Sunday, August 13, 2006

Prints & Smoothies

The whole family rode a Metra train to downtown Chicago late Friday afternoon to take advantage of the fact that the Art Institute is free from Friday 5 to 9 pm, in the summer anyway. Thursdays during the same hours as well, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that the museum is no longer free all day on Tuesdays, as it had been since before I moved to Chicago.

I realize that the Art Institute has every right to change its schedule, but that still didn’t prevent my initial reaction: They can’t do that! Tuesdays are free. But that feeling didn’t last long. (But I’d change it back if it were up to me.)

We walked from Union Station down Adams to the museum. En route I saw a sign I don’t ever remember seeing before, though it’s been a few months since I walked on that particular block. It advertised some of the services within an office building with a retail first floor:


Like that, without punctuation or conjunctions. I suppose the first meant passport pictures, since it wasn’t a post office or other official building, and the second is one of those services that scans fingerprints for various identification purposes (everyone will be forced to do that in the future, even to get a grocery store discount card, and people will nevertheless still try to blow up planes).

Fruit smoothies are pretty much self-explanatory. What amused me was the thought that one place might offer all three. Passport pics and fingerprints go together, but adding fruit smoothies might well be a merchandising coup. “While you’re waiting for the FBI to acknowledge downloading your prints, sir, what flavor would you like?”


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