The Silversmith

Fall                                     Waning Back to School Moon

Room 901, the Silversmith Hotel, Chicago  on Jeweler’s Row

The sun had just slipped below the horizon as we approached downtown Chicago.  Red fire glinted off the window walls of the many new skyscrapers in this, the home of the skyscrapers.  As the train slid toward Union Station, I felt the city cloak itself around me.  I was back.

I love this city.  It was, my first.  My first big city.  I came here when I was 12 with a United Methodist Church see-it tour.  We visited the Chapel in the Sky, the Pacific Garden Mission and saw a lot of the poorer areas of Chicago.

This is Sister Carrie’s city.  The city of the Titan, The Genius.  The city of Big Shoulders where the fog creeps in on little cat’s feet.  This is an American city, a Midwestern city built on stockyards and the commodity exchange, a collecting point for agricultural goods from the farms of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska.

The steel mills of Gary used to light up the southern tip of Lake Michigan, you could see them glowing like a peek into the infernal regions.  They glowed red with the heat of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.  A day now gone by.

The el encloses the loop and rattles just 7 floors below my hotel room here at the arts and craft decorated Silversmith.  This is a boutique hotel very near the Chicago Art Institute.

I have an appointment in Ada’s Deli, the restaurant here, at 10 tomorrow, then I’m off the Art Institute.