Above me are various shades of fluorescent stick bulbs illuminating the sickly yellow painted cinder block walls and the vomitorium green floor. No natural light enters this chamber reeking of Ramen noodle meals from the 20th Century. Faces are stark, no one stays for long.
It reminds me of the Texas prison camp I visited in 1967 for a civics class requirement, the one with large galvanized garbage cans used as cooking pots. Or a morgue, one I wouldn't be caught alive in.
This is the abysmal ambiance of the break room at the Art Institute of Chicago. Nakedly nauseating, without even a framed poster of past exhibits in sight, this is the dungeon of dining for employees and volunteers who bring brown bagged lunches. Inside the marvelous museum, where the shades carefully chosen for exhibition walls are vetted with care, to find oneself in a room that no curator worth their MFA could stomach is very sad.
But as they say on the airline, I have a choice. So I choose not to eat there again come rain or snow. I'll take a page from Poe, nevermore and take my trade to the every delightful Pret a Manger.