We’re not in Eden only yet, though Chicago gardens have prime charm
April 1, 2016 - garden totes
A stormy weekday night on Wabash Avenue underneath a “L” marks in a Loop, and a immature integrate were looking for spring, which, as common during this time of year, was proof elusive.
“Want to try a park?” pronounced a man.
“It’s raining,” pronounced a woman. “And it’s cold. we wish to go inside.”
That’s what it’s like. The calendar tells us open has arrived and we are teased into desiring so by a day or dual of temperatures in a 60s, so convincingly alluring in their open-those-windows-and-take-off-those-jackets regard that we have dusted off a bicycles, pressed a down coats and scarves into closets, spotless off those golf clubs and differently jumped a gun.
But — fooled again, will we never learn? — it stays in a reduce 40s and a rains tumble along with a spirits. We make do, though, and so did a immature couple, whose names were Randy and Beth Maxwell, in city from California for a wedding. They ducked out of a sleet and, to their good and gay surprise, found open inside a really vast and famous building.
The oldest sign of a city of Chicago — comparison than a reduction grave “The Windy City,” “City of a Big Shoulders,” “The Second City,” “Chi-town” and, many recently, “Chi-raq” — is a Latin phrase: Urbs in horto. It means “city in a garden” and was coined in a 1830s, when Chicago was hardly a city: Its race was a few thousand and it was not postulated a city licence by a state of Illinois until 1837. (Surely during that time there were some-more people here conversant in a denunciation of a Algonquin Indian tribes than means to pronounce Latin.)
So, a integrate walked into Macy’s and found on a ninth building a tiny territory remade into a garden of many colors. It was a annual Macy’s Flower Show, that is renouned though mostly overshadowed by a incomparable and most some-more commercialized Chicago Flower Garden Show that finished a weeklong run during Navy Pier Mar 22.
The Macy’s show that ends Sunday, is a delight. At no cost, people can ramble by this year’s “America a Beautiful” thesis with a 10,000 particular plants, 75 specimens of trees, an incalculable series of flowers and other flora, widespread around in 8 gardens desirous by such places as a farms of a Midwest and a coasts of Maine and California.
Outside a garden area is a tiny array of things to buy: popcorn, books, cards, pressed fondle bunnies, cooking implements, sauces, jams, spices, flowers and plants. There is a territory used for performances by such groups as a Chicago Human Rhythm Project and for classes in such pursuits as perfume-making and terrarium-creating.
Off to one side are some equipment emblazoned with a ancient trademark of a store’s prior name: Marshall Field Co. Some also enclose a famous time and a year it was innate (1852). There are cups, eyeglasses and receptacle bags, sweatshirts and aprons.
Yes, Macy’s was once a flagship store of Marshall Field Co., and we competence remember a paint and cry, a picketing and protest threats, that shadowed Macy’s 2005 squeeze of Field’s. That dust-up has always astonished me. It wasn’t as if a State Street building was being razed. It wasn’t as if that site and a other stores were being converted into bonus centers. we had a certain chronological interest in this matter. My father, Herman Kogan, and Lloyd Wendt wrote a decisive story of a organisation in their 1952 “Give a Lady What She Wants,” and so we was from my beginning years flushed with a store’s story and a definition of it all. (There sojourn some — see www.fieldsfanschicago.org — still dissapoint about a change.)
Macy’s seems some-more than wakeful of, and happy to acknowledge, a legacy. In further to a equipment for sale during a flower show, on a seventh building outward a Walnut Room grill is a fine, museum-quality arrangement clinging to a story of a store.
Macy’s apparently likes a organisation with a princely Field name, one it apparently is peaceful to quarrel for. As my co-worker Becky Yerak reported in Feb in a Tribune, a organisation won a justice conflict to keep anyone else from infringing on it.
So remember that when we ramble around Macy’s on Sunday or some other day after a flower uncover is over. But if we do dump in Sunday, we will get a ambience of open and maybe torment a enterprise to revisit one of a city’s parks. There are some 500 of them, from tiny slivers to impracticable expanses. Garfield and Lincoln parks have fantastic and comfortable conservatories.
And there are smaller gardens, too, an ever-increasing series of them in all shapes, forged from dull lots and lost plots. A personal favorite is a one during 1800 W. Haddon Ave. It is named for a illusory character, Francis Majcinek, improved famous as Frankie Machine, a pretension impression of “The Man with a Golden Arm,” a 1949 novel by Chicago’s Nelson Algren and leader of a initial National Book Award in 1950. In a novel, Machine’s unit was nearby where a garden now sits, and some of a poker games he dealt took place in hazed bedrooms on Division Street, one retard north.
Frankie Machine Garden was started in 1988 by members of a East Village Association, a name a outcome of a name-the-garden contest. A decade later, when developers began eyeing skill in a area, a land was purchased by NeighborSpace, a nonprofit trust shaped in 1996 and predominantly saved by a Chicago Park District, a city of Chicago and a Forest Preserve District of Cook County. NeighborSpace creates and preserves community-managed open spaces.
So, behind to a immature integrate from California. They pronounced they were utterly tender by a flower uncover and a store itself. They had staid in during a bar during a Walnut Room, where a barkeeper had done for them a integrate of flower show-themed drinks called Birds of Paradise.
Could we censure them? In Chicago — where a people who envision a continue tell us that a high temperatures competence not strike 50 compartment Wednesday — we have to take open wherever and however we can get it.
“After Hours With Rick Kogan” front 9 to 11 p.m. Sundays on WGN-AM 720.