Chicago Blues and Impressionism

“Windy City”, even though the name came from Chicago’s politics, it was freezing like hell living by the Michigan Lake. That’s what I got from Chicago firstly. I was staying in a hostel 10mins walk from Michigan Ave, and the bridge to the Michigan Lake was just right outside the building. It was a really big hostel, clean and comfy. I met a Spanish engineer the second day from the hostel thought, and traveled around downtown Chicago with him. It was like in the movie “Before Sunrise”. It’s always fun to meet new people and talk about everything when traveling together.

Chicago, to me, it’s an elegant, tough (recovered impressively from the Great Fire), mature, and artistic city. It has a huge collection of impressionism art, moreover, it itself is a piece of artwork. From the Sears Tower at night, the whole city was colorful and flat, just like those paintings hanging in the museum. I visited the Art Institute of Chicago the first day, and spent a whole day there. My favorite two paintings are “Girl Looking out the Window” and “Paris Street: Rainy Day”. The former one is by a Norwegian Painter, Edvard Munch. A girl is standing in front of a big window, hiding herself from the curtain. I was wondering what she is hiding from – her secret lover? A murder? Or let’s say, her mother having an affair with her uncle? Haha, kidding. “Paris Street: Rainy Day” is by a French artist, Gustave Caillebotte, in 1877. The buildings and streets in the background are distinctive and edgy, the facial expressions of the the only two characters’ are vivid. I like the reflections of the passers-by in the water. I also like the tone of the painting, which is dim and misty, as the lines are soft and smooth. Impressionism is all about imagination and illusion.

I also went to a blues bar the last second night. It was really good music. I found that young people (at around 40) were sitting in the chairs and lifting their shoulders with the music, whereas old people (around 70yrs old) were dancing like crazy. I always wish I was born in the 30’s, so that I could dance like those in the movie “the Legend of 1900”. Maybe the world forgets about Shirley Temple and Bill Bonjangles Robinson, or Nat King Cole and Ray Charles, we forget how to dance with lovely music already.

Went to the Navy Pier with the Spanish cuttie, and got up to the big ferris wheel in such miserable weather (around 20 degrees). We were like kids on the wheel. It was freezing up in the air. But it gave me the best view with the twinkling lights around us, even better than in the Sears Tower. Ferris wheels are always my childhood artifacts – my personal goal is to get on every famous ferris wheel around the world. Sometimes I think life is like a ferris wheel, no matter how far you go, how high you used to be, everyone gets back to the origin.

Chicago blues and impressionism. I love this city. I love this trip.

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One response to “Chicago Blues and Impressionism

  1. Well done. I just got done reading about Chicago’s glorious rise in the 1920s. I wanted to be there. I hope you enjoyed your time and I really liked your descriptions – my mind is filled with old and beautiful images.

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