A Productive Weekend with Curly Girl

When my long-time friend Curly Girl called last month and said she was coming to Chicago for a conference, I was delighted to invite her to stay with me for a few days.

We first met at 11:37 a.m. on August 2, 1995, on a train from Munich to Prien (between Munich and Salzburg) — en route to a two-month language course at the Goethe Institute. By some twist of fate (after an all-night flight), we ended up in the same 6-person train compartment, and through talking with a German man next to us, we realized that we were going the same place. Upon completing our placement tests at the school, we were assigned to the same class, and then naturally we became roommates — since we didn’t know anyone else there.

She had just arrived from Israel, and we started telling everyone we were sisters. (We obviously look identical.)


At any rate, we lived together for those two months, and then I visited her for two weeks in Israel that spring. Her mother moved to Chicago within a year, and the summer after I graduated college, I visited Curly Girl in Chicago — my very first experience in the city I now call home.


(See that purse over my shoulder? It was stolen in a Chinese restaurant in the Loop about 15 minutes after that picture was snapped. Sigh.)

She moved to New York with her husband in 1998ish, where they both did their PhD’s, and I visited her almost every year until they moved upstate about three years ago.

This was our first time seeing each other since then — how time flies!

Since Thursday, we’ve pretty much eaten, organized, hemmed and yapped. (I’m still stuffed, and I haven’t eaten for 6 hours.)

Saturday morning we got up, drank coffee, and ambitiously made muffins. (Read the cup carefully.)


Then my OCD friend insisted on organizing my living room. (Who was I to complain?) Within a couple hours everything was neatly stowed, and pictures were hung. I should’ve realized that this was a bribe to get me to hem her new pants from our Ann Taylor Loft excursion on Friday night.

All that organizing turned out to be quite fun. Our most surprising accomplishment was the composition in the entryway (including the clock, which still doesn’t have batteries…)


She organized all my books and trinkets — and dusted!


Look! The piano doesn’t have any crap on it! It’s all stowed away in the magazine rack that Dad made in high school (lower right).


I should’ve been on to her when she said my sewing machine made the perfect centerpiece…



We decided to hang this map from Rome in the hallway instead of above my headboard.


And put the pictures of the Eiffel Tower across from it.


Sadie feels quite regal in her palace. This chair has become her throne.


This afternoon we went for Mexican food, then headed to the Field Museum for the Maps exhibit. You’ve probably figured out that I’m a sucker for maps, and I’d been looking for the perfect person to accompany me to this exhibit.


Our favorite was an oil painting of Amsterdam. The Dutch were expert mapmakers, and they liked to do things so they looked realistic — which is why you see shadows from the clouds.


I thought the Lion one was really cool…


…as well as the one of Chicago before the fire.


It took us nearly two hours to get through the exhibit, and by then we were pooped. We headed for the train, and I sent her off to the airport.

Bye, Curly Girl! Come back soon.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Crly Girl said,

    I have OCD? Moi?? Impossible!

  2. 2

    […] near Baltimore on Thursday and near Des Moines on Friday. So I took the opportunity to visit Curly Girl, who’s been living in Toronto with her family since early this […]

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