Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Saturday, March 2

Gapers Block

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Last week, as frozen peas sublimated into noxious smoke, Lakeview residents gathered on Broadway to marvel at the Dominick's fire. I heard about it on the radio and wondered what it smelled like. Would it smell like a barbeque? Or Pop-Tarts? Or just like fire.

But there were some folks on Broadway that grew distracted from the flames licking skyward by other, hotter targets. And some people don't need a fire to cause them to check out fellow shoppers.

(Thanks to my fellow Blocker, Jes Davis, for also noticing this post-disaster phenomenon.)

Girl with amazing red hair on Broadway after the Dominics fire - 25

You were on Broadway with a Borders bag and a ginormous iced coffee concoction about an hour or so after the Dominicks fire. You are super-duper cute and have the most absolutely a-mazing red hair I have ever seen! By the time my brain unfroze and I thought of something to say ("your hair is very pretty"... sorry, this was the best I could do in a pinch.. it certainly beats "da-ah-um-ah-uh.. hi." which was the only other thing I could think of) you took off going mach-1 down the sidewalk. God, I'm an idiot.

I'm a firm believer that you can't judge a book by its cover, but you can get a pretty good idea if you want to take it out for dinner and a movie.. uh, yeah, something like that. :)

(Writer's Note: This ad also included a photo of a Titian-haired model with arrows pointing at the hair saying "Red like this, only shorter and awesome!")

I've always been interested in the vehicle that people use to start conversations. Like, in bookstores, "Hey, that is a great book!" tends to be oft-used. I like retracing things to that first kernel of interest followed by a generally moronic utterance. I'm not talking about pick-up lines; everyone knows they're stupid. But the things like, "Um, can I borrow that ketchup?" or "That's a cool shirt."

I'm writing this week's column from the cool interiors of the Grind Cafe in Lincoln Square. I'd been watching covert stares between these two people for a few minutes. They both had laptops and cute, quirky little faces. She moved tables to get closer to an outlet (and to him). His longboard blocked the outlet. She asked him about it. Twenty minutes later, they exchanged numbers. Adorable. Seriously, I live for shit like that.

Cute guy watching Dominicks burn - m4m - 25

You were with a friend. You had blonde hair and the back of your legs were sunburned. hubba hubba!

I like that of all the physical characteristics this Golden Boy may possess the writer of this ad noticed his sunburned legs. It's sort of like what I imagine I'd do if I had a love affair with Angelina Jolie — compliment her scars, any stretch marks. Just anything unexpected.

Dominicks on Saturday south side - m4w

to the young lady who walked out and went east in the parking lot saturday morning, i think you picked up a bag of cat food. i followed you to the check out, and was mesmorized watching you walk away from me that i got my toungue all tied up and could not speak. i caught a glimpse of you peeping me on your way out the door, i tried to catch you, but you vanished like a ghost. you had on jeans, and a white t shirt. you brown skinned, shorter than i , slim, and very appealing to me. i am lite complected, about 5' 10', short hair, i probably was finishing up a bike ride so i was not dressed up too much that day, but we should talk, there might be something there.................

"Vanished like a ghost" reminds me of a book I'm reading, an upcoming Gapers Block Book Club book, in fact: Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago by Eric Klinenberg. Hundreds of the victims of Chicago's deadly 1995 heat wave were elderly shut-ins. Many of their bodies were never claimed. The City held their personal effects in storage for five years. And then they were destroyed.

Girl with the Tattoo at Dominicks - m4w

You were the brown-haired woman wearing the autumn brown sun dress and white flip-flops who was shopping at the Dominick's on Broadway and Briar. I was the guy holding up the palm-sized Dulcinea watermelon. When I looked up, you passed by me and smiled. I caught sight of a tattoo on your left breast, and, for the first time, I actually smiled back at a woman with gorgeous brown hair and high cheekbones. I suppose I did look funny holding two melons in front of my chest.

Was I looking at your, umm, melons? Well...actually I was trying to decipher the tattoo. I couldn't make out what it depicted. Maybe you'll read this and let me know what the tattoo means.

I'm sure this happens to her all the time. I wouldn't worry about it, guy. My own local grocery store, Jewel on Foster and Pulaski, is populated by lots of weird eye candy, too: Muslim women in chador with kids in tow, perusing the cheese case; Hasidim looking overheated in black suits and wide-brimmed hats; off-duty strippers from the Admiral; and bright-white, teenaged North Park Christians.

DIY Public Notice: Write your own response to the following Missed Connection and send it in. If I publish your response, I'll send you a GB t-shirt.

Goddess at Ñ Lounge, listening to Bossa Tres - m4w - 30

I've seen you before, I am almost sure you are of Brazilian origin. This time you were wearing a black shirt emblazoned with "Girl" on the front and "03" on the back, and black jeans. I love the way your glasses fit your face, your dark hair and your oh-so-beautifully-voluptuous body. I am the guy you probably didn't notice. Several times I almost gathered the nerve to talk to you but you were always surrounded by your friends. I was discreetely but insistingly looking at you hoping to make eye contact but alas, I was either beyond your field of vision or maybe too ugly to bother.

So that's that. You were the most gorgeous woman to grace Ñ Tuesday night. I hope to see you again next week, when I'll probably fail to break the ice yet again, because I'm a dork.

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About the Author(s)

Shylo Bisnett loves ironing, baking and gardening. She will soon be a naughty housewife. Let her know what you think about Public Notice at .

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