About a Girl: The Gaslight Edition

Happy summer, folks!, and greetings from Evanston.

It’s hot as hell out here, with even the breeze coming in from the lake doing little to abate the stifling heat. But it’s pretty, rull pretty, with mid-afternoon rainstorms and gorgeously encroaching sunsets and rippling tides. The coastline (can you call lakeside beaches “coastline”?) is astounding. I love summer ’round here. I’ve barely entered the city limits at all – hell, I haven’t gotten downtown but once this summer, surprisingly – but there’s so much to do in Evanston on a budget, so much to enjoy, even if the best of times are marred by itchy mosquito bites. My dear friend Jimmye and I have embarked on a grand old tradition to beat the summer heat. We delinquents are breaching the delicate Evanston-Wilmette divide and dragging our less-than-divine North Shore tourist butts to the Wilmette beaches. And it’s glorious. We trek up to Wilmette, biking along Sheridan, past the looming Bahai Temple and down through Gillson Park to the beach. The water is clear there, the sand fine and warm, the quasi-boardwalk pocked by generally well-behaved kids. It’s actually incredible, and it’s truly reminding me of why I love summer.

And, y’know, more than that, I think I’m loving the experience because it reminds me of a little movie I used to love called “Now and Then.” When it came out in ’95, critics called “Now and Then” the female “Stand By Me.” And while that’s hilariously untrue – one’s a classic, one’s a laughably admirable sleepover flick – it remains one of the most beloved films from my youth. And my little bike jaunts with Jimmye remind me a bit of this –

Clip from “Now and Then”

I like to think that, if we were to actually reenact “Now and Then,” I’d get to be the character of Roberta (Christina Ricci), the tomboy who tapes her breasts and flirts with and then (spoiler alert!) snogs dreamy Devon Sawa. But that would mean I grow up to be Rosie O’Donnell, and I’m not sure I’m on board with that if it can be helped. Regardless, last night, Jimmye and I caught a bit of an a capella group’s set live in the park amphitheater. AcRock, “Chicago’s premier acappella rock ‘n roll singing group,” as per their website, played a few pretty fun songs, a number of which would have fit right in with the whole “Now and Then” thing. It was fairly perfect.

To you, all of you, happy summer! I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am. And be sure to enjoy tomorrow’s moderate temperatures. I, for one, will likely be beachside, bitten and buried in schoolwork. For now, I’m off to find out a little something about Dear Johnny.
Au revoir, Simone!


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