Music, Crowds and Rain

August 8, 2011 at 11:11 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

…are three things I did not deal with this weekend.  While I’m a fan of music the other two things I can do without and as Lollapalooza took place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I was actually thankful that I wasn’t dealing with the hoards of people in the steamy sunshine left behind after a massive downpour.  Does this mean I’m getting old?  Maybe, maybe not.

Good luck finding me.

I’ve attended my fair share of festivals and even spent a few summers roughin’ it at Bonnaroo in Tennessee.  I’ve been to Lolla a couple times as well and I actually had a blast at each of these concerts.  I even thought about going to Lolla this year but when the line-up came out, I wasn’t overly impressed.  I like the Foo Fighters but was lucky enough to see them for a BBC live taping in London in 2005 (I got a drumstick and guitar pick from the band and actually got to walk out talking to the guys as they headed to Sweden or Switzerland or someplace that started with the letter ‘S’).  I was interested in seeing some of the other acts but not interested enough to shell out close to $90/day to do so.  Besides, I had stuff going on at the Field Museum on Saturday and I ultimately decided doing my researching and docent thing was a better way to spend my Saturday.  Oh crap.  Maybe I am getting old.

Even though I didn’t hit the fests, I’m able to appreciate how massive and popular they are.  In fact, I spent part of Friday looking out our office windows and watching the thousands upon thousands of people amassing in Grant Park.  I also walked by a huge fence on Saturday morning as I made my way into the museum – the fence was being guarded by extremely bored looking Lolla volunteers to ensure no one was going to jump it and sneak in.  Which was a shame because the thought absolutely crossed my mind.  Trains were packed and traffic in and around downtown was somewhat of a nightmare, making me once again happy I don’t have a car.  There where people everywhere but they all seemed to be having a pretty great time so I guess even the thunderstorms and overcast skies didn’t put a damper on their days.

And maybe I’ll go next year.  I can start saving now and if the set list doesn’t spark an interest once again then I can do something else with the money I’d have spent on a 3 days pass.  Like purchase a small island.

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Performing Performance Art

May 3, 2011 at 11:16 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Now that my life is slowly going back to normal post-move (I hung up the very last photo from the very last box last night – officially finished!), I wanted to share an experience I had a few weeks ago in my museum studies class.  We went to the Modern Contemporary Art museum downtown to observe/participate in a performance art event.  The purpose was to show our class different ways that museums can attract visitors, and so we could see how effective some of those methods are.  Well, this event that we attended was memorable but mostly because it was just plain…odd.

Talk about thick-headed

Everyone met in the MCA cafe and after having a seat, we were introduced to the two artists putting on the show.  They were from England and their goal was to demonstrate how soccer was played when the sport was first invented – apparently, it originated as a war game using the severed heads of the warriors enemies.  So the artists created these molds of their heads and the plan was to use them to play an impromptu soccer match on the sidewalk in front of the building.  However, there were a few problems.  It was a cold and rainy afternoon so no one really showed up to begin with and one entire team was comprised solely of myself and some classmates.  The other team apparently traveled with the artists, as they were hard-core soccer dudes who showed up wearing padding and cleats.  I was in my work clothes.  The pavement was also extremely slick and we all had to sign waivers before they’d let us play.  Which was fine and good, until the game started and I went to kick the ball/head/piece of art (and yes, this is me on the left in the below photo).  While the ball/head/piece of art looks gelatinous or at least soft and malleable, it was in fact the same texture as a boulder.  I was the first person to get to it and when I kicked it I damn near broke my foot.  The artists failed to mention the weight of the thing beforehand so after enough people complained about it, they decided to turn the game into more of a touch football thing instead.  So we were to grab the ball and run, which theoretically sounds good, right?  That is, until you have huge burly middle-aged men body checking the girls in my class

I will not be going pro anytime soon

(including yours truly) as they took their competitive streaks to a whole new level.  We actually had to stop playing at one point because some guy slammed into this poor diminutive woman and she went down – hard.  Her head smacked the pavement and after we determined she was okay, I decided to watch rather than play.

Which was good, because that was around the time the cops showed up.

Apparently no one mentioned to the Chicago PD that a bunch of random people would be playing this “game” so close to traffic and Michigan Avenue during rush hour.  So it quickly ended, leaving us players a little more than confused as to what had taken place.  It proved a point though – not every event put on by museums will produce positive guest experiences.  We could all agree on that.

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with much modern contemporary art but I’ve decided I’m not much of a fan.  Perhaps I’m not sophisticated enough to find the deeper meaning in a painted coat rack on display, but I’m okay with that.  At one point as we walked around pre-painful soccer game, a friend and I came across a table of paint cans, tools and slabs of wood.  To this day we don’t know if that was an exhibit or the area was simply under construction – that’s how I feel about a lot of contemporary art.   Though I suppose the activity we took part of was considered art, in the end it felt more like a joke.  After all, even the cops were laughing!

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Taste This

June 30, 2010 at 1:22 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Last night, I ventured to Grant Park for the Taste of Chicago.  I know that it’s pricey, overly crowded and quite the tourist trap but I enjoy going nonetheless.  My mom and I went last year and managed to catch a free show by Buddy Guy, which was pretty awesome.  That was on a Saturday though and the crowds were insane so this year I figured going during the week would be a safer bet.  A friend and I met up around 6:30 and hit the booths, and we were not disappointed.

Well, I was a little disappointed.  Last year, I found a place that was selling vegetarian ribs on a stick – and they were amazing.  I’m sure it doesn’t sound appetizing to most of you out there but I fell in love.  It’s not often that I get to eat anything BBQ flavored, let alone on a stick, so I was all about the wheat gluten/soy/bean curd/whatever pseudo meat product it was (you can stop gagging now).  I think I had it two or three times last year and I’ve honestly thought about it on and off ever since.  My friend and I did a tour of every single booth and sadly, came up with nothing that resembled my meal of yesteryear.  I wasn’t too thrilled about that but I managed to find enough other stuff to fill my stomach.

I had a few types of pizza (spinach stuffed is especially good), some toasted ravioli and a bunch of random things from an Asian place (the samosas with orange sauce were great).  I finished it all off with a huge cookie dough waffle cone, which in hindsight wasn’t the best idea.  My el ride home was a bit uncomfortable and I thought I was going to burst.

My friend had some of the same pizza I did, as well as an Italian sausage thing, some other Asian cuisine and another meat product.  She also had some cheesecake (I had a bite) and it reminded me just how much I love cheesecake.  I would consider eating it for every meal if I didn’t think my waistline would expand to the size of a small country.  Guess a girl can’t have everything.

All in all, we enjoyed ourselves.  There was some live music happening as we walked around and besides trying to dodge strollers the size of small cars, the crowds weren’t too bad.  I was amazed by the number of quite large women wearing shirts that showed off their stomachs (made me feel like I was back in Indiana) but to each her own.  Nothing would’ve killed my appetite last night, though that massive ice cream cone almost did me in.

And I would totally go back for more.

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