The art museum was very fun. It's large and contains much variety. Many exhibits were closed for renovation, but I still got the chance to see Nighthawks, Sunday in the Park, and American Gothic. Renoir was not on display, but there was one painting by Rosetti. I love art. There's something about the practice of something so diligent. Discovering new realities in a paintbrush and sharing them with people. A chisel mark here or there in a piece of rock can become something beautiful. Something that triggers ideas and emotions in your soul that you didn't know existed. Or maybe you knew they existed, but they only like to show themselves on special occasions.
Millenium Park is full of mystery and wonder. The sculpture make you look at the world differently. Fran Gehry masters the view, faces spout water, people take pictures. The rain came down that day, but it was beautiful. Rain can be quite beautiful. Light refracted through water droplets.
Adventure. An adventure has never ceased to be had in the great city of Chicago. Google Maps Transit helps. I found my hostel and checked in within half an hour with only Google and an address. Even though it was a little stressful, it was full of adventure and great fun.
The morning brought the Zoo. And with the Zoo was a tiger. You know, there are some moments in life where you feel more connected with the greater things, the meta-things, and watching that tiger was one of those moments for me. Strength, beauty, gentleness, mystery, magic, life. Tigers are beautiful creatures. They look like the same cats that stay indoors and nuzzle your neck and attack pieces of strings, but the sheer size difference is astounding.
When I was a kid I wanted to be a tiger handler. I had forgotten about that little piece of myself for years until that moment. I remember watching this show on TV when I was a kid about tiger handlers who raised little tiger kittens from the time they were born. And when they were grown, they were like best friends across species. They would run and play and tackle each other. I wanted to be that.
Matt and Katrina came to the city. We wandered and snarked and beached and drinked. The gorgeous views on a sunny day in Chicago from the Hancock Observatory's Signature Lounge. The couple making out on the shore of Lake Michigan. Trying on clothes at H&M. Then Jeff's apartment, Chicago-style pizza, a little bit of The Office, D-Ian at O'Hare, and the Green Mill.
The Green Mill Lounge. Started in 1907, it became Al Capone's territory in the 20's. Booze and jazz, hmmmm. I got the chance to dance with Jeff, Matt and Daniel, which made me incredibly happy. Dancing is another one of those things that just stirs my soul. Dancing close with a friend, finding the steps together, finding a spiritual connection in the physical act of dance :) I thoroughly enjoyed the music and the people and the atmosphere. It was exactly as I imagined a good jazz club to be like. Low lights, swing band, female vocalist, dance floor. If I lived in Chicago, I would want to go there every weekend and be a regular. Oh, I wish I had a picture of the bouncer. That guy was CRAZY looking with a handlebar mustache and everything.
The next day was full of happiness and sorrow. Happy because Matt, Daniel, and I spent our afternoon at Navy Pier and all of its touristy wonders. Sorrow because I had to leave this beloved city and my wonderful friends. Now the wonderful thing about Matt and Daniel is that they are the sort of friends that aren't bothered by physical touch or find it awkward. We spent most of the afternoon with arms around shoulders or linked or just staying close because of the cold. That kind of physical affection is what I need to make me happy.
Good friends, good drinks, good times.
Chicago, I hope to see you again soon.