Monday of this week I had a full day (baring the time I spent responding to frantic E-Mails from Brock) to explore Chicago. I used this opportunity to head out to Wicker Park.
On the Blue Line El’ on the way from O’Hare to downtown I noticed that there were a lot of nice lofts, cools shops, and lots of young people in Chicago. I took note of the ads too: Mac tech support and Johny Walker – an F1 sponsor. When I got off the El’ at Division station I realized that this was the neighborhood I was looking at on that first El’ trip.
Wicker Park is where the Double Door is – the club that hosted all the hot acts in the late 90s grunge music scene. The Double Door also hosted a lot of Smashing Pumpkins show, including the last (for the moment) show. I’ve always been a really big Smashing Pumpkins fan (not in a Kiss Army kind of way) and to see the Double Door was pretty cool.
Tuesday brought rain and all I managed to do was visit the United Center (home of the Blackhawks) and do a little meaningless shopping and ultimately register and attend the start of the WebCT !mpact 2006 conference.
One last experience I want to share is about stereotypical Americans – there aren’t that many and I’d suggest that the stereotype (at least in this Democratic city) is the exception, not the norm. American’s aren’t all overweight – but those that are, they enjoy the freedom to really be obese. One last note is an old woman (70+) who I met standing in the rain just beside the Christian Science reading room.
Old woman: Does this bus go to ____.
Matt: I’m sorry what was that?
Old woman: Does this bus go up ____.
Matt: Come stand under the umbrella. The bus…
Old woman: Do you know where it goes?
Matt: No, I’ll admit, I’m from Canada.
Old woman: The Black country?
Matt: No, not Ghana or Gambia, Can-a-da.
Old woman: Oh that’s OK. It’s a British country. You know Britain created this country and Canada. So that’s OK.
Matt: Well I’m glad that’s OK. Well… I have to go. Good luck.
— Every city has it’s crazies, but I’ve never had a conversation about public transportation turn that direction.
I also took a bunch of night pictures without a tripod (forgot my mini-tripod in the hotel room) which the Flickr people seem to enjoy.