There are lots of things I loathe about this city. And things I miss about life out west, but even I can’t deny that being away and coming back.

Each time Smalltimore seeps in just a little bit more.

The checkerboard neighborhoods: the Polish and Czech and Spanish and Greek and Italian and the black community that is being decimated by my race.

The hot summers, the humidity I thought I escaped by moving north, the rainstorms.

The winters that are so cold your nose hairs freeze when you step outside, and walking to the post is an adventure: will I fall on my ass or not?

I love the taunt of accessible transportation. It’s like the city knows it’s necessary but can never quite get it’s act together.

The bike advocacy groups in the city making me wistful for growing up in a place where bike access was matter of fact.

I love the hot nights on the stoop talking with the neighbors, mere feet away. From the old Eastern European grandmother to the young professionals next door – just like me but hearing.

It’s really a small town where we look out for each other and go at this life thing in a way that reminds me of times past.

My hundred plus years old house… creaky and drafty. But it still feels of people and eras gone by. 

The coal door is gone, but the dust and the crumbling brick remains in the cellar and may always.

Smalltimore, it feels more like home every time I come back to it.

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