Friday, March 17, 2006

Chicago


This is a reminder of how isolated a life I have been living all this while. I was reading this Economist survey of Chicago and realized how little I knew of this city, its history, people, geography, culture and economy, even after spending almost a year here and now it is time to go back. The only thing that I have done here is to search out obscure places to watch obscure movies or roam around in those lonely parks or stare into the Michigan lake. Sigh! But then as Proust says, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes". Ah well, some consolation! But what if I didn't even get new eyes?

10 comments:

km said...

Proust had TOO many eyes, I think :) (Some of his descriptions in "M. Bovary" boggle the mind.)

The isolation you talk about is very real. I've also learned that it's not limited to just Indians or immigrants.

ventilatorblues said...

Well, if its any consolation, I have lived in Boston for the last 5+years, and I have never been on the famous Duck tour. Dont know what the Duck tour is? Dont worry, you're not missing much ;)

On another note, I feel that cities like Chicago and NYC have a lot of distractions (what you enumerated as geography, culture, economy, etc.). The point is to choose the distraction that most engages you. I was once in Chicago for a wedding, and family from all over had come. Everyone wanted to "do the city" - I quickly figured out I wanted to do just two things - hang out at the Seminary at UofC and go to as many blues clubs as I could. So thats what I did. People ask me - "You didnt take the Architecture tour?" I say - "What architecture?"

Alok said...

Actually I have been on the "architecture" tour and most of the other "tick mark" type sightseeings, seen-this-done-that kind. I have also seen the art galleries, museums, cultural centers, famous parks and most of the other tourist "attractions" :)

But in the end I always felt as if I was a tourist (of a rather detached type!) here on an extended stay. As I was reading the survey, I realized only after some time that I was reading about a city I have spent a year living in!

km, I think you are confusing between two french writers ;) It was Flaubert who wrote Madame Bovary.

Anonymous said...

consolations consolations

With me the story is other way round, now that I am leaving I am doing the tick mark tourism, the things I didn't take a picture of. Eiffel Tower, sacré coeur, invalides, grande arche...oh well, pass me a drink

-b

Alok said...

I think I will feel more at home in Europe than I feel here. Sometimes I feel that in my past life I was born somewhere in Europe, not in west but in the east...Prague or Vienna. Some day...! :)

b said...

:) I am going there, should I be getting you the practical information about living in Prague and Vienna apart from language softwares. Shall be in Prague 16th to 20th and then in Vienna.

km said...

Duh. I confused Proust for Flaubert? Clearly the red wine diet isn't working.

Alok said...

lol KM :) I didn't know there are people who go on a "red wine diet" !!

b, heh! some people!!! Will wait for your emails ;)

Guptavati said...

A passing thought at the Europe comment..I have this 1897 book 'Chicago to Chicago again - A world pilgrimage' and the author John H Barrows (from the perspective of a Jesuit missionary)travels around the world and gets back to Chicago.He says this of Europe and particularly of Greece,
"So little is left of her former glory in visible monuments that one must carry much to Athens in the way of knowledge,appreciation or sentiment or he may carry little away".I've never been to Europe but somehow I am afraid this is going to be the case when I do visit any place in Europe.

Alok said...

Hmmm. I am waiting for my first Europe trip :-)