Saturday, July 1, 2006

Andrew's Boring, Cranky, and Frustrated Travelogue


I embark, disembark, something like that, on my Chicago busking adventure. My challenge: $20 before Tiffany gets off of work at 5:00


Caught a Red Line train going south, toward the Loop, which is the big metropolitan downtown. I'm going to get off at Chicago Ave., before the Loop, and hit up some places on foot. It's a somewhat hazy, humid day. I hope this doesn't suck.

Unless they already know each other, people sit quietly and keep to themselves on the "El," so when somebody provides an exception, it seems to disturb people. There's a large and loud stereotypical baseball fan (Chicago Cubs, in this case) throwing things off today.

I think my nose is getting ready to break out. I hate sweating.

If I start to do this regularly, I should get some snazzy clothes to wear. People give you more money if you are wearing snazzy clothes (unfounded hypothesis).


Disembark from train.


I set up to play by the Pumping Station at Chicago & The Magnificent Mile. Lots of traffic here, but we'll give it a try anyway.

.. brown dwarf
.. vejtbls u'v nevr herd of
.. sience
.. Pablo


It sucks here. I'm moving around the corner to do a few more.


There was somebody over there passing things out. The last thing I want is a territorial dispute. Time to scout some more.


Not far away, I'm trying out a new spot: N Mies Van Der Rohe & E Pearson.

.. cal it Home
.. lov song 1
.. lov song 5
.. in my poket
.. 5 songs of fish
.. chupacabra


That was mostly dismal. One guy gave me three bucks and told me, "Chicago needs more musicians," to which I thought, "Chicago needs more music lovers." Ah well. I'm across from the Museum of Contemporary Art. I considered playing on the stairs to the museum, but chickened out. Maybe next time. Now, to plot the next show . . . west to Dearborn, south to Randolph, east to Millenium Park.


A white pigeon -- weird.


I've been walking since last I wrote, and I'm hungry and parched. I'm waiting outside Tiffany's work to join her for lunch. I was originally thinking that I'd take all food & drink purchased during this journey out of my funds, but since I'm up a whopping $3, I don't think that'll be the way to go. I'd like a big honking smoothie really really soon. After lunch, I'll decide what to do next.

Someone approached me and asked what instrument I play. I told her, and she told me she was in a band, and we had a little chat, and she left. I thought she was going to try to give me a pamphlet or sell me something. Chicago's making me paranoid.

I'm starting to think that if I want to stand any chance of making it to $20 today, I'll need to go straight to the tunnel and plant myself there for a long time. I guess that sort of defeats the purpose of scoping things out, but I might get the job done.


I'm spending way too much on lunch. I had a pizza, a juice, and a fruit cup at Caffe BACI for $12.67, and now I'm waiting on a kiwi-mango smoothie with pearls that I spent $4.13 on. So we're talking a $16.80 lunch. If I play strict, my goal for the day becomes $36.80 . . . $33.80 to go. . . .


I'm sitting by some steps in Grant Park at Michigan & 9th. There's a massive statue behind me of, presumably, Grant, frozen in mid-gallop with a flag and a moustache. I just walked through parts of the park where there's a festival going on. It was swarming with humanity. Chicago is so frickin' big.

This doesn't seem like the best place to busk, but that's ok. I'm sitting here mainly to digest. I'm going for the Museum Campus Tunnel . . . soon. That smoothie was a bad idea.


There's a homeless guy trying to sell newspapers in my tunnel. Can't say I blame him; lots of good traffic there. At any rate, unless he leaves, it won't be a good idea to try to play there. I'm sitting nearby in some shade. The sun has come out.


My adversary appears to be leaving. Maybe he does that, though -- moves back and forth so he can follow people. I'm thinking about going back inside.


I played in the tunnel. Made $5 again. Total of $8. I haven't made my lunch back yet. This is absurd. Actually, it was rather fun, but no way to make a living.

.. I am systms
.. levl 1
.. red dwarf
.. Deenmark
.. this ladybug
.. hulo, wil u be my Sheep?
.. th posm
.. Maroon Dots
.. vejtbls u'v nevr herd of
.. lov song 5
.. bodymind
.. th slipry toad
.. e blu apratus
.. 25% mor monstr
.. chupacabra

There's a truly ridiculous-looking fad of taking tours while standing on these two-wheeled electric motor-powered thingies. People on them are tall and, naturally, glide. They're also bright yellow or orange most of the time, and clustered together in a group. They look like a very bizarre alternative species of human.

Ok. That's enough of this. I'm heading out now to meet Tiffany so we can ride home together on the El. I return $8.80 poorer.


So the day went on. It was a sleepy and uncomfortable El ride home. I took a bath and Tiffany took a nap. Then I took a nap. We tried in vain to find a cool purple wig for Tiffany at a store down her street (they didn't have her color). I ate some mac&cheese, played Tiffany in mancala, and am currently listening to the Boredoms, burned CD courtesy of George, as I type up my stupid travelogue.

In spite of my failure and discomfort, it was fun. It's not much different from a regular gig, really. More spontaneous. Writing the ridiculous travelogue was fun for me. It occurred to me earlier this week that I should take notes on my experiences in Chicago and post them in this blog (or some other). Seeing what I did write, it's clear to me that I shouldn't take that idea too seriously. If you read this far, then I do apologize for boring you to tears.

I do like Chicago, a whole bunch. But "living" here just a few days, I'm starting to see some of the things I'll miss about Troy. There are just so many people here, moving so fast. Why should you talk to people on the El if, chances are, once you get off at your stop in 20 seconds, you'll never run into them ever again? It's lonely to be out in public.

I guess it's like that with anyone, anyway. You find your friends at work, at the places you go on your days off, and in your neighborhood. I wish I could take my friends with me to Chicago, but I can't. Except George, of course!

Anyway, I'm thirsty again, so I think it's time to fill up the ol' water glass and find something else to do. It's stuffy in this little apartment.

Love to all,

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