The windy city does more than howl, It breathes, it lives and feels and when you listen to it, you can hear it sing back to you.
Millennium Park – Walking through rarifies the city around it, as the skyline takes on a different view from the green metropolis within. The Bean reflects and distorts, bringing the edges of the city closer to you; the Bean curves down all around you, but all you can do is smile. You smile as you see the tourists and natives gather alike, and suddenly from the view of the Cloud Gate, the skyline seems so personable. Each building has a idiosyncrasy, a wrinkle, a unique story to tell; the architect of the city planned the buildings capriciously, caring not for a unifying theme of buildings lining an orderly street. The architect of the city planned its residents capriciously; a Russian oligarch gets married near the entrance of the park, not 5 minutes away a model poses by the Bean, and in the skate park, a young girl tries her hand at joining a boys club. The voices of the city sing together, in individual notes, in mellifluous harmony.
The Cultural Center pulses to a rhythm – Loud African drums boom a steady beat as you make your way through the halls… Mosaics and art exhibitions and theater events ring in vibrant historical tones, singing the annals of minority heritage the side corridors are quiet, but their walls speak volumes; old newspaper headlines, black and white photographs rumble in low husky tones. The African American history on display hum a low bass, its foundational efforts make the city what it is today: its past, its violence, its struggle, are not blemishes. They’re hitches and snags, sharps and flats, they enrich the melody of the city, underpinning the chorus of voices as a salute to its birthright. You rise to the top floor and at last find the source of the drumming: a dance class, where all are welcome and join in on the celebration of the music of the city.
When you walk along the gusty streets beneath the giants reigning the sky, you hear it: the rhythm of the city, a city of art, a city of life. The Art Walk of Wabash Street tints the cool city tones with bright flashes of color – Chicago is a rich canvas on which the senses feast. Brick-sided buildings suddenly give way to large murals of the many faces constituting Chicago. Not until the side of a building turns its cheek is its face visible. Not every building is painted, and it is hard what you’ll find to tell until you are already face to face with the visage of the city: some birds, a deer, a person playing the flute. These different majestic faces greet you in various hues, but they trill the same tune: welcome to the city of life.
You take a trip into the city outskirts and find yourself on the rocky lake shore. Late at night, the moon is bright, but the city in the distance shines brighter. Gentle lake waves crash and foam on the rocks. In the distance, a green light across the bay, a million voices sing in consonance, and you hark to the city beckoning to you.
Artwork by Allie McClintock
Photograph by Alina Husain