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Shikaakwa

When I looked back in the metaphorical rear view mirror from San Francisco, I was always looking back here. My home, Chicago.

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In San Francisco, you generally had 70-degree days with little to no change in precipitation. Maybe a drizzle or two, but that was all. No big storms, no extreme temperatures, no snow, nothing that I grew up with. It took some getting used to, but all-in-all I don’t know if I ever got fully used to it. To be fully correct, I commuted from Oakland to San Francisco, but due to living conditions, I basically lived in San Francisco. I’d find myself in Union Square daily. From Art, to Chinese parades, to film festivals. Every day and area of San Francisco had something different to offer. I wanted to soak it all in, find something different. But in the vast marketplace, I found that a siphon for my abilities was not present, if anything, living in the area was siphoning my abilities. I thought the land of the rich and famous would help me; the unidentified individual with unidentified talents. I waited for that unseen recognition, and never connected the ends myself. In many ways, I wanted to stay unidentified.

When I found myself in the midst of the foot traffic in Union Square, I felt something different then lets say the Loop in Chicago. People smiled at each other, took time to pay attention to the world around them. It was a connectedness you lose in a non-coastal environment. When the sun is shining every day, and there is always a beach to go to, how could you not be happy? At first, this appeal was nice, but then as the seasons progressed and the weather stayed the same, as well as the people, it began to seem strange to me. I began to miss the coldness of winter seasons I once resented. I began to miss the business of a city you could lose yourself in. As time progressed, I started to put my headphones on and listen to my own soundtrack. I got sick of the unseen musicians and the constant bombardment of the San Francisco city life.

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I don’t know if you’ve ever been in the loop in the middle of the winter, but it gets cold. The buildings seem to work as a filter for the cold lake front air and the windy city seems to have a habit of sending right to your gut. During the summer, the heat seems to simmer off the buildings, frying the streets to a concrete heat. Sometimes this heat releases from the streets in the suburbs and city in a small phenomenon called “Micro-bursts” which sometimes render neighboring towns inoperable. The storms are a sight to see in Chicago, with lightning illuminating the skyline, and thunder that shakes the streets. Overall, the Chicagoland area is diverse and adverse in many ways. I feel like this makes the area apt for an artist or any aspiring business. It has the formula to make the most of your work. From first hand experience, you have a much different attitude about what you do when you have to deal with the adversity of it. To take that factor away is to remove a variable within the creative equation. I Found that in San Francisco, this unlabeled element was missing, even though it was different out there at first, it became to much of the same for me. I missed the city that knew my name.

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