Sounds of the City

April 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )


My previous post highlighted an interesting visual experience here in Chicago and a walk I took down State Street yesterday during rush hour provided a few more.   I think I noticed all this more than usual because I was on my cell phone at the time and could barely hear a thing.   If you’re familiar with the city then you’re probably familiar with some of these people/events but even if you’re not, hopefully it will show you a little of what goes on on a typical downtown Thursday…and teach you not to try to talk and walk when it comes to State Street.

  • Trains, overhead and everywhere.  The noise echoes through some of the streets.
  • Some random art installation that lit up various bulbs as it blared AC/DC to anyone with working eardrums.  This was in more than one area and I was lucky enough to pass these pieces at least three times.

    Not exactly Lamb Chop

  • The elderly gentleman who plays a violin on the street corner.  He’s usually accompanied by who I can only assume is his wife but he was performing solo yesterday.  Which makes me hope she was out shopping the Magnificent Mile and nothing more serious prevented her from making an appearance.
  • A bicycle cart that doubles as a puppet stage, where puppets put on a dancing and singing show for anyone who wants to stop and watch (see photo).
  • Sirens and taxi’s honking as if their lives depended on it.  Wouldn’t be a day in any city without that.
  • A group of probably 9 middle school kids playing drums using upside down large plastic paint gallons and wooden drumsticks.
  • Greenpeace Workers trying to sign up every Tom, Dick, and Harry so they can meet their daily quotas (I’ve had Greenpeace friends, I know how it works).  I’ve pledged before and these days I just try to keep my head low and eyes averted as I pass them by.
  • The mass confusion overheard from a group of tourists who were trying to find the recently-moved Garrett’s Popcorn.
  • The preacher who stands with a microphone and amplifier and denounces things like  homosexuality, birth control, premarital sex, puppies, ponies, TV, chocolate and just about anything fun (this list might not be entirely accurate, but it’s close).  Yesterday there were actually three guys holding signs that said “God Loves Gay People” right next to the preacher and so of course I (and many others) gave them a high-five as I passed.  This did not phase the preacher but it helped anyway.

And this was all in just about ten minutes.  Needless to say, my conversation got put on hold until I found a quieter part of the city (read: when I left downtown and got back to my own neighborhood) but I suppose I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I’m also thankful I do not live in this area and that the most annoying thing in my street is the occasional cop car or drunken group missing a trolley.

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