Okay, sitting at the Heartland Cafe, abusing their free WiFi by having a cup of coffee, and reading up on new disturbing obsession Tina Fey. . . that link goes to an interview with The Believer from November of last year. . . and she says:
When I moved to Chicago in the early nineties, I shared an apartment with a female friend from college. We lived right next to the Morse el stop, which was a pretty rough neighborhood. I got a day job at the Evanston YMCA, working at the front desk. I had the worst shift imaginable. Five thirty in the morning till two in the afternoon. But I had my nights free to take classes at Second City. I used to take the el to work at four in the morning. It was just me and a bunch of Polish cleaning ladies. They were a pretty close-knit group. They all seemed to know each other. They were just coming home from their jobs, I think. I was always glad to see them because they made me feel safe. I never actually spoke to any of them, but just being near them made me feel very protected. I was convinced that they were looking out for me.
The Heartland can be reached by taking the Red Line and exiting at, you guessed it, the Morse stop.
Either the neighborhood has changed/gentrified in the last decade, or it only seems "pretty rough" if you grew up in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.
Or I'm a bad judge of such things. The people up in Minneapolis, including James Lileks, used to say the place I lived there, near Loring Park, was a bad neighborhood, but I think that's just because a) there were sometimes more than four people of color in the place at once and b) The Gay convene there once a year for Pride.
(Parenthetical: See also: 'Minnesota Nice' = Ice if you're not white, also from November of last year, and Whites in denial over local police brutality, from June, 2003. In case you weren't willing to listen to me on these issues, as was generally the case with white Minnesotans. Which rather confirms. . . ok, I'll stop.)
Did finally buy that copy of The Clitourist at Women & Children First. The nice woman behind the counter asked if I wanted a bag. At first I declined, then thought about it and asked for a nice, plain brown bag. She suggested I hold it up high and march proudly with it instead. "Actually, that might help me get dates," I said.
I kid, I kid. Nothing would help me. . . nah, done the self-pity thing, I need a new schtick. Any suggestions?
Apropos of nothing, the W&CF home page mentions:
Tina Fey is on the new Bust magazine, Indigo Girls are on the new Girlfriends magazine, local publications Pistil & Tuffy (sex issue!) are in stock, & where else in the neighborhood can you pick up your issues of 'Radical Teacher,' 'Chocolatier,' & 'On Our Backs' at the same time?
I swear, I wrote the entry before noticing that. . .
What a strange. . . oh, right, done that one too. Never mind.