July 24, 2007

Ten Years Ago, I Went to Chicago

Let’s play password!
Topic: Weather

Chicago in July

Words are truly meaningless here. Let’s try numbers.

Jackie lives on the 7th floor.
It was 90 degrees the first 3 days.
Humidity: 96%
Jackie has 0 air conditioning.
Average of 3 items of clothing apiece, covering surface areas of 20-30%.
Our legs: short.
Our modesty: none.

Twice I described this scene, and twice some dude piped up with a “so, did you guys, like, make out?”—seriously, like life is just one big beer commercial waiting to happen. I guess we technically had a pillow fight, when Kate almost sat next to me and I smacked her away with the warm side of the cushion because the micron of heat increase would have turned us both to liquids. So, if any men reading (CD, are you still the only one? You may have to fill out a survey) think the above a ripe setting for some bi-curious lesbian antics, let me just say that chicks do this kind of “I’m throwing my top off now, deal” stuff all the time. [I’d like to think some secure guys, somewhere, are sitting around in the buff at the poker table in 90-degree heat, drinking beer, goolies-out, as if nothin’ was nothin’. I hope so. I also hope they put towels down first.]

Some people retain their prettiness in the heat, some take the picture.

We escaped the heat by leaving the house as often as possible, touring malls and buying groceries. Luckily, the hottest day fell on the planned outing to the museum, so we basked for hours in air condition—um, artistic genius. The AIC’s current installment by Jeff Wall was fantastic--I usually hate modern art, but his photography is awesome (I still think this one would make a good puzzle, Jackie, although I’ll concede that I’m the last person on earth who does puzzles).

Ce n'est pas une Jeff Wall.

The AIC has famous works in spades; I think took as many pictures here as I did in the Louvre. This has always been one of my favorites, and I loved seeing it in real life.

This is a recent favorite; I’ve had the print on my wall since sophomore year.

Most of the city was toured on the cheap, which we wouldn’t have been able to do without… ok, let me just say this. Jackie is one of those people who can get things. She’s the friend you send to the bar for more drinks, because they’ll either be half-price or free. This power, it is… [flips up “A Star is Born” hands] the Jackieness. And this Jackieness is your guide to Chicago for the price of beans. It also guarantees you won’t get ticketed for parking at a broken meter, get seated immediately at lunch and you will find things at stores that fit you perfectly and are also on sale, because deals are attracted to Jackieness just like everything else (to be fair, that last may also be attributed to the Katetitude; I find lots of awesome discounted shit with Kate as well). Jackieness got us into the museum, as well as into the Hancock tower, for free.


I’d like to thank K&J for being supportive—literally, holding me up by the arms—after the elevator ride, which propels humans up 95 floors in under 30 seconds (did I mention that while you’re shooting into space, the building sways ever-so-gently from side to side? Because it does). It was remarked that this 100-story elevator was faster than the one in Jackie’s 7-floor tenement, but to be fair, the Hancock building has hydraulics and NASA technology; her building has a ferret in a wheel. An old, asthmatic ferret.

These are probably the best city-scapes I’ve ever taken, besides maybe Paris, and even those were hampered by the freezing wind. There’s something to be said for a weather-protected vantage point, and that thing is, “wow, this is prett—whhoooug, maybeweshouldgobackdownnow,” because I have vertigo. Yes, I have vertigo; and I also have lactose intolerance, enjoy black licorice and own ragtime on vinyl because I am ninety years old. I went up the building anyway, for the pictures and the teeny-tiny pet-mouse-sized respect. Boo-yah.

Millennium park was covered in a matter of minutes, because there was zero cloud cover and the fountains were overrun with kids splashing and running about in the fountains. As a testament to the unbelievable heat, parents were taking turns getting soaked with their kids, all “Jesus it’s hot who cares anymore I’ll be dry in five minutes anyway”. We took quick pictures and got Jamba Juice, which I had never had before. Hence my ordering such a large peachy protein beverage.

Sweet, delicious brain-freeze.

Another first: Jackie got to see a real live giraffe for the first time at the Lincoln Park zoo. She also made a really bad toucan joke, that I would post here but… Oh, all right:

ME: I hope they have a bird house, with parrots and toucans and stuff. I’d like to see a toucan.
JACKIE: Well, if they have one… youcan!

And then she laughed for, like, five minutes. Really.

So, Chicago in a nutshell: I saw some stuff, and I had fun, but Chicago per se doesn’t really do it for me. It’s one of those places where, when people say they “fell in love with the city,” you look at them sideways because Chicago is like a taller version of Detroit with cleaner fingernails; it has its good points, yet effing scary at worst, middling around meh-bulous. On the city-rating scale (with London and Paris being elevens, Ann Arbor a ten and Dublin being negative three), I give Chicago a solid six: It’s got a beat and you can dance to it, but I wouldn’t move there if I could avoid it. But Kate and Jackie know I would visit them on the moon if it means a week’s worth of out-of-office emails, so as long as my friends insist in living all over the damn map I will continue to book long weekends. Thanks for having me, y’all.

NB: Pics not shown include a choice shot of Jackie in a towel, which may or may not go up depending on how fast she reads this and how much she pays me. Youcan, Jackie.


jackie said...

okay cool! Before you had to have an account to publish comments on Sarah's blog...

Anyway Sarah...
Yes it was hot, but I think you're just used to the insanely cold temperatures of Dermatology. We had lots of fans, H20, and most places we went were airconditioned. So quit your belly-achin'.

Now darling, I really and truly wish that your vision of me were what my real self and real life were like. Yes we did some things for free, but this was not because I walk by and people fall all over themselves to give me things, but because we are all cash-poor and I have learned how to be super-thrifty and still do fun things. Seen through Sarah-colored glasses i'm sure that pic of me in a towel is akin to the Venus de Milo, but unfortunately I think most would agree I appear much more mortal than that.

And, my Toucan joke was hysterical. I laughed again when I read it. I also laughed when you said that my building's elevator is powered by an old, asthmatic ferret...which I cannot disavow. That giraffe was awesome.

I feel like I should represent for my city and say that I give it an 8 1/2. Not as amazing as London or Paris I agree, but I think this city as a lot to offer.
So Sarah here's the deal--you move back to Boston and I will come visit, bc fair is fair and I should get to evaluate your city too...

Sarah Beedoo said...


1. It was hot. You have forgotten the hot like grandmothers forget labor pains. Also, I am a whiner.

2. You're the pretty one. Deal.

3. Okay, I'm laughing that you laughed at the story about the joke that isn't technically a joke. So I guess now it's funny. Hell of a long way to go for the payoff, though.

4. I want to be a giraffe. Or a camel; I rather look like a camel. I have a Bactrian nose.

5. Boston can kick Chicago's runty ass any night of the week (before 6:00, when it gets dark and it can't sell liquor anymore). Be at the bike rack at 5:45, Chicaaaago!

6. Hug Kate for me. Miss you!

Ian said...

Don't listen to her. Boston is horrible. Take it from a local.

Adrianna said...

As another Boston local my opinion is I agree with Sarah, Boston is awesome, there are bunches of stuff to do. It would be better if the T ran past 12:30, but its still fun.

Although to be fair all I've seen of Chicago was the airport, and I think everyone would agree the airport there sucks as does Logan.

crdrue said...

Does that giraffe have 2 heads?

I like the Toucan joke. It grows on me with each of Sarah's disdainful reprisals!