Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Year in Chicago

Mies Van Der Rohe's famous apartment block on Lake Shore Drive.

Some extracts from my journal kept during 1999/2000 when I was an exchange student to The School of the Art Institute, Chicago from Glasgow School of Art.

Early days in Chicago
“My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.”
Adlai Stevenson (speech in Detroit 1952)

Travel writer Jan Morris describes Chicago as “America’s best kept secret”.
Set in the mid - west, on the edge of Lake Michigan, it’s the most American of cities, and there beats the true heart of America.
It’s a city of extremes, from its wealth to its weather and the ethnic diversity gives it its unique character.
The Lonely Planet guide draws a colourful picture:
“ Chicago is a kaleidoscope of neighbourhoods encompassing every ethnic racial and religious background. Itinerant artists ponder their navels in Wicker Park, old Polish women scrub their stoops on Milwaukee Ave., a Vietnamese woman works 18 hour days in her new Argyle St. restaurant, yuppies spoil their perfect child Lincoln Park, an African American the organises her block on the West Side, blue-collar guys in Bridgeport badmouth whoever is playing the Bears, an old-as-the-hills musician sings the blues in a South Side tavern...”