Saturday, December 8, 2018

EXTRA: It's Christmas? in Chicago

Just a few notes about a Saturday sojourn into the heart of Chicago to try to capture a bit of the Christmas holiday flavor -- as it still exists in the 21st Century.
At least this window had a Chicago theme. Photos by Gregory Tejeda
I couldn't help but feel saddened by one teenage girl whom I happened to overhear as she and her friends were checking out the holiday windows of the one-time Marshall Field's department stores.

AS SHE WALKED along State Street, disappointment was what she felt. "There's no story here," she exclaimed, in a loud-enough voice that I'm sure much of the crowd gathered along the one-time Great Street could hear.
Digital technology on display at Macy's, if little originality
For sure enough, some of the windows were decorated in individual scenes. But there was no continued theme connecting all the windows together. There was no holiday story being told. The overall theme couldn't help but come across as holiday lame for those of us old enough to remember the Marshall Field's holiday windows of old.
Bring back Field's!!!

Not that she was alone. I also couldn't help but notice the guy along State Street in front of Macy's with his picket signs demanding the return of Field's, whose memory continues to live on in the form of the old brass signs and the clock on the corner.

Those details are considered part of the building's historic character, and Macy's couldn't dump them no matter how much they'd want to.

I'M STILL TRYING to figure out what the best bit of street life I saw on Saturday was.
A literal street 'artist'

The group of "drummers" (actually playing overturned buckets) gathered along State Street? Or was it the guy near the one-time Carson, Pirie, Scott (now Target) who was literally creating street art -- as in he was drawing pictures for hire, while sitting on the street corner.
Rhythm? Or clamor?
One could watch him create his so-called masterpieces-to-order.
Vote for Willie!

I also couldn't escape politics. For one wreath-covered lamp-post also managed to slip in a little Election Day related message. Vote for Willie Wilson! As opposed to any of the 20 other political geeks who have dreams of filling the seat once held by Richard J. Daley. Will this be the biggest, most prominent, Wilson campaign display we'll see between now and Feb. 26? Or will this campaign season fit in perfectly with the Macy's generic version of Christmas?
The modern Macy's in Chicago
What's left of Field's


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