Recently I moved to Little Rock Arkansas, a small beautiful Southern city. I have lived in other places, but never permanently, always assuming that the Chicago suburbs would be my home forever. The move was a big change, but not as huge as I thought it would be at first. When we loaded up the car and drove away from our house of the past twenty-three years, I didn’t look back.
We have come back to Chicago twice since we moved to see friends and operas. We stayed downtown and did things that we had never done before–taking the Blue Line to and from O’Hare, staying in a Loop hotel, walked every where, found places new to us. Chicago was fun, but we were glad to get back to Arkansas, where we parked in the airport “peanut” lot, and drove home in 15 minutes.
The Loop felt different, there was no car to park, no train to catch. We depended on our Ventra card and feet to get around. The Loop looked different too, and there was a lot of unexpected art, unknown to me when I lived in the suburbs.
Painting on the El structure over the intersection of Randolph and Wabash.
What a surprise , seeing this painting hanging on the El. I was on the way to Marshall Fields–I meant Macy’s to get some Frango Mints for my neighbor. The scene was so urban and gritty, and the art was very unexpected. Of course, I bought the Frangos in the box with the Chicago Skyline.
The Chicago Cultural Center
This old building once was the Main Chicago Public LIbrary. I hadn’t been upstairs in years.
Art work I saw when I went upstairs: A series of boxes, each representing a Chicago Public School closed in 2015 which was part of a show of recent works by Chicago artists. My husband attended # 37, The Graham Stewart School in uptown until he moved to Skokie.
Doors from the now demolished Malcolm X College building. This was an impressive show of 32 fire doors, painted by Eugene Eda in 1971. Eda was chairman of the Art Department at the College. The doors are large and each door was spectacular. They represented history, fine arts, urban culture, music and African art. This is a large body of work by one artist, reunited in one place.
A Ghost Sign on Adams Street
A ghost sign is a sign painted on the side a building advertising a business that no longer exists. This ghost sign, painted on a building at the corner of Adams and State St. is special because there are two ghost signs on the building–one painted over the other. The most recent one advertises First Federal Savings and Loan. It is difficult to decipher the older sign. It is on the left, just above the Berghof sign, faint large white letters spell out enter and bank. They are faded and difficult to see, it may take a minute of close looking to see them.
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