‘Buy the ticket, take the ride’
So said the hard living and writing Hunter S Thompson. And I did. Yesterday I took the Blue Line to late night opening down at the Institute of Art. I can only take a couple of hours in art museums before I am overwhelmed, and I took it right to the edge yesterday… If I was here longer, I might go back. It’s never occurred to me before that you can actually take pictures of the pictures in those places – maybe in most you can’t. Here in Chicago, they let you, so I did.
And so I passed an evening, before travelling back on the Blue Line to the neighbourhood I am staying in. I thought if I was going to have a drink (which I was), it would be wiser to be in a stone’s throw of my bed. As it turns out, I can’t drink too much when I am on my own – I always want my wits about me, but I did need something to take the jagged edge off sleeping in a bunk in a dorm (right outside the common room area = noisy). I have discovered that what I saved in accommodation costs I probably spent in Margarita, Red Wine and Johnnie Walker Black. Still, I did get some sleep, so it was all good.
What was less good was when I couldn’t get the keypad to let me back in my dorm around 3 a.m. this morning. I had been in bed asleep but being the age I am, I needed to use the bathroom (as they say here). I punched in three wrong numbers and then the keypad refused to work – a bit like the ATM eating your cash card. I was thinking that I would have to spend the rest of the night on a sofa by the table football, but then I noticed that in my bleary-eyed state I had been entering a #5, instead of a #6. After a suitable period of decompression, the keypad came back to life and I was in! I have never been so glad to see a bottom bunk in a hot and airless room full of female strangers (some snoring, gently).
The next sleep I have should be in my own bed, with my own dog, who has apparently missed me with great severity; something he has communicated by protest and anxiety peeing round the house… It’s a groovy world I live in.
I couldn’t seem to fully appreciate the big Picasso exhibition at the Institute yesterday. Maybe I just don’t get him… maybe I am too young, or too old to understand, or maybe it’s like the time I went wine tasting in Beaunes in Burgundy: if you leave the Nuits St George until you’ve drunk a bucket of cheaper appellations, the good stuff is going to taste like vinegar… It’s possible that this is what happened yesterday but I prefer my other theory: this may be heresy, but when I look at him I seem to get a big ego looking back at me. I like the sculpture and the printing more than the painting, but there you go, each to his or her own. What I do like is a lot of the American artists so the blog might feature those rather heavily for a while. Here’s a detail I took from a Jackson Pollock called ‘Greyed Rainbow’. It’s exquisite.
Buy the ticket, take the ride…
As I have found out, it looks a little like this.