Home Filming Diary Chicago, vol. 3

Chicago, vol. 3 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 12 September 2008 19:28
This trip to Chicago was rather exciting. A flat tire on the aircraft in Prague caused a 2 hour delay. A broken luggage belt at JFK resulted in checking-in all over again and gaining more delay... fortunately the connection in JFK was 3 hours late due to the weather conditions. The weekend of the 13th of September was wet. Chicago rainfall record was broken: almost 10" of water within 48 hours. Pulaski and Foster streets were closed due to floods. Which worried me; Pulaski is quite close to Harding Avenue where I wanted to go and I hoped there would be no damage to the Villa district.
I did have some plans set ahead as for what to do and people I wanted to meet in Chicago this time, beside just enjoying this nice city. The day after Delta finally delivered my lost luggage, I visited Robert Amft and spent a nice afternoon with him. We chatted about different things and about him - and I taped it all. He is such a nice person, I enjoy his company very much. His pre-Depression condominium house from 1917 is so photogenic that I suggested to take a series of pictures of the artist in his home. I am happy with how they turned out. Before we went for lunch, Robert gave me a small abstract painting of his from 1989, called fleeces (thought he does not think the name is a proper one).
I also went to Wabash/Lake to take some footage and pictures of the scene Donald painted at the "L" turn. I did find the exact spot. It's a nice structural object. Right at that very corner there is a culinary department of The Illinois Art Institute - Chicago. Which is the school that Ray-Vogue transformed into. I came in and set an appointment for the next day with the public relations person. The main building of the school is now located near Merchandise Mart with a breathtaking view of the old railroad bridge. I spent about an hour there taking pictures of that beautiful piece of sculpture, since I know Don would get kick out of that and maybe some inspiration for painting too. Unfortunately I never took the river cruise which everybody suggested me to. A reason to come to Chicago the next time?
I spoke to Chai Lee, the public relations person of the Art Institute and was trying to find a common topic for my documentary but we will have to work out meeting the right museum experts the next time. I had a chance to visit, though, the interiors of the Cobb's building, a former home of the Institute of Design at Ontario/Dearborn. Mary Ann was very nice to me to show me around, but I got really excited when I met the owner of the club, Marc Hoffman. He came to the place unexpectedly to plan the Halloween party with some folks. He was extremely nice to me and told me a lot about the history of the building and what has been done to it to turn it into the successful theme club, Excalibur. I also got a print out of the known time line of the owners/boarders in that building, which was put together by Mary Ann ("because people were asking all the time about the history of this building").
I had an appointment with the former and present principals of the Irving Park school and visited the school on my last day in Chicago. I also visited the house on Harding Ave., which Donald grew up in. I know Donald will be very happy to have the pictures of the house, and so will Dick, his cousin, whom will I visit in Texas in November. The weather turned out to be beautiful all five workdays I had been to Chicago and I had a nice company of friends John Popik, Lloyd Barber and Dick Brown, to whom I am grateful for their hospitality and care. I took about 6 hours or footage in Chicago this time.
Last Updated on Monday, 01 February 2010 18:41


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