gwen (gwenix) wrote,

From Chicago!

I am here in my last day visiting the Windy City, stealing some time on my friend's office machine while she's in a meeting. This city really reminds me more and more of a midwestern version of San Francisco in the tourism aspects... but at the heart outside of tourism eyes, it has always struck me much more like a bigger and more cosmopolitan version of Pittsburgh.

We've walked all over this city the past week. My legs are worn out! But we've managed to take advantage of some of the free tourism cultural offerings, and toured the Stained Glass Museum, the Millenium Park exhibit, Chicago Cultural Center, The Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography. We also tried to go to the Field Museum, but discovered our guide book was amiss in which day was free, and I've also discovered that the free days for the Museum of Science and Industry does not start until late next month. Curse my being a poor broke student once again!

All were very informative and wonderful. I especially liked the current Millenium Park exhibit, Uwe Ommer's "The Family Album of Planet Eart", in its ability to show the families of the world in a way that shows their similarity despite cultural differences. I do have one complaint, though: it is clear that in order to present this similarity so completely, the pictures of polygamous families were taken with only one wife (though all of the children) in the photograph. The other wives are mentioned in the captions, but it is less stunning to read of them than to see them presented in image. I realize that this is part of the point of simplistic similarity, but I felt that that was just a bit too much so.

Hanging out with my old high school friend is also a marvelous thing. We have gone in very different directions since high school; she has chosen to immerse herself into the doctor life of high-paced ambitions, while I have chosen a more alternative road. The fiction she reads are romantic stories chosen from the awards listings, where I dive into cyberpunk short story anthologies. Her non-fictional readings are medical journals where I am reading a history of the role violence has played in American media. She does not watch many movies, but when she does they are romantic stories again chosen from the awards listings, whereas I consume fluffy action movies absolutely revelling in the fight scenes. It is a marvel we can get along.

But I am reminded of why we do while watching the news together, or watching Fog of War. In high school we wanted to save the world by our humanity. We knew it was naive and simplistic at the time, but we just couldn't believe the atrocities around us. We have gone in different directions with this sentiment, and become much more hardened to the realities of the world, but we both still feel it just the same. Even just watching the news, we both marvel over the same lack of presentation in mainstream media of what are important events, or the bias in which the few events presented are given. It is a bonding of ideals, if not interests, and an old bond that has kept our friendship alive all these years.

Anyway, Ranju has returned from her meeting, so it is time for us to wander for our last day in this Windy City. I'll be back online in my ever-present force tomorrow! Hopefully I'll remember to rant about the banality we've discovered watching CNN vs BBC World News. Sigh!

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