Never Too Late To Love: An Urban Photo Shoot

When I moved to Chicago seven years ago, I came as part of a volunteer program. One part of what I loved about the program was that they provided housing and (bonus!) roommates who were also volunteering. I flew into Midway, having never before so much as visited Chicago and not knowing a single person. Emily was one of the first people I met here in Chicago. She was my roommate and quickly became a friend. 

When we first lived together, there was so much about Emily I didn't understand. My New England upbringing could not comprehend the slow and relaxed pace of life that Emily had acquired growing up in the South. But oh how I love that about her. She takes life as it comes and is never rushed. She savors meals and moments. And when you're with her, well, you can't help but slow down and enjoy life a bit yourself.

In seven years of friendship, what I most appreciate about her is that she is loyal and dependable. Three years ago when Adrian and I got married and he was working nights, it was Emily who drove me back and forth between apartments. She carried boxes and boxes night after night. And without complaint. When life is rough and I just need a friend, I know without a doubt that she is there.

Plus she is hilarious. Which is obviously a friendship must-have. 

We headed out to Pilsen, this wonderful neighborhood on Chicago's west side. Pilsen has a thriving artist community and is known for its beautiful murals. Emily loves living in the city and wanted city character in her pictures. So we braved the elements and headed to Pilsen.

I've driven by this mural many times and just adore it's bold statement and graphic qualities. After driving by a few other murals, I remembered this one and knew it'd be perfect. 

As we started, an older man came out onto his back porch and watched. It's a city so it happens. But my favorite part? When it started to rain and he saw that only Emily had an umbrella, he went in his house and found an umbrella to offer us. My sister says that would never happen in New York City. So, Chicago- 1. 
This is my absolute favorite. It is so very Emily.

How amazing is her coat? Perfectly bright for a rainy day. 

Thank you so much, Emily for all these years of friendship, the talks over dinners, shushing that one roommate all those years ago and for graciously allowing me to share your first name! And of course, thanks for being awesome in front of the camera and for having that show-stopping smile. Much love!

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