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Feb. 9, 2005

There were many reasons why California disagreed with me. One was the absence of fire escapes. And by "fire escapes" I mean to say "fire-escape parties."

Once a Chicago party has crested, people invariably head to the fire escape for some quiet time and some air. This is my favorite part of a Chicago party. It's a self-selecting group, but usually it's the people I came to spend time with in the first place.

Some will smoke. Some will lean on the railing and peel at their beer labels. And a pretty girl will sit on the step below you, point to her shoulders and use her eyebrows to say, "Rub, mister?"

It's a moment impossible in a flat land without fire escapes.

Photo taken: Feb. 3, 2005