Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Betwixt and Between

Today was time to to take my mom to the doc. My father―and this would be another of excellently timed events in my life―graduated from lower middle to upper middle class at precisely the moment I left the nest. Thus my mom, like Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes, is older and has better insurance. Medicare backed up by Blue Cross.

So taking her to the doctor means firing up one of the Buicks and heading straight on through all the northern Chicago suburbs and past Rush Presbyterian and Northwestern University Medical Center and right on down South Lake Shore Drive to the Midway Plaisance and the University of Chicago hospitals. No messing around here. These are US News and World Report 2005 rankings for American cancer centers.
  1. Memorial Sloan - Kettering Cancer Center, New York
  2. University of Texas, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
  3. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
  4. Dana - Farber Cancer Institute, Boston
  5. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
  6. Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
  7. University of Chicago Hospitals
I don't mind one bit taking the time to do this, and we took a little extra time coming back. The University is in an stately old neighborhood called Hyde Park. The Museum of Science and Industry anchors the lakeside end of this former midway of The Columbian Exposition (it was the fine arts hall), and then we headed out onto South Lake Shore Drive northbound. Coming north toward the Chicago skyline is always a treat, and I passed the cutoff to the expressways and continued north past the monstrous McCormack Place and its annexes toward the bizarrely remodeled Soldier Field, which looks rather like a giant colander plunked down into the middle of the Parthenon.

Along about here we turned onto Columbus Ave., which bisects Grant Park. Along this drive we passed one of Chicago's oldest landmarks, Buckingham Fountain and one of its newest, Millennium Park's Crown Fountain. Soon this drive pops out over the river, east of Michigan Avenue. It won't be too long until there is a major addition to this view, the new (oh, my god) Trump Tower, Chicago style. I thoroughly approve of this building, especially from the pictured view. All over Asia they are building science fiction or pagoda looking big buildings, but this is pure Chicago classic steel and glass curtain. It's unfortunate that it has to be named after a New Yorker, but I give the Don (well, Skidmore, Owens & Merrill) credit on this one.

We turned left onto Ontario and crossed Michigan Ave. on our way out to the expressways, just a quick ten minute tour this time. Tomorrow I get to take the little Hun up to Madison to follow up with her eye surgeon. Another great place for all of it's own reasons.

And I'll continue to wonder how it is that I live halfway in between these great places, rather than in one of them.


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