Saturday, June 30, 2012

Chicago-Day 5 (Part 2)

I'll start this with the quest for the bridge. The weather was a bit frantic, in the part of the city I was in, the temps were in the mid to high nineties but only that cool (lol) because of the breezes coming off the water.

This is all the information I had going into the search for the Bridge in a town I've been in for a few days, "Madison", a misspelled version of the name, and...oh, that's right, nothing else. Locals might say that's a lot of information since there is only one specific river crossing at Madison but there was at least one other bridge, at Millennium Park and while there was only one Madison river crossing, the clue I had never specified Madison, only alluded to it which to an outsider may have meant Madison, or thereabout now multiplying the possible number of bridges (so there).
I first walked to Millennium Park, I was close enough to rationalize that it would seem silly as a tourist to be so close and not go there. After all, there's a giant metallic bean sitting there and who, in this scalding heat and humidity wouldn't want to exert themselves to see a giant (folks, its freaking tremendous, I mean huge) bean?

My entrance to the park found me on a foot bridge and this was my first chance to search for etchings, plates, whatever; something with names. I did see a rather ornate chalk etching that either read "Skydog", "Slydog" or "Biscuit Pisser Missile" (okay, the last one was a touch of silliness, but the first two were real, I couldn't quite distinguish the second letter as being a k or an l). I was so focused on searching that a park employee asked me if I misplaced something. I told him no, I was looking for a name and asked if there were any names on these bridges. His response was not what I expected but made me laugh pretty loud (and it was even funnier with his accent), "sometimes the kids like to write there names on the grounds, but we wash them off if we can."

Convinced there were no names on this foot bridge after a few passes, I navigated some of the park and saw the giant bean, walked over to it, under it, photographed it as well as my reflection in it. Convinced I had done all I could with this enormous metallic legume, I moved on an out of the park back up Madison toward the river crossing.

I first stopped in a nearby convenience store and bought two bottles of water. The first never made it out of the store as I chugged it down in almost a single sip then wiped the cool condensation from the bottle across my burning forehead. I then walked across the Madison bridge attempting to find names of any kind. There are two sides to walk separated by the road that cars cross so I stuck to my side but perused the other. I saw nothing that resembled a name plate or any names (not even graffiti). When I got to the other side, to the right there was a large platform with various tents and activity and to the right, the road that leads to the next street over and another bridge. I carefully inspected everything in my view as I made my way to the next bridge and over that bridge, including both sides and still came up empty.

Completing the loop, I found myself back where I started on the Madison crossing but this time went to the opposite side. Just before the water, the were a couple of dudes with a table and sign set up with some sort of petition and just as I was going to ask them if they might know if there were any names on any of these bridges, I noticed the edge of a metal plate peering out from behind their banner. I told them of my quest and asked if I can look behind their banner, they were cool about it, lifted the banner and there it was, the name I was in search of, despite my having only a misspelled version, I knew this was it. I snapped a few pictures with the assistance of these dudes and felt accomplished, though the heat was so intense, I had sweat through my shirt so badly it looked like I had been hosed down.

Content and exhausted, I headed to the train and made my way back to the Days Inn where the temperature reading on the outdoor sign read 105! I went to my room, after grabbing a cold bottle of water from the vending area. I peeled of my clothes, guzzled half the bottle of water, and jumped in the shower to revive myself then came out into the room where I set the A/C to a frigid 65 degrees.

More to come...


Joy said...

Been reading your posts on FB but came here to get the extended version of your trip. Sounds like a lot of fun! I like Chicago, but Boston is much better for walking. (NOT driving though)

Chris said...

Thanks Joy :)