Home > Events > Chicago (Day 5): Lightness

Chicago (Day 5): Lightness

Saturday, 30 November. Index.

I started the day at a diner on Logan Square with a big platter of chorizo and eggs, toast, and coffee for breakfast. Breakfast was served over the diner counter, where I could comfortably watch the other diners and the staff working. The shop itself was pretty interesting: there was a sepia photo of the staff from what looks like more than ten years ago. Of the four men in the photo, two were in the shop.

At Johnny's Grill

The next stop was the Intelligentsia shop nearby, where I purchased new beans, which would be my light cargo for the day. caffeinated, and feeling more optimistic than I had been the day before (before shopping).

On the day before, I’d formed the intention to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art because I felt like I wanted something to lift the mood, so I took the CTA in that general direction and took a bus in the area. The route of the bus that I eventually ended up taking included a loop around Navy Pier, and I decided I’d stop there for a bit before catching the next one. It was actually really nice out.

Navy Pier

After that brief intermission it was on to the museum.

The night before, I had had to explain the reasoning behind the Contemporary Art thing to some of the guys in the apartment. One of them said that he found contemporary art quite stress-inducing, mentioning something to do with the high abstraction and seriousness, but the way I saw the seriousness was quite different, in that I felt like the best way to deal with the ideas was without too much seriousness. I don’t think that contemporary art is necessarily trivial, and I don’t think the art fails to be thematically serious, but at the same time I find that seriousness, when made a principle, can get in the way of the art.


I actually found myself enjoying the museum a lot more than even I’d hoped, helped by the general inclination towards levity, which made the strange stuff all the more fun, and which nevertheless admitted the serious stuff in their moments. I think ‘mordant’ is a word that applies to the mode of a lot of the criticism I was inclined to pick up, and if nothing else I think that having had a lighter starting presumption made the experience better; in any case, I was in pretty high spirits when I left the museum.

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  1. 30 December 2013 at 3:36 pm

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