Tease the senses and excite the soul; Oh, Chicago

Posted on: March 8, 2010

Photography is like solace, at times. This cute family actually thought I was a photographer for Chicago Chinatown’s Chinese New Year Parade. She asked for my pictures, and I took one of her family as well. That’s Lynn, Joe and little Devlin (:

The parade wasn’t a huge affair; there were floats that consisted of a platform on trucks with people sitting on chairs on it, waving around and shouting “xin nian kuai le!”, “gong hei fatt choy!” and “happy chinese new year!” all at once. Dragons, lions and tigers paid a visit, some of them more real than others. Marching bands (my favourite) were an absolute joy, and their passion was beautiful to watch, feel and hear. What a visit for the senses!

And not forgetting to mention, the little funny boy in the parade who took great pleasure in showing the world his tongue :b haha!

Photographs calm me down, keep me in awe, get me excited, and melt my heart. So much capability, for something that is kept in two dimensions, only brought to life by the imagination, ay?

Hustling and bustling, the energy flowed around in sheer abundance in Chicago. Blue skies replaced by overflowing white clouds taken over by grey pot-bellied cumulonimbus ones, all invited to a game of catch by the ever running sun, that sometimes peeks through in teasing prose.

Beauty accentuated by the snow, the trees stood in their grandeur, and extended their reach to people. Children laughed and played on ice, and music – oh the music – was everywhere! There was always something going on somewhere, a play, a performance, a talk, a tour; there was always something to do.

There were always people on the streets, well, if you were downtown. An untimely choice saw me in a relatively deserted street just twice in four days, and I promptly got myself out of there first chance I got. Not a great idea to keep myself in an abandoned place with no one to hear me should I need to speak.

“You’re travelling alone? Walking the streets alone?”
“Yeah, I’m on this trip by myself”
“You’re crazy man! Chicago’s full of crazy people. No, I’d never do something like that – and I live here!”

That was the funny little girl who was so impatient for the bus (she kept walking out onto the second lane of the road to see if the bus was coming) made me laugh. My couchsurfer host Sara Wiseman laughed when she heard that as well. Yes, I probably walk the road less travelled, against the grain and on my two feet most of the time. That is, I feel, one of the best ways to experience a place and its people.

Sometimes when I remember, I scribble hastily on a piece of paper the people I’ve met and spoken with – for they are precious memories that make me smile, and remember once again when times are bad, that the people out there, they have good hearts, most of them, yes they do.

Beautiful memories of laughter, stories shared, painted skies and meals beyond compare.


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