em></p><p>I think we should have 5000 pieces of research within the next month, <em>Gabi says, and this clearly excites her.</em> But the challenge is that people are interested in the research from their field. They&rsquo;re not interested in whether there&rsquo;s an interdisciplinary collection of all research. They just want to know they can get what they want. So it&rsquo;s difficult to get people behind the project as a whole, the same way that it&rsquo;s difficult to get people behind any kind of infrastructure.</p><p><em>And then the dog does something funny, and we move on.</em></p><p>Blue came into my life in December. I had been training for a big event last year, a sports event that was taking up a ton of time. I had been wanting to get a dog, but I kept thinking, I can&rsquo;t have a dog. I mean, what if there&rsquo;s a great band playing? But it&rsquo;s like, you&rsquo;re not going to see a band. Just get a dog. It&rsquo;s a complete myth that I&rsquo;ve been maintaining about myself that I&rsquo;m this super socially active person.</p><p>I mean, there&rsquo;s a lot of people that aren&rsquo;t like that right? I&rsquo;m thinking about my friend Therese, who knows a million freakin&rsquo; people and is connecting people all the time. Lisa and I are a bad example because we don&rsquo;t pick up the phone. We&rsquo;re like agoraphobes, which is why we work on data. We work out of our homes and are like, God, I hope the FedEx guy doesn&rsquo;t come, I don&rsquo;t want to have to talk to him.</p><p>Maybe that&rsquo;s also the neighborhoodiness of Chicago, too, you know? We don&rsquo;t connect our issues a lot of the time, which I think the structure of the city has fostered. There&rsquo;s no excuse for why I don&rsquo;t know who else is doing related things.</p><p>I have to say my involvement in Chicago politics was tainted by an experience with Alderman Schulter. Some friends and I were living in Lincoln Square and were really concerned about the fact that it was getting impossible for people who&rsquo;d lived there for decades to afford to live there any longer and wanted community voice in the direction of development. This was maybe 2000, 2001? Everything was going through the alderman&rsquo;s office. You can&rsquo;t add a trash can in your flippin&rsquo; alley without his permission, and yet we&rsquo;d go to community meetings and he would say he was powerless. That this building was going up, that this business was going in here&mdash;that he was completely powerless. He couldn&rsquo;t do anything about it, which was of course total horse shit.</p><p>So we were really pushing for some of the procedural things to change around how community members, and renters specifically&mdash;because it was so based on home ownership&mdash;could vote on zoning changes. But if you rented you never even received the notice, so there were things that we wanted to see changed.</p><p>We did some art-related agitprop stuff, including an Onion-like mockery of this local paper and Alderman Schulter sued us for liable and slander. So we were in court for five years, and weren&rsquo;t allowed to do any kind of political activity around... It was really a classic SLAPP suit, strategic litigation in order to shut down public protest. We talked to other community members about keeping them involved and they were like, We don&rsquo;t need that. We don&rsquo;t want that mess in our lives. So it was incredibly effective.</p><p>There were three of us that were sued, but you know, he&rsquo;s still in office and that neighborhood in the meantime is unaffordable. It was the first time I&rsquo;d gotten involved in local politics. It felt very stifling. I mean, it was literally stifling for years and years. That&rsquo;s an extreme example, but I think that that happens all the time in the city. There&rsquo;s a lot of silencing.</p><p>We ended up negotiating a settlement: we agreed to make a donation to a charity and so we made a donation to a food pantry in Lincoln Square, trying to say, you know what? There are poor people living in your community. You can ignore it if you want, but they&rsquo;re there.</p><p>I think it silenced me, I do. I think that most of all it wore me out and it kinda took the creative fun out of it.</p><p>That&rsquo;s such a crazy thing to say when there are people who have incredible political resilience and maintain their political commitment through all kinds of real oppression. Being sued by an alderman is hardly an enormously oppressive act, but it definitely made me realize that we do have to engage in the kinds of activity that also nurture us and cultivate more political energy.</p><p>I have a lot of energy for the work we do at IssueLab. At some point, you gotta find the things that feed you energy back. Otherwise it&rsquo;s just a grind.</p><p>That&rsquo;s the funny thing about living in one city for a while, is that you get to reflect back on who you were when you got there. I guess, I&rsquo;m 14 years older and there are certain parts of me that came here that are now defeated. And there are other parts of me that came here that are much richer and much savvier. Whether that&rsquo;s Chicago or whether that&rsquo;s life, I have no idea. I guess [<em>laughs</em>] it&rsquo;s my life in Chicago. <!--EndFragment--></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 11 Nov 2010 17:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/anne-elizabeth-moore/revision-street-gabriela-fitz-iii Revision Street: Gabriela Fitz (II) http://www.wbez.org/blog/anne-elizabeth-moore/revision-street-gabriela-fitz-ii <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Edgewater-500x667.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><i><img height="500" width="375" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/Edgewater.jpg" /></i></p><p><em>Gabi came to Chicago to do something she quickly found out she didn&rsquo;t want to do after all. When she returned from the arts program Atlanta in 1996 she took a secretarial job.</em></p><p>My big skill, for years, <em>she tells me,</em> Was to do the same thing over and over again at the exact same pace for 10 hours a day. I would call people and be like, Did you answer the survey? Oh, You didn&rsquo;t answer it? Oh, You don&rsquo;t know where the survey is? Let me fax you another copy. It was a crazy job.</p><p><em>It was also a frustrating one, as I recall, and Gabi and I had several six-packs worth of discussions about the nature of feminism at the time.</em></p><p>When I moved here, <em>she explains</em>, I worked for a lot of super strong women who&mdash;it was like, I couldn&rsquo;t square it. Strong women who weren&rsquo;t running work places that were very empowering. That&rsquo;s my most diplomatic way of putting it. I had a host of jobs where I was like, Wow. I respect you as a strong woman, but I really can&rsquo;t deal with the way you&rsquo;re treating me. <em>She laughs</em>.</p><p><em>What&rsquo;s amazing to me, I tell her, is that you stayed here.</em></p><p>Here&rsquo;s my logic about Chicago. I&rsquo;ve got it worked out. I work it out every year around mid-February. I think for me, Chicago&mdash;it allows you to change. You can keep on. You move to a new neighborhood, you get a new job, you get a new corner bar, you get your groceries somewhere different, you go to a different El station, and you know what? It&rsquo;s OK. You can actually sort of change your life without having to leave. I think that has allowed me to grow.</p><p>Some cities, you&rsquo;re like, I gotta get out of this city in order to change, I gotta get out of this town in order to be somebody different. I haven&rsquo;t ever felt that way about Chicago. It&rsquo;s allowed me to be a secretary, it&rsquo;s allowed me to be an artist, it&rsquo;s allowed me to be unemployed [<em>laughs</em>], it&rsquo;s allowed me to open my own non-profit, it&rsquo;s allowed me to go to graduate school. There&rsquo;s always somewhere I haven&rsquo;t eaten before, and there&rsquo;s always somebody I haven&rsquo;t met before, and there&rsquo;s green space at the same time as there is urban space. Then I think over time what happens is you develop community, and the older you get that becomes a pretty valuable thing. That&rsquo;s the thread that keeps it all together, then. You have a place in the world.</p><p>I own this house now. I mean, it&rsquo;s a weird thing to do. I&rsquo;ve never had a particular need to own. I think some people are like, I just want my acre, but I had the opportunity to do it. I guess I should belong to block clubs or something but I&rsquo;m trying to maintain the renter anonymity. I&rsquo;m thinking maybe everybody just thinks I rent, and that&rsquo;s good [<em>laughs</em>]. . . .</p><p>You know, I&rsquo;ve never not paid my rent, I&rsquo;ve always made it work. I guess I always thought if I can&rsquo;t make the rent, I&rsquo;ll just move somewhere else where the rent is cheaper. But there&rsquo;s something about owning a place: everything is expensive. Why does it cost that much to move a radiator? It just doesn&rsquo;t make any sense. And then you might ask, Why do you need that radiator moved? There&rsquo;s a different kind of pressure to it. I feel like, if I don&rsquo;t make the mortgage, strangely it would feel like a bigger failure than if I don&rsquo;t make the rent.</p><p>It&rsquo;s an identity thing. It comes with a different set of expectations. I try not to indulge that, but it still creeps in, and I still feel . . . I have a tenant living upstairs and I feel like it&rsquo;s my responsibility to make this space livable. You know, if the toilet doesn&rsquo;t work I can&rsquo;t just be like, Oooooh. And I don&rsquo;t have a lot of fix-it skills. I guess I&rsquo;ve always dated people who are into fixing stuff and into being the person who fixes stuff, so I&rsquo;m like, OK, honey. And then here I am and I can&rsquo;t fix shit, so I have a bunch of ex-girlfriends who come over and fix shit for me [<em>laughs</em>].</p><p>Oh, Edgewater. I actually never had any intention of moving over here. I lived in Albany Park for years and I loved it and then I moved in with somebody and moved out with somebody and ended up renting an apartment in this neighborhood temporarily and then saw the house for sale and bid on it. There wasn&rsquo;t any big search for the perfect neighborhood, but I like it in a lot of ways. It&rsquo;s got everything I need. Maybe that&rsquo;s the renter in me: I don&rsquo;t see myself as an Edgewater community member. I don&rsquo;t feel strongly identified with Edgewater, but I guess I do find myself caring about weird things like whether they&rsquo;re gonna open a new restaurant around the corner. When people get married, they say something shifts, and as a person who&rsquo;s not married and never will be, I&rsquo;m like, what&rsquo;s the diff. You know? What&rsquo;s so different than yesterday. </p> Tue, 09 Nov 2010 15:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/anne-elizabeth-moore/revision-street-gabriela-fitz-ii Revision Street: Gabriela Fitz, 39 http://www.wbez.org/blog/anne-elizabeth-moore/revision-street-gabriela-fitz-39 <p><p><em>Gabi&mdash;wicked curly hair, not tall, and not apt to be seated for very long&mdash;will tell you more about this herself, but we&rsquo;ve known each other for years, ever since we worked and lived together in Atlanta during the Summer Olympic Games. She lives in Edgewater now, with an amazing rescued pit bull named Blue.<br /></em></p><p><em>While she&rsquo;s always claimed to be the sort of person who can&rsquo;t get her life together, she&rsquo;s also usually the only person in the room with a plan. A mutual friend once described her similarly. The two were in a class together, and would get together to talk over the concepts they were learning about. Gabi always started off by complaining how much difficulty she was having in the class but, the friend told me, &ldquo;her understanding of what was going on was always so far beyond mine I had no idea what to say.&rdquo;<br /></em></p><p>I came to Chicago in 1996. I was living in Minneapolis and sort of hating it, and I wanted to get involved with community-based art-making and public art, and I was interested in the labor movement, and Chicago seemed like a place where I could look into both of those things. I knew some people here, so I got a part-time job and moved to Chicago.</p><p>I had like three or four jobs at that time. I remember a cat-sitting gig at some point, but I was pretty much squarely focused on trying to get sponsors and logistics for Conversations at the Castle in Atlanta that summer for the Olympics. I was an artist assistant. I&rsquo;m probably in a weird way the wrong person to ask about it because I can&rsquo;t remember what the formal thing was [laughs]&mdash;like what the actual project was supposed to be&mdash;but it was basically to bring artists together from around the world to Atlanta during the Olympics to do art around which communities were being left out of the Olympics. So who was sort of being rendered invisible by this highly visible event, by this sort of mega-event.</p><p>I was asked to work with a couple of artists who were doing a project because I had some interest in prison-reform issues, and they were doing a project both in the juvenile prison and in the federal penitentiary in Atlanta and it was sort of using art to communicate between those two populations. Conversations at the Castle was sort of a series of these projects, so there was that project, there was another one with the Boys and Girls Club, there was another one that was with a woman who collected stories online and then wove those into an art piece. So the job was supporting these two artists in the prison project all day long, and then going to the gallery space at night and piecing together the bigger meta-picture of the project and working on that with a bunch of other assistants, and that included everything from running to Home Depot to buy Ralph Lauren paint, to having dinner with people. There were kitchen runs, there was a lot of that sort of intern-y stuff&mdash;you know&mdash;just weird, weird things you had to do too [laughs].</p><p>It just seemed like you were constantly working, and at so many different things, and I just had all these weird memories. I was supporting these two artists, doing things for them, doing things for the curator, and then doing things for all these super-famous people that came to talk about all the things that everybody was doing for each other [laughs], and it was an intensely alienating experience, given that it was all about community and connecting and that. The hypocrisy of it was really, really difficult for me to stomach. Maybe I wasn&rsquo;t mature enough to articulate at that point that we were working with people in prison and sort of using them as art objects more than as participants.</p><p>Leaving the prison and going to the gallery space&mdash;there was an incredible divide between those two spaces. The ignorance at the gallery around the fact that, here we are working on a project that was about who&rsquo;s being left out, and we&rsquo;re not even engaging with the material reality of that. My problems were more on an emotional level. I felt incredible discomfort. I remember distinctly that we were given access to the federal penitentiary which was highly unusual, and we&rsquo;d go in there, it&rsquo;d be this very elaborate process to get in there, and we brought these boxes, these cardboard boxes, and we would put different liquids on the inside and there was a hole on the top and we asked the participants who were prisoners to be blindfolded and to put their hand inside of the box. It kind of makes me breathless to think about it right now, because they were prisoners, and we were blindfolding them. It was such raw ignorance on our part about what risk could have been involved in that for them.</p><p>There was this one guy who stuck his hand into what was chocolate pudding, and he kind of yanked his hand out and told us this story about having had a job cleaning out porta-potties and falling into this big vat of the waste. He was sort of tearing up as he was telling us this. It was really only years later that it struck me how incredibly irresponsible an act it was to go in there, in an environment that&rsquo;s stripped of texture, and stripped of smell, and stripped of human contact, and to give him something like that. And then there&rsquo;s no space for him to have his feelings, you know it was just like we left.</p><p>At that moment, I had this sort of undeveloped feeling of like, Wow, I&rsquo;m an asshole. It just felt wrong. I think I chickened out in a lot of ways. I walked away from it, &lsquo;cause I was like, I don&rsquo;t know how to do that in a way that I can feel OK about.</p><p>I never actually ended up doing anything in Chicago around public art making [laughs]. I wanted to somehow figure out how people were making art of politics and politics of art and I had no idea how to do that and the project in Atlanta seemed like a good chance to do that. And then the experience was so intense, and in a lot of ways didn&rsquo;t square with my own politics, that I came back to Chicago and went back to secretarial work and never got involved with community-based artwork again [laughs].</p></p> Mon, 08 Nov 2010 02:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/anne-elizabeth-moore/revision-street-gabriela-fitz-39 Revision Street: Joanna Ericson (VII) http://www.wbez.org/blog/anne-elizabeth-moore/revision-street-joanna-ericson-vii <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img width="500" height="281" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-14/onlyarooster.jpg" alt="" title="" /><br /><em>(photo by TheeErin, via Flickr) </em></p><div>&nbsp;</div> <p><em>One last word from Joanna, in her own voice:</em></p><p><em> </em></p><p class="audioplayer_container">&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 19 Aug 2010 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/anne-elizabeth-moore/revision-street-joanna-ericson-vii Revision Street: Edgewater http://www.wbez.org/amoore/2010/07/revision-street-edgewater-2/28603 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a rel="attachment wp-att-28604" href="/amoore/2010/07/revision-street-edgewater-2/28603 /p5290004"><img width="490" height="752" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-28604" title="P5290004" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//P5290004-666x1024.jpg" alt="" /></a></p><div>&nbsp;</div><p>I found this girl's chalk self-portrait on a walk. Adorable, huh?</p></p> Thu, 08 Jul 2010 13:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/amoore/2010/07/revision-street-edgewater-2/28603 Revision Street: Abby Smith (III) http://www.wbez.org/amoore/2010/06/revision-street-abby-smith-iii/26859 <p><p><em>One hundred and thirty cats at work, eight more and a dog at her Bowmanville home. &ldquo;When you adopt everything else,&rdquo; <a href="http://blogs.vocalo.org/amoore/2010/06/revision-street-abby-smith-45/26272" target="_blank">Abby Smith</a> says in the tiny office of her Edgewater cat shelter, &ldquo;kids are next on the list.&rdquo; <a href="http://blogs.vocalo.org/amoore/2010/06/june-18-revision-street-abby-smith-ii/26629" target="_blank"> So when she and her partner Dahlia decided to have a child togethe</a>r, they first went to an adoption agency. One, she explains, &ldquo;we weren&rsquo;t very happy with.&rdquo; So they found a different solution.</em></p> <p><em>Now, I need to explain that conducting an interview with 130 cats outside one&rsquo;s door is no easy feat&mdash;in fact, it&rsquo;s easy to imagine that getting anything done with 130 cats outside one&rsquo;s door is next to impossible. In the clip below, in fact, our conversation is interrupted by a particularly rambunctious grey long-haired named Vinnie.</em></p> <p>We&rsquo;re go-getters. We don&rsquo;t like to sit and wait, so we decided to put an ad on Craigslist online or the Reader online. It was a picture of us with Tigger and it said, Next time we go to Disney we&rsquo;d love to take our baby with us. Ten days later a birth mom called us and six months later she gave us her baby. It was crazy. At the agency, we hadn&rsquo;t been told a lot of the truth about how long it would take and what type of baby people like us are given. We had our joke that what we were gonna be given was, like, the severed heads with AIDS and we&rsquo;d be like, Yes, yes we&rsquo;ll take it because we&rsquo;ve been waiting for seven years. So I believe there was a little bit of misinformation given to us about how long the process would take, and although I look like I&rsquo;m 20, I&rsquo;m 45, so I didn&rsquo;t have a lot of time to wait for this thing to go on.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s physically challenging with a baby when you&rsquo;re my age and I didn&rsquo;t think it would be fair to wait much longer. Like, I&rsquo;m gonna be 90 at graduation.</p> <p>He&rsquo;s a very active little boy. I was kind of hoping for the artsy pansy boy but no such luck. I got the jump-off-a-cliff boy, which is really fun but exhausting. We&rsquo;re looking around right now for schools. We went to a Montessori yesterday. I think it&rsquo;s gonna be one of those, See? I should have stayed in retail so now I can pay for this kid to go to school . . .</p> <p>We&rsquo;re trying to keep him out of Chicago Public Schools. He&rsquo;s half Asian, with two Jewish lesbian moms. I could just keep going down the line. So we need to find a place where he&rsquo;s safe, and he has some people that look like him, and whose family makeup is similar to his. It&rsquo;s either move to the suburbs or go to a private school and it looks like we&rsquo;re gonna look into private schools. I thought some Chicago Public Schools would be fine, so we looked at the one that was closest to our house and there were fifteen or twenty grammatical and spelling errors on their website. We&rsquo;re just like, OK, thank you. We didn&rsquo;t have to get in the car. I just want to have him be able to spell his name right. Safely.</p> <p>His birth mother is Vietnamese and she&rsquo;s a Chicagoan. We actually asked her if she had any interest in us taking him to Vietnam, because we would. She said that her culture has never been especially meaningful to her, so we&rsquo;ll probably introduce him to a little bit of it and let him figure out if it&rsquo;s something that&rsquo;s important to him or not. If it interested him, then yes. But he&rsquo;s American. I&rsquo;m hoping it&rsquo;s meaningful to him, but I&rsquo;m not especially enriched in my culture or lack of, you know. I&rsquo;m just like, Ah whatever. My partner is from London and she&rsquo;s got roots in Israel, so I&rsquo;m pretty sure we&rsquo;re gonna head a little more that way, unless he wants to go to Vietnam. We&rsquo;d be happy to go. Or go on Clark Street and get some culture for him. [<em>Laughs</em>.] We&rsquo;ll go buy some culture, isn&rsquo;t that what you do? Run around with a twenty-dollar bill: Anybody? Culture?</p> <p>I mean, I can&rsquo;t expect him to go to school and for them to teach him moral standards, convictions. They teach him the alphabet, I teach him how to be a good man. I think there are a lot of people that aren&rsquo;t taking responsibility for their children like they should. I think there are a lot of people in this world, there are way, way, way, way too many people. There&rsquo;s a lot. [<em>Laughs</em>.] People were like, Why aren&rsquo;t you having a baby? I&rsquo;m like, You know what? First of all I ain&rsquo;t all that, so I don&rsquo;t need to reproduce, to be honest with you. And second of all, there are lots of people out there who are kinda sitting there, like, Hi I could really use a home.</p> <p>People have told us that he&rsquo;ll be lonely, but if he doesn&rsquo;t like being an only kid he will grow up and have five children and that&rsquo;s fine. We&rsquo;re good with one.</p></p> Mon, 21 Jun 2010 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/amoore/2010/06/revision-street-abby-smith-iii/26859