I spent all my days on my recent visit to Chicago in a bubble of happiness and grinning with delight, yet there was one moment when I came near to weeping. We were on a bus and a pretty young woman tried to sit in a seat near us. She was unable to squeeze her thigh into the seat because of the armrest, so she stayed with half her thigh stranded in the air.
I have no doubt that other American cities are no different and Chicago also had plenty of slim and normal sized people, but to someone from another country, the vast number of over-sized people was a shocking sight. After a while you adjust and normal looks thin, fat looks normal and obese just looks fat. Yet every day watching so many people struggling to move around made me sad.
I am planning a blog reassessment, but first I will put up some posts of various things on my mind.
Chicago has totally charmed me. We stayed on the North Side and all the streets were full of an explosion of spring into summer; narcissi, tulips, maples in leaf, cherry blossom, hostas everywhere. The sidewalks often have cultivated strips beside them, all individually designed by the house owners.
The number of theatres is quite astonishing. We saw three excellent productions in three different theatres (two directed by Elly Green), we listened to a (free) string/clarinet lunchtime concert in the beautiful Culture Centre. We saw a superb exhibition in the Museum of Contemporary Art – Destroy the Picture – the anger and innovation made visible in post WWII ‘paintings’. The Smart Museum of Art had an astonishing collection (and a foyer with people of all ages having a go at producing a Rothko painting).
The highlight was being caught and soaked by the high canon of water from the Buckingham fountain in Grant Park and then drying off within about 15 minutes in the sunlight and warm wind.
Our first and only baseball match (to date) saw The Cubs win. Altogether a visit of enormous entertainment and happiness.