Sunday, July 20, 2008

American express


The lightness in the air, the whiteness of the light, the quietness of the streets welcomes me to America. On my first day here I got out and walked around the neighborhood. I am staying on a street called Oakdale Avenue in Chicago.

Dry cleaning shops, large variety of eating joints, beauty salons and nail bars and a place you can get a tan for ten bucks! People do not cook much at home in this part of the world, I guess. There is sushi, middle Eastern cuisine, Italian cafes, Mexican,American all on the same street.

Avacado slicer, grapefruit knife, mushroom cleaner, Oyester knife, digital burger thermometer a gadget for every kind of food. On the one hand people don’t cook much and on the other there are so many specialized gadgets in any home store! Someone like me will either not remember or not find the grapefruit cutter when I need it! Going to these stores can lead to excessive consumption disorder. No wonder people can return everything they buy!

Borders is a huge chain of bookstores. You have to be big to survive here. As i entered i saw people sitting on seats near the shop window facing the road reading magazines. There were at least a thousand different magazine titles from around the world. Talk about information overload! The ambience and the sitting arrangement was as if to encourage the customer to sit and browse. I recollected an incident in a popular book store in Delhi where a foreigner was sitting and browsing a book, she took out her pad to make note of something when the shop attendant told her she cannot make notes, she looked very puzzled but now understand why!

I sat and browsed about the history of Chicago. I understood why S was so insistent on visiting the city. I am looking forward to exploring the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright and the work of other notable architects in the city with him when he gets here.

Walked along the lake Michigan against the backdrop of Chicago's skyline with B. We had a lot of catching up to do. We exchanged notes about where our lives are taking us and how at some level things have changed and yet I get exactly the same feeling that I used to when we sat in my hostel room and talked endlessly like there was no tommorow.


3 comments:

Jyothi Unniraman said...

The most interesting things about a place is never given in a map,isn't it ? Celebrate your first ever trip to the great Apple !

Dhanya said...

Ah the great American expanse. Have a blast and enjoy the anonymity it affords you. A dream of mine to wander about aimlessly, with not a care in the world and nobody questioning my hour-long stops. Should I admit am a tad envious? Love to S as and when he joins you.

tan 0 said...

hey get on to design*sponge's chicago city guide you may find interesting places here non-super big commercial types
http://www.designspongeonline.com/2007/10/chicago-design-guide.html

and if u bump into you kno who bash him up!!!