from my bookshelf
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Chicago: my continuing love affair with a city 8/15-8/16/09
I took a very quick trip to Chicago August 15 and 16. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra was performing Beethoven's 9th at Millennium Park, and it was the final outdoor performance of the season and I wanted to see it. I took the afternoon train into Chicago, and instead of taking the time to drop my one bag off at C's, I decided to spend the afternoon at Millennium Park until he was done with the Air and Water Show. I had started reading Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain on the train, and wanted to finish it, so found a nice shady bench right in front of the bean. While I was sitting there, 2 female police officers came and joined me on the bench, one on each side of me, to catch a slight respite from the sun. I couldn't pass up the opportunity, and told them both that I was feeling very protected at that particular moment, to which one replied, "It's our job, to protect and serve." I told them they were doing an admirable job and thanked them very much.
I out aside my book for awhile to people watch, and observed the gays being restless as they were staging a "kiss in" so that everyone could see that we can be normal in public. Of course, carrying around Pride flags and making sure that everyone in shouting distance is watching them kiss isn't exactly normal behavior on a day to day basis, but us gays do like to be flamboyant! After they left, I got to watch a group of ladies doing a choreographed dance with brooms to someone playing the saxophone, and as soon as they finished their one dance, they left. These are the moments that make me love Chicago even more.
The Air and Water Show was also going on, so we got to see some of the jets flying over the city. You could always hear the jets before you could see them, and since no one ever knew which direction they were coming from, everyone would just stop and look up in whatever direction they were walking. I wished that I had gotten a picture of the people, looking up in every which direction, hoping to catch a fleeting glimpse of the jets as they soared passed.
I wandered up Michigan to the Magdalene sculpture, which never ceases to take my breath away. I took a few pictures of her in her summer finery and turned back around as it was coming up on time to meet C and his friend J at Bella Bacino's for dinner. We had a delightful meal (as always) and C recommended that we make our way to Millennium Park so that we could make sure that we could secure a viewing area. I'm glad we followed his lead, as the lawn area was already beginning to fill up, and there was still almost 2 hours until the concert starting.
The concert was sublime. Even though we couldn't see the orchestra, to be able to lay there on the grass, watching the sky darken as night covered us, the stars just beginning to twinkle, the city as a glowing, magical backdrop... I couldn't ask for a better evening. These are the nights that make me want to live there that much more.