Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happenstance, Chicago-style

My plan was a simple one. Buy some music then come back home. But this turned out to be the day where nothing happened as expected.

See, I recently joined a community choir and was in need of some readable, non-photocopied versions of music. It took some doing but I found one of the last places in Chicago where one can purchase sheet music. It's called Performers Music and it is located in one of my old haunts, The Fine Arts Building. Mindful of the photographic possibilities, I grabbed my camera on the way out the door.

Today was my day! The weather was perfectly sunny and just a bit crisp. The bus came right away and within minutes, I arrived at my destination. It was as I remembered. Dark. Vaulted ceilings. Ornate brass cage elevators and marble stairs. Entering Fine Arts is akin to stepping into a time machine.

Studebaker Theatre inside Fine Arts BuildingFine Arts Building Elevator Call Button
Fine Arts Building ElevatorFine Arts Building Elevator - From the Inside!
Alas, my music was not in stock so it had to be ordered. No matter. Stepping past the porticos and massive columns is always a treat. Even seeing the same elevator operator from many years ago was comforting.

Back in the sunlight, I decided to go buy two skeins of yarn to match the gray Aspen I'm using for a cabled neckwarmer design in progress. Fifty-one yards doesn't go very far with chunky yarn. Wow, is my bus karma holding. Just as I was taking a photo of the Congress Parkway Equestrian statues, the bus came and I was at the store pronto.

Aspen yarnAgain, what I desired was not in stock. The yarn I wanted had already sold out but there were two skeins of a coordinating color of mid-range blue that would do just fine. I felt good so, instead of heading home right away with my bounty, I kept on walking.

Just so happens there was another landmark from Chicago's musical past just down the street that I kept meaning to check out: the old Chess Records Studio. Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters - even the Rolling Stones all recorded in this modest, legendary space. The studio is now home to Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation and an adjoining outdoor performance space.

Willie Dixon's Blues Garden
I even ran into an old friend whom I had not seen in two years. Some days, it was her guidance and positive disposition that made all the difference between a bad day and a tolerable one.

So I wrap it up in a bow and consider it a gift. Today was just one of those days where you go looking for one thing and find something altogether different and wonderful.

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Blogger Chris said...

I love serendipitous days like that!

10/30/2008 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Jodi said...

Sounds like a marvelous and unexpected day! I haven't been to either of those places despite living in Chicago for 5 years. It's always great to learn about something new.

10/30/2008 09:24:00 PM  
OpenID Marsha said...

The next time you find yourself needing sheet music and needing it now, try You can purchase downloading PDFs from them. My husband has used this site several times (for stuff to work on for musical auditions) and loves it.

10/30/2008 10:06:00 PM  
Anonymous clasca said...

I wish I could have joined you, it sounds like a beautiful day!

10/31/2008 06:01:00 AM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

Lovely! Photos, chain of events, yarn...
Just lovely!

10/31/2008 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

What a fabulous day! Days like that are supposed to happen... they just fall into line no matter what. Yes, serendipity.

10/31/2008 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

What a gift of a beautiful day! You deserve it, too! I'd call it a grace "note"!

10/31/2008 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

It's wonderful to see those Fine Arts Building shots. The elevators there were so cool. I took classes in that building more than once and loved the elevators - though the stairs were also beautiful. Such a stunning interior. Thank you. Sounds like you had an excellent day!

10/31/2008 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

P.S. Does this mean Carl Fischer (longtime sheet music store) is no longer on Wabash Avenue?

10/31/2008 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

What a nice blog post. Your pictures are gorgeous.

11/01/2008 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger KnitPastis said...

That's so nice that you joined a choir. Look at all these GREAT photos you got on your way to buy some sheet music! I bet even the store smelled of vintage.

No, I bet fifty one yds of chunky doesn't go too far. Have to go take a look at my new skein of chunky. Shew, it's more than fifty. fifty.

11/01/2008 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger KSee said...

It is great when a day turns out to be a good one and all falls into place even if it wasn't what you expected.

11/02/2008 05:31:00 AM  
Blogger Opal said...

What a fabulous day! I smiled just reading about it. :)

11/02/2008 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger kerstin said...

My kind of day! I'm with you on enjoying the beauty of the older buildings. There's a grace and a majesty to them that's almost magical. Glad you had a wonderful day!

11/05/2008 05:39:00 AM  

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