Playing the Tourist

I had a splendid three days in majestic Chicago. Warm, pleasing weather (despite a mild morning Wednesday morning rain) added beneficial enjoyment to a city of profound art and historic skyscrapers. I walked almost everywhere and rode trains, taking in the majestic nature. I met up with former PAFA alums, including a classmate and explored highlights through their eyes. Plus, I ate a marvelous dinner with a fellow black woman vegan Twitter friend. My trip wasn’t purely secluded mini vacation, but a time to fully interact and engage with people, to truly get to know them further. For that to happen among industrial backgrounds, famous landmarks, and delicious food (okay, there were bad food experiences, but I’ll get to that later), made my short visit amazingly wonderful. I couldn’t have asked for better company.

It took hours to find my temporal resting place. This wasn’t the first instance of Google Maps steering me in the incorrect direction. Once my phone eventually bid me adieu, dying in the middle of my panic, I had a moment of sitting on the ground, watching the sun threaten to fall below horizon, leaving me a stranded mess on the other side of my location, Yes, I was almost half an hour away, having walked the opposite direction. A policewoman geared into the correct way. Her companion asked if I wanted to call a taxi. Of course not. Twenty minutes is nothing. I found my location, drank the free water, rested my head on a Frida Kahlo pillow, and smiled my relief.

Inside Trip Advisor’s Top Museum (love the independent film inspired insignia), you’ll find famous works like Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon At the Island of Grand Jatte,” Edward Hopper’s late night diner special “Nighthawks,” and Grant Wood’s iconic Midwestern “American Gothic.” However, if you’re like me, you would appreciate works by Beauford Delaney, Gabrielle Munter, and Cauleen Smith.

Marc Chagall continued. So as we sat in front of the gorgeous piece of art, I had charged my dying phone between two computers– an artwork installation of some sort. I turned around for a moment, chatting with my friend. When I looked back, a man was holding onto my phone, clutching it while scrolling with the computer mouse. I had to let him know that the phone was mine, that it needed to be charged. He apologized and set it down. He and his companion leave, but not before the next couple sit down and shout, “Sir, you’ve forgotten your phone!” It was downright hysterical. I suppose that the better solution would have been to charge at a nearby café.

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