Kurt McKee

lessons learned in production

Hey there! This article was written in 2006.

It might not have aged well for any number of reasons, so keep that in mind when reading (or clicking outgoing links!).

The Smart Museum

Posted 29 October 2006 in art, chinatown, evergreen-restaurant, quote, smart-museum, and vanessa

I went with Vanessa to see the curator's tour of the Smart Museum of Art yesterday. We had quite an adventure!

We met up for breakfast at 8:30a, which meant 8:45a due to someone losing her keys. We started the morning off with our usual banter. At one point Vanessa commented that our conversations are a delicate balance of bluffing and non- bluffing. I noted that if she ever writes a book, she should call it "Conversations", but she'll hopefully keep my words anonymous. We headed out at about 9:15a to catch the El.

Turns out the Purple Line was closed this weekend, so we had to catch a bus to the Red Line. From the Red Line, we hopped on the #55 bus and rode on that well past the Smart Museum. Whoops. So we got off and sat around waiting for the next bus in the opposite direction. The #6 bus arrived, but the driver informed us he wasn't stopping at the Smart Museum. Shortly thereafter the very same #55 bus rounded the corner and picked us up. "You should have taken the #6. It only runs on the weekends!" an elderly woman cackled at us. Oh yes, and I accidentally called the female driver "Sir".

We finally arrived at the Smart Museum at 11:15a and started wandering around. Both Vanessa and I freaked out at one of the employees that stands around guarding the art: she had two black eyes! After looking through the museum, we went back out to the entrance and waited for the curator's tour to start. It was at this point that I asked Vanessa to sketch her cell phone. Gracious, she's a good artist! It was during this time that our conversation went wild again, and she decided that "That book called "Conversations"? I'm going to have to call it "Things That Never Happened" at this point."

The tour ended at 2:15p, and we hopped on the #55 to the Red Line, and opted to stop off at ol' Chinatown. First stop: Walgreens, so we could both buy water filters. The best part was when the checkout lady asked Vanessa if she was Filipino. "Yes, but I was born here in America." "Oh" was the curt reply. The checkout lady then grabbed Vanessa's credit card from her and paid for Vanessa. When I stepped up to the counter, I announced "I'm not Filipino." "Of course you aren't, sir, but thanks for your honesty." Vanessa and I didn't have a lengthy conversation about the exchange.

Our next stop in Chinatown was the Chicago Public Library (Chinatown branch), where we asked one of the librarians where we should eat. She recommended a few places, so we exited to the street and walked to Evergreen Restaurant. The hostess showed us to our table by dumping the menus on the table and walking away pointing at the table. We were then brought waters and a pitcher of hot tea...but no glasses for the tea.

We ordered our food, some Mai Tais, and some glasses for the tea. We never got the glasses. Meanwhile, the rest of the restaurant had cleared out for a large party; the guests were beginning to arrive, and one loud woman in particular was harassing the waitstaff because the requested number of tables weren't ready (this involved pointing towards Vanessa and me). After eating our fill, I paid the bill, only to have a waiter stand next to the table for the longest time before finally speaking up. "Excuse me, sir, but what is this number here?" "45, zero zero," I replied coldly. "And what is the tip?" he pressed. I was not impressed with the service I had received, so I stated the tip I had clearly written, and Vanessa and I left. We didn't have a conversation about that experience, either.

By the time we got back, we decided to watch "Oscar" and play pool. Quite a day!

Vanessa, did I leave anything out?