An Embarrassment of Riches

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the potential “extravaganza of pedestrian urban love,” or, the “global conversation on walkability” that Toronto and Tel Aviv will be having on October 19.

It turns out that there are a lot of things happening in Chicago on the weekend of October 19, besides the Chicago Architectural Foundation’s third annual Open House Chicago, which provides behind-the-scenes access to 150 buildings across Chicago.

It’s also the second weekend of the Chicago Humanities Festival, which is offering “Hyde Park Day,” on October 20, with eleven programs on eleven different subjects.

It’s also the concluding weekend of Chicago Ideas Week, which will offer one event entitled “Cities: Concrete Solutions,” among more than one hundred other programs on as many different subjects.

So, on that one (hopefully gorgeous) Fall weekend in Chicago, there will be the opportunity to learn about hundreds of new ideas from scores of the leading thinkers in their fields.

Need I say that that is one of the great glories of living in a major city?

For all the enormous breadth and depth of these events, however, very few of these individual programs are concerned with the tactile realities of living in a neighborhood in Chicago, and the components that comprise a vital, civilized city.

The sounds, sights, smells, histories, buildings and random encounters of a neighborhood deserve a series of events all their own … and I hope that an expanded Jane’s Walk will help more people appreciate the fine-grained everyday pleasures within the city of Chicago.

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