Getting lost, or being disappointed in Chicago, does not
have the same perks as in Japan. There, when I couldn’t see the Yanagi
map, or find a specific destination, something
wonderful, some surprise or pleasure, occurred as compensation. Here it’s just
gray and tiresome, at least in part because I know the city so well. No
surprises, no beautiful gardens (February, after all, and slush
abounds), no language problems, although occasional communication
I began the day at Spertus Institute to see their new building and to talk to their archivist about donating photos and materials about my grandmother. From there, I got on the subway and went to Aiko’s, where I found they were closing the shop. I haven’t been a wonderful customer for them, but over the years, I’ve bought many beautiful papers and books. I’m sad to see them go. I almost felt like I was going to a cemetery to pay my respects.
I took the bus back downtown, walked a few blocks to Michigan Avenue and got on another bus going further south to find a bookstore specializing in books about Asia. I remembered the address wrong, slight dislexia on my part, and to my great disappointment, never found the shop. Should have called first — someday, I’ll learn. Then I got on the wrong bus, went far out of my way, and had to take still another bus to get back. There were no compensating discoveries in any of this.
Robin, Steve and Charna arrived in time for dinner and we all went to the folk festival, a good finish to a not so good day.
I like good strong finishes spiced with the company of friends and family. It takes away the taste of the poor or confused days. I like the architecture of the Spertus Institute. Modern but not at the same time. Successful, I think. The closing of the paper shop is awful. A major tragedy.