I was finally able to grab that elusive moment to paint this evening. We have spent most of this week holed up in my Dad’s house. Today we ventured into our old neighborhood after dropping my Dad off with his friends, and I came away inspired. I wrote the other night about Temecula, and missing home. So here’s where I change my mind. I grew up in the heart of the city, and there is something about being in the thick of it once again that makes me feel alive. Chicago is such a mixed bag of nationalities, we were driving down Lawrence Avenue today past the Greek bakery across from the Vietnamese bakery, having just dropped my Dad off at the Irish Heritage Center, at every bus stop there are people of obvious racial or national diversity. I absolutely love that. We drove by a home that I owned at one time, it’s for sale, and I’d buy it back tomorrow. The neighborhood has only gotten better since I left. We drove down residential streets where wild flower gardens were lush with overgrowth, no home owners association to tell the home owner that their aesthetic doesn’t “fit in”. Streets so narrow that one car has to pull over to let the other pass, and the sound of the El train rumbling from the next block. I love being in the rush of people, catching snippets of passing conversations, feeling part of the community. I have to admit it, I’m really torn between Temecula and Chicago, and then there is Paris….life is just too short, and costs too much! The area in Chicago that we were in today is a neighborhood named Lincoln Square. It is a very old neighborhood, at one time primarily German. There is still very European feel to the neighborhood, one of the really fantastic old German restaurants, and Merz Apothecary, which has been in business since 1875, still one of my favorite places. With all of that said, tonight a watercolor inspired by my old neighborhood. A European street scene.