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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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On Walkabout

First, it was off to Glenn's Diner for a leisurely lunch.
Smiling at Glenn's Diner

Simple SneaksThankfully, the sunshine prevailed over the rain clouds allowing for a little exploration of this neighborhood around Montrose and Wolcott.

Section of the mural on the side of a now-shuttered Italian restaurant:
Villa May Mural

Chalkboard at the cafe inside the Lill Street Art Center. Sadly, no pie was consumed so I think a return trip may be called for to rectify that.
Viva La Pievolution

By the time I was headed south on Lake Shore Drive, you could tell the clouds were returning for rain, round two. I admit that I held the wheel with one hand and the camera in the other. Warning: do not try this at home!
Driving LSD
By the way, I've made a couple of attempts to knit again but 2 inches of lace hardly rate a show and tell. I know this is a crafting blog but, hey, creativity and vision can come through the eye of the camera, too. One of these days, I vow to play with yarn again!

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