Thursday, 2 September 2010

Chicago Loop

My first trip to the USA in 1996, I flew out to meet up with a friend, pre mobile days and pre-internet (for me anyway) we had agreed to meet at Wisconsin University on a certain date at a certain time, after a long flight, landing in Chicago and a greyhound ride that journeyed thru early evening, dusk and then night, I was praying that my friend hadn't forgotten!
Out she stepped, just as I got off the bus! unfortunately BA had misplaced my rucksack, so I only had my hand luggage. ( I did get it back a few days later)
We spent the night at a writers house in the suburbs, one of my strongest memories is drifting off into a deep slumber, the warm sound of crickets, and a train horn in the distance.......... like the KLF's chill-out.
  We then went to a"Religious retreat"in Iowa, half expecting to be brainwashed and for it all to go down Waco style, I was mighty relieved when all my fears and preconceptions were dispelled, I had a pretty good wholsesome time!
We then spent a day in Madison, quaint and charming, before moving onto Chicago ( we passed over the Mississippi river at some point) staying at a retreat for reabilitating homeless, and people with drink and drug problems, I met some real characters I can tell you!, all were warm and hospitable, with many stories to tell.
 Crashing on a sofa by night and exploring Chicago by day, the first day we actually rode a tandem thru the Chicago suburbs towards a park for a game of frisbee football with our hosts ( I can't remember their names, so if you ever stumble across this blog, enlighten me!).
On another occasion, we went to a cool jazz bar, drinking excellent malty beers all night, listening to jazz.
I then have a vague recollection of cycling over to a bakery at dawn for fresh blueberry muffins....

  Anyway, I had with me a battered Olympus OM-1, I took this shot (or the one that this illustration is based on) of a train pulling out of the platform, long manual exposure, propped against the wall.
It reminds me somewhat of Entroducing by DJ Shadow, maybe because I took it with me on CD to listen to on my Discman, or maybe the blurred figure in the foreground, much like the cover of said CD.
This is another old illustration that was in need of rescuing, hard to believe this was all done with a mouse in Illustrator, by hand, no live trace in those days!

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