Friday, June 30, 2006

Feeling for a while like driving and me should break up.. not necessary where I live, do it mostly out of laziness while enriching chenies, etc. but last night’s commute home was the cincher- after a one hour crawl down sheridan through rogers park there was that momentary liberation of first getting on lake shore drive, an open expanse in front of me, windows down on a beautiful afternoon that should be the start of my weekend but at the last minute isn’t/wasn't, music turned up, forgetting the car is red, and suddenly I’m being pulled over and written a ticket. The fact that I haven’t gotten a speeding ticket since I was 16 years old notwithstanding, the real cruelty of it is driving one more block after the ticket and ending up in another hour of gridlock. Phone suddenly lost, ice cream melting beside me on the seat- this sucked. Later, the desire, the need to just walk- walk many miles to atone for too long spent driving.. and past Summerdance which was acrowd with Romanian band and dancing circles within circles, then to the Gehry bandshell for a surprise wandering into a packed night of world music.. some African jam band that made many rapturous with hippie-dancing. About to leave, picking up a discarded program, discovered that we had earlier missed right there and for free Seu Jorge. Bugger. And I had thought all the Brasil shirts in the crowd were for good World Cup chi. Walked back after dark down Columbus which was staged for the start of the Taste (starts today), which in all my years as a Chicagoan I’ve never attended because impromptu gang fights and sweaty crowds eating slabs of ribs and comically large turkey legs has never been my thing, but this was magical- as magical as the clouds of bright blue and green dragonflies at the foot of the mountain I climbed last week- like being on a movie set, the artists still there painting last-minute bricks onto the faux pub booths. We walked through reading the menus for everything: sauerkraut pierogies, pav bhaji, vegetarian tamales, flan, beignets, stuffed pizza, baklava, mango rice pudding, pickle on a stick, rice and beans with kelewele (plantain sautéed in garlic sauce). Then past the solid block of semis dark and unpeopled, the reinforcements buzzing with refrigeration.


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