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Friday, November 28, 2008

an urban thanksgiving…

Rarely do you see Ashland Ave looking like this…

Empty. Open. Quiet…

Where is everybody? It’s Thanksgiving morning. Has the neighborhood settled down for a long winter’s nap?

I’m on my way to work via the Blue Line subway station (upper right plaza) and it is just a little strange. That road just seems to go on forever.

Chicago is so flat you can look down most main streets and get a multi-mile eyeful. Ashland must run at least 20 mi. N-to-S in an uninterrupted span…

The wind, the shuffling flying paper and moi seem to be the only things going anywhere. Until…

You get here!

THAT’s where everybody went! The Thanksgiving Day parade on State Street!

And I was right there under the humongous balloons with my camera a-rolling and I must say that when Garfield went over and I zoomed to his paws I almost keeled when I saw how truly LARGE they were…

The cold weather, crowds and cheer made us all so hungry, we had to run over to the Christkindlmarket and have a Bratwurst & Sauerkraut sandwich under the Picasso…

That’s City Hall in the upper left and Mies Van Der Rohe’s Daley Building upper right and lots of cheer in the plaza below.

Who needs pie when you have gingerbread, sugar almonds, strudel of every flavor and more under such a friendly eye? But whose eye is it?

At 50 feet tall and 162 tons, it’s quite a large structure, and on warm summer days unruly tourist kids run up and slide down its base, much to the chagrin of locals and art lovers.

Over the decades, millions of tourists, hundreds of artists, and dozens of movies have captured the image of this sculpture, but none unlocked its secret. Perhaps the most plausible explanation comes from a November, 2004 article in the Chicago Sun-Times. The newspaper claims it is likely a sculpture of Lydia Corbett. Born in 1934 in England, by the time she was 19, she was living in France and posing regularly for Picasso. According to the artist’s grandson in his book “Picasso: The Real Family Story,” the girl posed dozens of times and Picasso was fascinated by her long neck and ponytail. Later, art historians would mistake her for Brigitte Bardot in many of his works.”

7 responses to “Friday, November 28, 2008”

  1. Barbara-Kay says:

    Ach, such goodness! Wish I were there!

  2. Lacy says:

    Some warm gingerbread with a cup of hot apple cider would be nice on a cold Chicago day. Or for that matter a cold Portland, Oregon day .
    Happy Thanksgiving

  3. meg says:

    Mmm – marzipan. Indeed there are things I’d rather have than pie. You seem to have a little piece of Europe there in Chicago!

  4. Jennifer says:

    Amazing! I cannot imagine being that close to a parade of that size. It sounds like a wonderful day!

  5. Trish says:

    You really captured the empty/full feeling of the city on holidays. That has always mystified me too! I’ve spent the last 10 Thanksgivings in rural New Jersey with DH’s family. Thanks for bringing the city experience to life for this homesick Chicagoan.

  6. Ann says:

    OK, so at first I thought the sign under the Picasso read “Jesus is chocolate and marzipan,” and my reaction was “How true is THAT?”

    Thanks for taking us on a ride with you! Happy post-Thanksgiving! We have shed the eight humans staying with us, and the house seems so very EMPTY! Waaah!

  7. Amanda says:

    I was staying at the Palmer House the morning of the parade! I could hear the parade from our room, but watching it on tv. Who would have thought we were probably watching your feed?!

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