"Welcome to Chicago.
This town stinks like a whorehouse at low tide."
No it doesn't. It's muggy and close, yes. But the trees are tall and broad, like the buildings. Much of it reminds me of London, or even New York. The buildings are big and sepia stained. There is sidewalk greenery and mini-fences of black metal.
It keeps its age and builds on it.
There is crime, murder and naughtiness in its past:
there are slaughterhouses, industries too. I dared to walk on Michigan Avenue and was nearly bowled over by the foot-traffic. The skyscrapers overlook a LAKE.
I'm rather taken with the place.
Sunday morning we assembled in the hotel's restaurant, The Pump Room (so very Jane Austen), for breakfast. We took pictures of our elegant breakfasts,
discussed the bird I saw yesterday, which excited me very much becuase it wasn't either brown or gray (L.A. bird colors),
and talked about our plans for the day and our pending travels back home.
Today would be art day for me – I had big plans for the Art Institute of Chicago. Arbed, Michelle and I went together. Now I don't know if Michelle realized she would be our unofficial Chi-Guide, but I bless her for being so. I bless her and bus #151.
Michelle knows her city – she knows its events, places and directions. Do I know my city? No. And I don't really want to. L.A. quite often simply gives me the pip.
The AIC had many pleasant surprises – Spanish (Cotan, Goya) and Dutch (Terborch, Rembrandt), for instance. There was a lovely Moreau, and I sat in front of it, drinking in its shadows and jewels. A woman sat beside me, and wanted to know what I saw in the painting. I said that Moreau was a symbolist painter, which was a mammoth mistake as I really don't have a good definition of symbolism…but I did what I could for her.
The Beardsley drawing which I thought the museum housed I couldn't find. He must be looking down on me, tormenting me, coughing into his cloudy sleeve, my poor TB boy. No matter. It's a fine museum.
Eventually our group came to a parting of ways. Mariser and Lord K. were driving home – I will treasure my wee amber bourbon bottle – Valerae drove as well: we left the maid a proper tip, plus a couple of handfuls of chocolates. I'll get the DVDs to you – oh, and payment for the room.
Arbed, our clever leader, Peg (no one took the left-over pizza?), Laurie – tiny but with a powerful hug (yes, I got writer cooties) and the Cap'n – a kinder hugger – left for their planes in the afternoon, and I hope no storms shattered their itineraries. Brown Amazon traveled with me to the airport. Michelle, our local, went home to do her laundry.
Everyone I know is mad at me for not taking pictures that included myself in them. Please don't hate.
"Here endeth the lesson."
(note: all quotes courtesy of 'The Untouchables', 1987)