14 May 2001
Day Off - Chicago-3
This morning and afternoon, whilst most of our touring party was still unconscious, a huge storm blew into Chicago, making for pretty spectacular scenes over Lake Michigan. I had planned to go sight seeing, but the torrential rain looked like it was going to take the edge of the pleasure of a gentle stroll. By 3 or 4 things had cleared up, so I ventured out with my buddy Harold who's here visiting. We went out to a suburb called Oak Park, which was home to legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Its a pretty residential area, with most buildings dating back to the turn of the century and many of them designed by FLW himself. We picked up a map from the FLW museum and took a lengthy and leisurely walk around the neighbourhood. I absolutely loved it, as there's some beautiful buildings. He was a man unafraid, was our Frankie. Most amazing of all though is the time he was working. A lot of these places look like classic Art Deco buildings, but they were designed and built in 1905 or earlier, 30 years before Deco went mainstream.
By nightfall we were pretty shagged, due to last night's excesses, so decided to make use of the DVD player in my hotel room. The hotel we're staying in is absolutely fabulous, but as the week has worn on, some of its 'eccentricities' are coming to the fore. They have a DVD library, so having inspected the extensive selection listing, I rang reception and asked them to send up 'High Fidelity'. "Ah, yeah Sar, at once, you hab secon choy?" Second choice.... OK, how about 'The Birds'? "OK Sar, 'Hey Fodilito' and 'Der Bards', yes, right way". I wasn't overly surprised when the phone rang five minutes later. "So sorry, we no have, you have thirt choi for me now?" No worries, then, let's do 'Bladerunner', with a back up plan of 'Dog Day Afternoon'. "Ah yeh, Sar, BadeRarr an Doe Dae Arboloon". I settled back to wait for the next phone call, and was slightly surprised to hear a knock at the door. Outside was our video librarian proffering a DVD. Wesley Snipes in "Blade". Well, it was a valiant effort, I suppose. No, no, I explain before she attempted to escape, this is the wrong movie, I wanted BladeRUNNER. "Ah OK, I go get now". Five minutes later and not entirely unexpectedly, the phone rings again. "No, Brado, sar. So sorry we no have...." Shall I come down and have a look for myself? "Ah yes...." Down in the hotel lobby there was no sign of the DVD librarian, so I asked an entirely different person behind the counter, whom I have never seen before, if I could have a look at the video collection. She rather nonchalantly took me to a large cupboard, pulled open the door to reveal about a hundred DVDs and walked away, without enquiring as to who I was or even if I was staying at the hotel. Little wonder they haven't got much of their collection left, I mused, as I looked along the shelves, picked out 'High Fidelity' & 'The Birds' and went back to my room.