Saturday, December 12, 2015


CTA Clark Street Bus, Chicago, IL
Neon Yellow Biker, Chicago, IL
Yellow Cab with Blue Man Group Ad, Chicago, IL
Hooded Lincoln Park Dog Walker, Chicago, IL
Neon Yellow Runners, Chicago, IL
Office Worker and Red Corvette, Chicago, IL
Traveler with Red Bag, Chicago, IL

I arose early and made my way down to the urban coffee shop in the small Chicago hotel where I was staying for the Thanksgiving holiday. The space for this little shop used to be occupied by the original hotel’s telephone operators, so it bore the name of Elaine’s Coffee Call. The comfortable shop had two baristas that could prepare just about any coffee drink you can find at a ubiquitous Starbucks without the corporate cachet. Freshly prepared scones of the day along with chocolate croissants and coffee cake rounded out the menu for me.

As I gathered my mocha coffee and an apricot scone I noticed that the limited seating at the storefront window was available with only one other customer sitting there reading the morning newspaper over his coffee. I seated myself with a view to Lincoln Park and the outside world and opened my IPhone apps. The man seated in front of the window soon departed leaving me an unobstructed view of the awakening world passing by my out of the ordinary surroundings. My normal breakfast view is generally lit up by the flat screen television inside my home as I consume breakfast with coffee oblivious to the outside world.

Three naked light bulbs hung from the ceiling in front of the window with “Elaine’s Coffee Call” lettered in a movie film font. They created an interesting foreground for the passing landscape outside so I switched my IPhone to camera mode. I then began recording the passing urban scenes outside the window on a chilly Chicago November morning. I quickly captured a passing CTA bus, a yellow taxi with a Blue Man Group ad, an office worker and a red corvette, a heavily hooded neighborhood woman walking her dog, a traveler carrying a red bag and early morning risers running and biking while wearing attention getting neon yellow tops.

Elaine’s Coffee Call suddenly became my unique window on the world while these urban scenes played out in front of me as if I were home watching my flat screen television. The scenes were somewhat detached as I comfortably sat in the warmth of the shop. I was reminded of the massive number of worldly scenes that play out with each new day’s creation. And at this holiday time of the year, it’s all too easy to detach oneself from the needs of all our other fellow travelers on the same journey and only see them as surreal players strutting and fretting their hour upon the stage and passing before us without substance or souls.

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