On the Train 8 – Chicago (Part 1)

Chicago, IL
2/15/2011

Photo Credit - Margaret Bourke-White

I went to the Art Institute after a late lunch at the Artist’s Café, and got to enjoy a photo exhibit on level 1. The entire floor was dedicated to the works of Margaret Bourke-White and Bernice Abbott. Both depicted wholly American cultures during the onset of the Depression. Their collections captured values of authenticity and balance. While Abbott’s set, entitled “Changing New York” was a portrait project of the city, Bourke-White’s set focused on the struggling conditions of rural farmers. Both delivered iconic themes and experiences that emphasize the presence of human struggle during a period of cultural and social transition. It was an eye-opening display of our nation’s history.

The city walk continued after the museum closed. Gigantic skyscrapers, nestled in a dense neighborhood of commercialism, made the city atmosphere feel organic despite the lack of natural zest. It’s what a city ought to look like, timeless, historic, but always evolving with innovation. I was exhausted after circling the downtown area for hours. My mind was full of emotions and sensations from the new experiences, and despite my intentions to see a jazz show at the famous Green Mill Jazz Club, I stayed in the city to eat the best ribs in town and get drunk off an array of local microbrews.