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Alana’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 08 Apr 2012

MapDAY THREE
Well Day two really – can’t really count the arrival evening as did nothing but sleep. Up early & back on the transit system feeling quite confident with my new found ability to find my way around. Pride comes before a fall & all that. Got very lost but eventually found the relocated Maxwell Street Market. Not sure what I was expecting but disappointingly familiar i.e. Ford Market on a Sunday in my neck of the woods at home. Stallholders mostly Mexican & goods mostly tatt & hardly a word of English being spoken but with intriguing smells of food on the air. Had been forewarned that I was more likely to bump into a Mariachi band & advice was right. Note to self – never go looking for something that’s thirty years old. No little backstreet bars playing blues music & not sign of John Lee Hooker a la the Blues Bros film :-(. Eventually got my sense of direction back & tried the Chicago bus system – great bus driver who helped & wanted to chat about where I was from. A character really – especially when he threw three black youths off the bus for not paying & harangued another woman for trying to help them. Surprised all the passengers when he stopped the bus to take photos of a bridge with a very swish SLR camera – hey – everybody needs a hobby !!
Found my way back to the Institute of Art so on safe ground after checking out the sculptured forest of disembodied legs gifted to the City. Great toasted tuna mayo pannini at the Potbelly & decided to try the City tour hop on / hop off open topped bus. Another glorious day of sunshine – even caught the sun – although quite breezy when we drove along the lake front. Weird to think it’s a lake when you can’t see the distant shoreline so a bit like the English Channel. Fantastic architecture with lots of socialist commentary from a well-informed tour guide so was able to check out where I want to come back to. Even discovered that the Picasso sculpture is just called that – donated to the City by the artist & not named so that the viewer must decide for themselves what it represents. Apparently lots of people think it represents a horse – surely they can all see it’s a dragon lol !!!
Tried to book onto the Blues Brothers Tour or the Chicago Film Tour but drew a total blank – damn – something to so with some bloke rising from the dead & we all needing a holiday to celebrate. I ask you – what a notion !!! (Apologies for the blasphemy for all I might inadvertently offend).
Had been recommended to take a ride on the brown elevated line for interest so did. Fascinating journey winding through the canyons of central Chicago at a level where you can easily look into widows. Tired & explored out for the day so took myself back out of The Loop & back to my hotel via the supermarket I’d bumped into for snacks. Bit scarey negotiating an urban highway with no pedestrian crossings but needs must & my feet were aching. Major decision for where to eat tonight – Hooters next door appears close, judging by the empty parking lot. So it will be traversing the highway again for D’Agostinos which looks to be a good pasta/pizza joint & advertises itself as having a pub. Do you think I might even get to imbibe some alcohol? Hope so – not used to desert conditions when it comes to alcohol. Leisurely art tomorrow + the Millenium Park with the famous coffee bean & hopefully the weather will stay this pleasant.