Monday, December 13, 2010

Bright Lights, Big City: Part II

In a crazy unpredictable world, sometimes luck finds you for a moment, brings in the presents to unwrap, and then decides you've had your share and heads out to find someone else to gift. Last weekend was all about luck and gifts and this one was more about real life. Yesterday became a wildly shaken snow globe that almost lost my husband on familiar streets ten minutes from home (yea for the GPS!), and shut down major roads, schools, libraries, and dental offices (actually not a bad thing.) But last week was still that more gentle winter that just makes life in the city a bit more festive.

After our Fabulous Friday adventures we were ready for a simpler day on Saturday before the big dinner/dance. The weekend coincided with a great shopping experience that I love for two reasons. The One of a Kind Show and Sale, Chicago, gives shoppers the chance to visit with hundreds of artists selling predominantly wearable art and home decor, along with a smattering of fine art and specialty foods. It is a feast for the senses, can rob you blind, help make new friends and contacts in the art world, and give an artist serious affirmation or consternation about her abilities and marketing savvy. But the second and equally impressive opportunity is the chance to visit the magnificent Merchandise Mart with its wonderful home decor showrooms that will confirm the fact that, yes, there are still many REALLY wealthy folks left who can built kitchens and baths most of us will only ever see in magazines or our dreams.

Mildly famous people sometimes exhibit at the OOAK show.  People like the amazing bead artist and bead historian, Valerie Hector, whose jewelry designs ought to be in museums, and such minor celebs as recent Project Runway contestant, Ping Wu, demonstrating her "transformable multifunctional hand knit accessories".

After several hours of serious sensory overload, hubby and I finally decided to choose a selection of wonderfully worn and textured salvaged tin ceiling tiles, which are converted into wall plaques, to use as inspiration for a bit of living room redo this winter.

Salvaged tiles from Olde Good Things

The annual dinner dance was slightly more satisfying than usual. Food was edible, band played and sang well and got me on the dance floor for passable rendition of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance".  Not only didn't I fall off my heels, but I got a thumbs up from a much younger co-worker from Brazil, where surely they know a thing about moving it.

Sunday brought the start of the windy and colder, so we did what we needed to do to wrap up the good times before overplaying our hand. One must always see a festive department store bulging with good cheer and good merchandise. Macy's, State Street, was shining with baubles from floor to skylight. I made a brief stop in the children's book department and read President Obama's delightfully inspirational book that began in life as a letter to Sasha and Malia about all the wonderful things he saw in them and hoped for them, and the many famous figures, current and historical, who may serve as role models for young women today.

A final jaunt in the streets to photograph the wonderful lines and details that will serve as drawing inspiration, and to capture the energy of people walking with purpose.

I am a sucker for the raw beauty of cities, beyond the glam. I took this shot showcasing the energy of  human endeavor and edited it three different way.  I can see something like this as a series of quilts...Intense...



The beautiful clock across from our hotel is begging for some historical research and to be drawn, painted, shared.

The corncob lines of Marina City's famous condos hold views and dreams

The energy of a train rounding a city corner

Trump's shimmering blue tower adds a bit of magic to the skyline.  Even  when viewed from the street directly below it, it appears to be painted on the sky.

The Hotel Monaco's lobby invites with a bowl of oranges and a soft glow.

My life, too, feels like it has purpose now. So much more than just a few months ago. Defining it, directing it...that will be the job of the new year. Right now, I'm just basking in its warmth.


  1. love/love/LOVE your site and the sights it shares. you have a real eye for light..beautiful stuff.

  2. Some great city photos and I love the tiles!

  3. Cheryl, I love your blog, everything about it! What beauty and magic and art and dreams you convey. I feel as if I have found a treasure and cannot wait to get back here to read and absorb more. Your photography is amazing as are your thoughts. Thank you for vising my blog. It gave me a chance to know you exist and get to know you as well. This is a visual feast! Enjoy your holidays.

  4. Thanks for sharing your journey. And yes, that clock does need to be drawn!