Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Rene Magritte Exhibit - Getting There

At least our winter weather had been consistent, bitter cold occasionally interrupted by massive amounts of snow. Our summer, by contrast, seemed to have trouble making a decision. Mid eighties, upper eighties, pouring rain, upper sixties. So, I found myself with a day off which featured gray skies and cool temperatures. A new exhibit on the work of Rene Magritte had opened at the Art Institute. Even though it was running through a portion of the fall I decided that day would be a good a day as any to pay it a visit. After all, weather being what it was, it's not like I was going to the beach.

On public transportation you are treated to bits and pieces of a multitude of stories. The hearse and cars with their orange funeral banners lined up in front of the Greek Orthodox church. The cute boy with the trendy long sideburns in a suit and tie, the collar of his shirt a little too large. Where was he going so dressed up on a Tuesday in mid morning? There was the overburdened young man in the baseball cap moving down the sidewalk, groceries in each hand, backpack on his back, his baseball jersey with it's long sleeves pushed up stretched tight across his strong chest. Joggers and bikers along the lakefront trails, showing more fortitude than I, braving the elements on that exceptionally cool and overcast summer day.

Sets of stadium chairs painted by various artists, this summer's public art exhibit, a tradition begun with a display of decorated fiberglass cows almost a decade ago, line Michigan Avenue. One of the drawbridges that cross the Chicago river is up to allow construction of another portion of the riverwalk, a years long project being completed in a seemingly endless number of stages. Stepping off the bus I was enveloped by the noise of the city. Cars, trucks and jackhammers, the hum of a thousand conversations. In a restaurant a waiter with a patch of white in one of his dark eyebrows takes as order. I walk towards my destination sharing the sidewalk with office workers and tourists on this unseasonably cool, cloudy day.

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