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Yes. Well. I swear to God the Robie house is so awesome. The best part may be the neighborhood. And it being in its natural context. Not to say the area looks as it did in 1910. But at least itís still somewhat of a neighborhood. But the best part of all. Of all. Was the fact that I was there after tour-time and closing time. And so there was hardly anyone around. I just walked right up onto the front porch and stood 5 feet above street level taking in the neighborhood.  And what a porch it is! And that roof really comes out so far over it. What a house I say.

 

For me, when I look at FLW stuff, the amazingest part of all is when it was made. 1910? I mean, come on? Are you kidding? I donít even think Julia Child was born by 1910. Kitty hawk? Model Tís? That house looks space age! Itís a totally unique aesthetic which (and remember I donít know what Iím talking about) defies any solid linkage to time and space. What Iím saying is that you wrap your gaze around such a structure. And you want to say it looks kind of 1960ís or something. Maybe 70ís.  But then wait, maybe more like 1750 France with the little stain glass window details? Or maybe the partridge family would have lived just fine in it. Or maybe itís just something from the set of M Knight Dorkalanís latest dumb movie. Which was maybe supposed to be in 1640.  In any case. you just canít pin it down. You canít. But of all times. Of all times, the one time it most certainly does not fit is 1910!  Awesome.

 

Sigh.

 

I was on that porch! Just me alone. This overlaps gently with my fourth favorite pastime which is going to places where there are few or no other people around. Second rate or overlooked museums or castles. Old Viking colonies. Anything. Petra because itís so damn hard to get to. The Harvard T stop at 5 am because nobody in the right mind would get up that early. I had the great pleasure of being the only person in the lower level of that T stop for about three minutes. I was able to notice things in complete solitude and this itself created a rare opportunity to participate in architecture. If youíve even been in that T stop. Itís not like the others. It has two levels. The trains run inbound on the lower level and outbound the upper. But the space between the lower and upper platform communicates. And the space is so high. Two to three stories high. Most subway stations are just the one or 1 Ĺ. And flat. But this space is complex. Lots of purposefully organized support beams and things. Going this way and that. And the walls are so nicely tiled. Lots of red and white. And clean. No benches. Alcoves in the walls for people who would dare to sit.  All in all. Itís an incredible T station. And then the whole experience of just being in a T station alone. Spooky.  The mystery. Suspense. The far away whirring sound.  The incredible power. For some reason, the rush of air always precedes the train by a good fifteen seconds before its arrival. Because I was alone with no women to be spying on, I was helpless but to use my imagination. What if instead of a train rushing through the tunnel it was a great long dragon. Yes, that would be a surprise. Ultimately it ended up just being a train.

 

Government center has a wicked cool T stop too.

 

And thereís this thing on the green line which is this really spooky sort of electricity/power place. Where they have all these empty trains just off to the side behind a maze of bars and fences. Itís like something from escape from New York. Anyway. I think at some point I may just devote a whole day to riding.

 

Oh. Did I mention how we got to the Robie? Me and my tiny little half Irish half Mexican ex-girlfriend. Pictures if I ever have any. Iím not holding out on you, just donít have any. But sheís really neat looking. That wasnít the reason we broke up. It must have been some other reason. I forget.

So I looked at the map and thought we could just take the red line to 55th and Garfield? We get out and it looks pretty much like Harlem, only more trees and space. Chicago is so special. Itís like you go from New York to Mississippi down through rural Louisiana, a little bit of Houston and then even some L.A. for a few miles and thatís all just the red line. God knows what the other lines have. Anyway. We got off in Harlem. Three minutes and some guy asks us if we want muscle relaxants. No thanks. Are those Indian or Canadian? Maybe later. The bus came and not too soon. We got off at the park on the edge of U of C. We had advanced to somewhat lost instead of totally lost. And at least now there were children everywhere, which is always a good sign. 

 

And if youíve ever noticed the commuter rail stop near there. Itís also beautiful. The bricks are faded/washed so as to be salmon rather than orange. And with the Astroturf green. With salmon, itís a fantastic color match. And the whole station is so marvelously narrow, the platform is so narrow. You canít believe. All in all. A great time.

 

I refuse to see anything negative about Chicago.

 

Would never live there.