frances in the city


I’m not wearing any green
March 14, 2009, 12:23 pm
Filed under: Chicago!, Crazy humans.

and I didn’t find issue with that when selecting my ensemble this morning. It’s March 14. No biggy. It’s supposed to get up to 53 degrees today, and since we all have cabin fever of sorts, I told myself that today would be that glorious Saturday of Saturdays in which I take my little computer for a leisurely stroll down Michigan Avenue before selecting a charming bakery/cafe with free wireless internet and buy myself a muffin or a croissant or a bagel or perhaps even some sort of danish. And that would be my reward for actually doing my homework in a timely fashion. Michigan has the best people watching, especially on weekends when the weather is nice.
So I made sure I was wearing a light yet substantial jacket and headed out through the lobby of my building, which was interestingly full of parents and potential students taking part in an open house. I walked down 8th Street to Michigan and realized that today was the day that the St. Patrick’s Day Parade makes its way through Grant Park. (They’re also dying the river green. THAT is cool.) And from there, we can all imagine the types of people Frances encountered on her walk north when the parade was south. These people are ridiculous. They look ridiculous. Probably 60% of them are aiming for delusional inebriation by 3 o’clock and the remaining 40% are young families. These are the people that think spending $12 on a giant fuzzy hat with shamrock print and fuzzy trim is a good idea. These are the people that say, “No honey. We can’t give that sweater to Salvation Army. What will I wear for St. Patrick’s Day next year?” These are the people who can honestly rationalize paying money for accessories that blink green and white. These people are probably fairly sane the other 363 days of the year (I’m assuming they all also celebrate Mardi Gras) with legitimate jobs, spouses, and social communities. But today is the day that they will drive three hours in horrible traffic and pay $40 to park on the 8th tier of an unfortunately-located parking garage. They will drink lukewarm beer at 11:30 in the morning. They will adorn their bodies with shamrock paraphernalia and moan about the distances they must walk between bars and try to explain to their five-year-old exactly why that crazy man is shouting. They will pay $5 for a tiny cup of hot chocolate and insist on eating at the Hard Rock Cafe. And yes. They have green feather boas.

Needless to say, I did not find my window seat at a charming bakery/cafe so I could watch the world go by while I answered essay questions about Georgia O’Keeffe. Parade attendees have filled every visible restaurant to capacity, and I really just wanted to sit for a while. I find myself currently at the Chicago Cultural Center, which houses a beautiful and slightly hidden cafe with wifi. There are no windows, but there are also no crazy people. Who’s going to go to a museum of only moderate renown drunk on a Saturday? That’s what I thought. Alas, there was a $5 minimum on all debit card purchases and I ended up spending $6.33 on a giant bran muffin and a cafe mocha, but I am comfortable and content, and splurging on coffee for experiences like this are entirely worth the hassle.

Oh, and the people watching was phenomenal while it lasted.

These are from flickr, but I wanted you to know what we're dealing with. Yes.

These are from flickr, but I wanted you to know what we're dealing with. Yes.

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1 Comment so far
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My brother was born on St. Patrick’s Day and I never understood the hype about it. I still don’t really. It’s not even an American holiday, but I guess people like the idea of getting dressed up in ridiculous outfits and drinking.. a lot.

I guess dying water green is in this year? so says the white house fountains.

Sounds like an interesting and leisurely day none the less.

Comment by Whitney




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