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When I received Jerry’s assignment (to perform a keg stand of preposterous amounts of magnitude), it never occurred to me that finding a keg would pose a challenge. At the time I had not yet decided to leave the Midwest, proverbial Land of Milk & Honey & Hooch that it is. See, back in Chicago, where the beer flows like wine, you can’t swing a dead cat without smacking into a drunkass Cubs fan house party. This is a city where half the town explodes each March, dying an already toxic river an even more virulent shade of green & the long arm of the law is too busy reaching over the bar trying to get a firm grip of the tap to really keep things in line. Surely the finding of a keg upon which to perform a stand of preposterous amounts of magnitude would pose no challenge to me.

Then came New York, a city with drinks named after its boroughs. Well, two of its boroughs (though who would want to drink anything named after Staten Island is beyond me). When you’re living in a town where $5 PBR’s are a Tuesday night special, the idea of getting an entire keg sort of flies out the window. Still, the assignment loomed before me like so many red solo cups: I would meet this challenge yet.

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A Catch 22:

I feel as though I am not in a position to make an educated, experienced disquisition on the subject of race.

My feeling this way says a huge amount on my feelings about race.

Greg and I met up a few days after I moved to Brooklyn at a cafe where the cookies were good & the music was loud & everything was expensive. This is, of course, New York in a nutshell, but I digress. About three cups & too much creamer in, Greg (who moved from the Third Coast to the East Coast about two years ago) popped The Question:

So? How do you like New York?

The first three things I responded with:

1. It’s so big
2. It’s so loud
3. It’s so diverse

Since my very first visits to New York, I’ve been floored by the way so many people mill together, indifferent to the vast differences between them. I imagine that this is in no small part due to the sheer lack of space here: New York City squeezes nearly 8.3 million people into 304.8 sq miles (that’s about four times as many people as Chicago into a space not all that much bigger). As Greg & I kept talking, it became apparent that I was not the only Chicago transplant so amazed by the ethnic integration of my newly adopted home.

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1. If you’re in or around Chicago tomorrow (that’s Saturday, August 30th), you should head to the Loop & check out Art on Track, a one-time only event in which the one of the El trains will be turned into a fully operational moving art gallery. 

2. For those of you who read regularly, my apologies for the constant changes in design – I’m having some big issues with WordPress & I’m working on getting around them. Thanks for bearing with me. 

3. I just picked up Paul Kivel’s Uprooting Racism, part of Katie Sosin‘s assignment. I love the feeling of a new book all my own. Maybe that’s a selfish, consumerist thing to feel, but I adore it, the possibilities held in so few pages & words, the wonder of a voice being heard.