With this baby in my belly, I just didn't have the energy this summer to make my annual fruit pie. To make up for it, yesterday my mom and I visited Hoosier Mama Pie Company to have the best pie in Chicago. Surrounded by a little pie library and vintage treasures, we started by wolfing down some impossibly fluffy tomato cheddar parmesan quiche. We followed that with slices of cherry berry pie, coconut custard pie (above), and lemon chess pie (also pictured above, a Southern delight that tastes like a lemon bar topped with blueberries). I felt a bit more pregnant afterward, but it was worth it!
The only downside of having a baby soon is having to delay one of my dreams for a bit: driving Route 66. A friend of mine described it as "American Zen." Nothing makes me happier than gliding on ribbons of road, enjoying the childlike pleasure you get from old signage. So for years now I've been mapping the route and collecting things in anticipation, like this Thelma and Louise necklace by Cheeky Jewelry. I obsess over the photographs of Wim Wenders, Stephen Shore, and my flickr favorites. And of course, I started to make some mixes for a soundtrack to it all. But my soon-to-come little girl has shifted my priorities a bit, so instead of hitting the road, my goal is to watch as many road films as I can. One of my all-time favorites is Paris, Texas, with its thick atmosphere and fetishized road locations. I'll probably watch that again, along with some new selections. I recently watched a campy early noir road film, Detour, about a pianist who hitches a cross-country ride from a bookie and gets involved with a boozy femme fatale. Next on my list is Stranger than Paradise...the list goes on and on. I'll keep watching them all until she's old enough to come with me!
I've always been a bit delinquent about watching classic westerns. While I'd enjoyed High Noon, The Searchers, and Rio Bravo, something about their elemental morality is a snooze. But as part of my recent Clint Eastwood education (it started with Dirty Harry) I decided to do a triple feature of A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Talk about getting drunk on the movies! I couldn't get enough of the campy dubbing and Clint's squint, all wrapped in a spirit of cool irreverence. Why didn't I watch these sooner? Now my love for Kill Bill: Vol. 2 just seems recycled.
Seeing Public Enemies, with all its shots of familiar El-covered intersections and buildings, reminded me of this antique store find my mom and I made years ago, a book chronicling "the Chicago that's not in the guidebooks." I love the chapter headings, like "The People's Friends: Politicians are the same the world over, except in Chicago, where they're worse." Although it can get tiresome for people to know your city as a criminal haven, it is kinda cool to have lived close to the Biograph, where Dillinger was caught (whether he was with a woman in a red dress or not).