Goodbye, West Loop

Dear West Loop,

Thank you so much for being my neighborhood for the past six years. First as my place of employment, and then as my home. I loved you from the very first time I met you, which was probably visiting my friend Lauren’s apartment and going to the Old St. Pat’s Block Party, then when I couldn’t figure out how to get to my first interview at Harpo (thanks, Lauren).

Since then, we’ve had so many good times. I’ve lived on Kinzie and Madison, spent lots of time after hours and at brunches on Randolph, worked on Racine and May, went to church on Adams and Desplaines, gone to the Target on Jackson too many times, and have had a love/hate relationship with the 20 bus down Madison and Washington on and off for the past six years.

You have been a part of so many wonderful memories in my life. Almost four years ago, Nate and I got engaged at a New Year’s Eve party we had at our Kinzie apartment. We moved to Madison right before we were married, and got George right after we moved to our second apartment in the building (yes, we’ve moved a lot). You were there for me in my best times, and more recently my worst, and I’ll never forget that.

And as much as I hate to, it’s time to leave you. Things have changed. And now, there are condo buildings and restaurants popping up everywhere. The intimate relationship we once had has become crowded, expensive, less familiar.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way. You’ve kept me, Nate, and now George safe and comfortable for these six years, and for that I say thank you (I’m sure my parents would, too). People recognize and say hi to George when he goes on long walks with Nate. I went out to dinner tonight and saw three different people at my favorite BBQ spot on Green. It’s so bittersweet to leave you, but it’s time to move on.

I won’t be far, and I’ll come back to visit you often, but our relationship will be a little different. You’re the only neighborhood I’ve lived and loved in the city, but it’s time to say goodbye. I wish you well as you continue to grow and thrive, and hopefully I will be doing the same in my new neighborhood.

Thank you, I love you, and I hope to see you very soon.

Xo. Stephanie

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Photo by Erica Barraca Photography

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