Chicago’s Lakefront: An Early Summer Sunday

 

Chicago, IL:  Lakefront 5/19/13
Chicago, IL: Lakefront 5/19/13

          We came into Chicago – one of my favorite cities – a couple of days early for the US Forum on Sustainability and Responsible Investment.  We had a warm, sunny early summer Sunday afternoon to walk the Magnificent Mile and on to the Gold Coast.

           The streets and the Lakefront Park were thronged with happy amblers and early sun worshipers.

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           Until I turned 50 the only people who had tattoos were seamen and Ray Bradbury’s ‘Illustrated Man’.

           Definitely not something Mother would approve of….  But she wouldn’t have liked graffiti, street art, tagging – art forms I’ve come to appreciate in the right places.

           This tattoo was probably inspired by Banksy’s spoof of the Morton Salt logo: ‘When it rains, it pours.’  But this tattoo isn’t funny in the least.  In fact, it’s Goyaesque, savaging the self-inflicted wounds of the human contribution to acid rain and chemical pollution.

           A work of high political art on a young man’s right shoulder.

Chicago, IL:  Lakefront Park.  Note the girl's legs.  5/19/13
Chicago, IL: Lakefront Park. Note the girl’s legs. 5/19/13

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           Some cities seem to inspire the eye.  Their people organise themselves and their environment like kaleidoscopes of infinite materials.  San Francisco, Melbourne and Chicago are my top three creative cities.

          To me, road bikes with dropped bars are among the most beautiful products of our industrial civilisation.  Even – maybe especially – upside down.

Chicago, IL:  Lakefront Park  5/19/13
Chicago, IL: Lakefront Park 5/19/13

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           Lake Michigan may have been inviting on this warm afternoon.  But only young men pushed in by their girlfriends were swimming – directly for a ladder, complaining of the chill all the while.

           Not so Mrs. Mallard.  As usual, Mr. Mallard was away.  So, duckling tending fell to her.

 

Chicago, IL:  Lakefront Park 5/19/13
Chicago, IL: Lakefront Park 5/19/13

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          Small children, too, seemed not feel the cold in the backwater pools.  But then adults called, insisted.  And, the afternoon was over.

Chicago, IL:  Lakefront Park 5/19/13
Chicago, IL: Lakefront Park 5/19/13

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