Friday, April 25, 2014
Thursday, April 3, 2014
The pictures at Randolph and State are the window display in the corner of Macy's, which is housed in the historic Marshall Field's flagship store.
There was a long competition between Macy's (New York) and Marshall Field's (Chicago). There is still a bit of antagonism in the Chicago cultural underground for Macy's not doing more to recognize their vanquished arch-enemy in the course of their takeover. The long-standing duel ran for nearly a hundred years.
I have to say that I personally remember Field's for several wonderful things:
* Christmas dinner in the Walnut Room with their amazing three-story trees, one of which was done up with over 2,000 Waterford Crystal ornaments and had a three-foot tall Waterford Crystal seahorse riding a wave of foam on train tracks around the base.
* Their incredible Christmas window displays in the downtown store, and high-quality holiday decorations in general.
* Field's restaurant, which had an amazing comfort food and salad menu.
* The place where I got my Radko blue Christmas angel, rock-n-roll orange tinsel Christmas tree, Halloween pumpkin candle holder, and lambs' wool muffler...all of which I still have and cherish.
On to the other, grittier topic. The cocoon you see under the bushes next to the glass building at LaSalle and Randolph is a human being. Chronic homelessness is ever-present in beautiful Chicago. They hide in their bundles in plain sight. I saw a couple just on this walk.
Prior to Ronald Reagan, these folk had a place to go to sleep indoors at night.
It's a long and deep subject. My point today is just that I see the human beings there in those raggedy mounds of blanket-and-whatnot.