Chicago takes a while to get up to speed, but when it does, it doesn't stop. I've been waking up hours before others in the hostel, and walking through silent streets waiting for things to open. Fortunately, most places are still going well into the night - my 'normal' bedtime is well after midnight, so there's plenty of stuff to do.
Like, for example, randomly stumbling across a free concert in Millenium Park. I heard the self-proclaimed 'circus punk marching band' during their soundcheck, and stayed for the whole show. Mucca Pazza
are a big group of band nerds, and they make a big sound. Dressed in brightly coloured, mismatched marching band outfits, they make a big spectacle on stage as well - especially as they come with their own cheerleaders. Well worth the wait until they came back on stage.
The concert was called 'Sing Me Back Home' - mostly comprised of the New Orleans Social Club playing with a lot of blues musicians from Chicago and New Orleans. The crowd filled the park with picnic rugs early in the night, and then everyone got up to dance by the end. I wasn't sure what my Friday night would involve, but a few hours of live blues closed the week nicely.
Earlier in the day, I wandered through the Field Museum of Natural History with peacockangel
. Despite spending many hours in there, I get the feeling that we only saw about a quarter of the exhibits... in some architectural sleight of hand, the building seems a lot bigger on the inside, and it's pretty imposing from the outside too. The Field hosts the largest Egyptian collection I've ever seen, complete with slabs of stone bearing original carvings.
I've decided that you can never trust those sneaky archaeologists, though. (Hi to the archaeologists reading this, by the way...)
. For the most part, they're all about deducing social contexts for artefacts, and unravelling the mysteries of the past. I'm convinced that one day, on some imperceptible signal, they'll turn on the humans of the present - sealing us away in bakelite, claiming that it's "for the benefit of future generations." Our current infrastructure might fade away without continual maintenence, but a well timed flood of epoxy resin could preserve whole neighbourhoods for posterity...