Hello from a veyr frigid Northern Indiana. I am sitting in a Bruno’s pizza just north of Notre Dame, waiting on a pizza and sort of passively glancing at the fourth quarter of the Colts-Jets game. It is cold as hell here, I think in the teens, and I’ve done more ice and snow driving in the last 24 hours than I have in the last several years. I spent a week in Milwaukee, and yesterday, drove through Chicago (with a stop in Chicago to have lunch with John Sheppard and Helen) and then zipped down the Indiana toll road to our hotel. We’re now seeing my side of the family, and I’m also visiting various ghosts of decades ago.
The level of nostalgia isn’t as high as it has in the past. I mean, I’ve been out of Indiana longer than I actually lived here. And so many things have changed since I left. Like I drove by University Park mall last night, and was astonished how much it has changed since the early 90s. But I still see bits and pieces of the Michiana I knew way back when. Elkhart was never a big city to me, and Chicago was my main urban center, but South Bend held wisps of big city to me, the way the downtown grid creeps between the couple of tall buildings. Back in high school, I’d drive around South Bend, driving up Michigan and down Main, wishing I was in a real big city, in New York or Los Angeles. And now that I’ve lived in both, it’s odd for me to be back here.
I also drove to Scottsdale Mall last night, which is no longer there. It has been “de-malled”, torn down and replaced with Erskine Plaza, a collection of big block stores. I can kindof see where some parts of the old mall used to be, the McDonald’s on Miami; the Kroger across the street from the mall. But it’s weird to see the mall gone. I never shopped there as my main choice, but when I went to IUSB, it was the closest mall, and I always ended up there on paydays. It’s weird to be driving through a parking lot full of strip mall, knowing a giant two-story mall used to be there.
Not much else to report. I’m coming off a cold and need some sleep…