Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weberview Week - First Up - Lynn M Dixon compares her life in Chicago with mine on a boat in Rotterdam

Last week, American author of A Golden Leaf in Time and Warm Intrigues, Lynn M. Dixon, invited me to her blog to talk about my watery world. In the process, she mentioned she lived in a high-rise apartment in the middle of Chicago, so I asked her what that was like. I cannot imagine living in this type of building myself, so I thought it would be a great idea to compare her lifestyle with mine.

Lynn wrote me the following mail and I've interspersed it with some comments of my own in blue:

Lynn: Val, I wrote this to give you an idea what it is like to live in the heart of Chicago, called the Second City. (New York City is, of course,  considered to be the first city.  It is after all the largest!)  I live in the heart of the city right south of the Loop.  The Loop is the downtown area of Chicago and called the Loop because the elevated train runs in a loop or circle.
I also live in what you might call the downtown area of Rotterdam, but it's a much smaller city and we only have an underground train - the metro - no elevated railway. That must be amazing!
Lynn's High-Rise apartment block

Lynn: My building has 19 floors and I live on the 7th floor (see the above photo).  I don’t like being too high up.  Some places like the Willis Tower (formerly called the Sears Tower) has 103 floors.  You can hear your ears pop on the elevator after you get so high up. 
I think that must be very nerve-wracking. I go up or down to my barge, depending on whether the tide is in or out. It has its own hazards, but I don't think you'd catch me in a lift going up so high - well not in a hurry anyway!
My low-rise barge :)

Lynn: I have been here for ten years and have experienced great peace because most of the residents are either professionals or students who attend a nearby technical college.  So, they are basically quiet.  I have written three books here and revised the first one. Here is a picture from my window taken during the winter.  You can see the parking lot and the church from my window
A peaceful life for Lynn on the whole
Ah, Lynn, this is where you have the advantage. My barge is in the heart of Rotterdam's social and tourist centre, so it is very noisy much of the time. I wish I could ignore the partying students and drunken revellers, but it's impossible. Luckily, I am moving it in a month, so I won't have to put up it for much longer.
Life is not so peaceful for us in the Oude Haven, especially at
times like now when the World Cup is on

Lynn: Lastly, I hear sirens all of the time.  Fire trucks, ambulances or police sirens.  Those are the regular sounds of the big city.  Always someone in distress.  After a while you hear and don’t hear.  I only go look out when they go on too long or stop really close.  Then I know that I’d better see what is happening.
We have sirens too. I guess it's a part of big city life, isn't it? We also have the screeching of the trams. I must say I never go out to see what is happening as there is a hospital near the harbour, so most of the sirens are ambulances and I don't like to dwell on what they are for.

Lynn: Many people in high rises have to pay extra for parking, but I fortunately have free parking which is a rare find in the city.  The high rises have a lot of amenities such as 24 hour security cars protecting the buildings, laundry rooms on the grounds, on-call maintenance and sometimes they sponsor trips to local places like outlet malls or give resident parties.
It sounds as if you have everything there! That is fantastic. We don't have security in our harbour, so we do quite often have unwelcome visitors on board (mostly harmless though). However, we do have a laundry room, but all maintenance is down to us as you've probably discovered now you've read about my life!
Lynn: The beautiful Lake Michigan sits to the left of my apartment.  I have included a photo from the lakefront as well.
Chicago skyline from LakeMichigan

I hope you get to Chicago one day!
Thanks for the lovely photos, Lynn. I know Chicago also has some beautiful waterways through the city too, doesn't it? I'd love to go there and visit you too! Thanks too for writing about your life in your high-rise apartment block! It's so different from my world it makes a great contrast!


  1. Both of the places where you live are very different to mine. The sight of a passing police car is a notable event, fire trucks and ambulances are even rarer. We do though get a lot of farm tractors and cattle passing us.

    One oddity is that the floors of most of our rooms, apart from one are at least six inches below ground level - do not though call me a Hobbit OK?

  2. Val, This a wonderful comparison of our lifestyles. How creative! I smiled as I read each line. Thank you for inviting me as a guest on your blog! Cheers, Lynn

  3. My observations were much like Mel's. We always go to see if there is a police car, ambulance or fire engine. Sometimes even the air ambulance. I love going up to London for the day, but I am not sure I could live in a city these days. I love my peace and quiet. Very interesting post Val xxxx

  4. Haha, Mel! I would love to have my barge where I only saw tractors and cattle! A hobbit? You? Maybe a Leorochaun instead *winks*.

    Lynn, I'm so glad you like it!

    Fran, you've no idea how I envy you and Mel! xxx

  5. Two very different lifestyles, and you make the comparisons so interesting, Val. My lifestyle is completely different again from these two - we live on the edge of the city, with lots of green, small farms, and countryside, but only 10km from the centre of the city. Best of both worlds!

  6. Lovely to read about Val and Lynn both together - though you have very different surroundings there are some surprising similarities :)

  7. Patricia, I could envy you too. I would love Australia, I'm sure! After life in South Africa, I think I could adapt very easily.

    Chris, yes, there are some parallels aren't there? Thanks so much for commenting! :)

    Sorry, Mel. my eyes are deceiving me. I checked my comment and still got the spelling wrong. I meant to say you might be closer to a leprochaun… :)

  8. Your first attempt at Leprechaun.
    Has once again confirmed to me that errors in spelling do not really matter for I knew what you meant [ Wink with big smile]

  9. Thank you, Mel. You have very forgiving eyes,and I always like the ones that have a mischievous wink too :)

  10. How fascinating - our differences are as interesting as all we have in common.

  11. Thanks Jo! They are indeed. Chicago is on my wish list too!


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