10.04.2007

Chicago...Bean style


I was traveling around Illinois last week and simply must share my Chicago experience. The view from afar was beautiful and enticing so I decided I simply must go into the city on my last night just for the experience. I should have picked up on the slight eyebrow raise of the front desk receptionist when I asked for driving directions to Millennium Park. He said "Driving"? with eyes wide open as I innocently replied "yes", as I am kind of the adventurous type. He handed over the directions with an estimated arrival time in approximately twenty minutes. I was on my merry way for my first Chicago experience in the little shiny sporty maroon convertible..and it was very cool, the sun was ablaze and I was able to watch it set over Chicago...when the nightmare began. I made it to the exit in relative good time, I'd say 45 minutes...not bad considering Friday night rush hour. The Bean adventure started when I got off the exit, missed the right turn I was suppose to make to smoothly glide into Millennium Park, and smack dab ended up in grid lock from hell. There were bicycles....thousands of them everywhere...of every size and shape imaginable. Streets were closed and people were pissed. Now I don't know who decided to have this bicycle parade at 5 o'clock on a Friday night in downtown Chicago, but, well, they need to seriously consider transferring this individual to a position which does not give them the power to potentially affect thousands of people. Anywhoo...so Bean is stuck in the middle of the nightmare bicycle parade and has to sit and watch while thousands of bicycles stream by with people wearing costumes and blowing horns and doing other uninteresting things. I had been sitting in traffic at a stand still for probably a half hour when the action packed adventure part of this story begins. A person in a big black SUV starts to become irritated at having to sit and watch these bicycle people roll by in all their merriment as he sits and stews in nightmare traffic on a Friday night. Evidently he had enough sitting and staring and decided to intersect the bicycle parade and inched out little by little while trying to cross the street...and did manage to make it a quarters of the way across. Well, the bicycle people did not appreciate this interruption at all...the merriment vanished and the bicycle people became Enraged. They stopped and started yelling and banging and hitting his SUV while they had him surrounded and while others called for the police. (meanwhile the bean has slowly closed her convertible top) One particularly angry bicycle person took his bicycle and plopped it onto the hood of the SUV while another smashed his back window. While this terror is unfolding only 30 feet from the Bean (no, I didn't get any photographs) a gap in the bicycle parade finally opens and I readily dash away and fly back to my safe hotel room. Chicago...the Bean style!

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