A few years ago, I read the book “The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain. I read at the recommendation of a friend who knew I loved everything about Paris. She thought I would love it and sure enough I did! It’s one of my favorite books. The book got me very interested in Ernest Heminghway’s life…and more so on Hadley’s life (Hemingway’s first wife). I read the book on a flight to Paris in 2014. I wished I had the idea to check out some of the places mentioned in the book while I was there. I did manage to go to the church that Hemingway and his second wife (Pauline Pfeiffer) got married in (see post here). But that doesn’t count because it didn’t involve Hadley.
Since there was a Chicago connection with the Hemingways, I’ve been wanting to see their Chicago apartment in real life for quite some time.
I took the day off on Monday (the day before the July 4th holiday). We went to the beach and then had an early dinner at Blue Door Kitchen & Garden in the Gold Coast (they have the loveliest patio, especially to enjoy on a nice summer day). After dinner, and since we were in the neighborhood, I told Charlie I wanted to take a walk on Dearborn Street to find the apartment that Ernest Hemingway and Hadley Richardson had lived in. I used the excuse that we should walk off our dinner to really convince him.
When I first moved to Chicago, I really wanted to live in the Gold Coast because I admired all the beautiful and historic homes in the neighborhood. I quickly realized that I couldn’t afford it…I still can’t by the way. But I love taking a stroll in the neighborhood when it’s nice outside. I enjoy looking at the detailing on some of the homes, picturing how the streets looked like decades ago, and imagining how it would be like to live in one of those homes. I’m still dreaming….
As we were walking down Dearborn, we spotted The Nutmobile by Planters in front of Hotel Indigo. I was so excited for Luke that we stopped to take pictures and then forgot all about looking for Hemingway’s apartment. We walked further north on Dearborn (near the Latin School) and found some beautiful homes with gorgeous stairs leading up their front doors.
When we got home, I realized we missed the whole point of our walk. We did find some beautiful gems but we didn’t find what we wanted to on our scavenger hunt.
So I returned to Dearborn St. the next morning, on the 4th of July, to look for the apartment (because it’s the Summer of Leyla and we didn’t want to go to a parade on July 4th morning and I really wanted to find that apartment, darn it!). When I finally found it, I realized that I was standing right in front the apartment the night before and didn’t even know it! I was too busy taking pictures of Luke in front of the Nutmobile. I may have been a little nuts to not look behind me (pun intended and a very bad one).
What started out as a scavenger hunt to find Ernest Hemingway’s old apartment has turned out to be my first post to my new series – “Let’s Walk” to be posted on Wednesdays (get it? okay, never mind). I have a few other streets and neighborhoods in mind to share. I just need to find the time to take a few pictures and post about them.
I will try to update this post as I find out more information on some of these homes and buildings. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these pictures. If you live in Chicago or plan to visit, I think a leisurely walk on this street is worth an exploration.
I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July! Thanks for reading this post!