I had a very small window of opportunity over the weekend to see Carrie Schneider’s just-opened 12 x 12 project at the MCA. It was late Saturday afternoon, and I had about an hour and a half to take the El into the city from Oak Park in order to see the show before the Museum closed. So, I was a little annoyed when the announcement came on that the Blue Line would end at UIC/Halsted, which meant I’d have to take a shuttle to Jackson in order to catch the Red line. (I hate shuttles, even though there are always plenty of them and they don’t slow you down all that much). Much internal bitching and moaning ensued. I made it to the MCA with 40 minutes to spare, watched Schneider’s video “Slow Dance” until they literally kicked me out of the room, then got up and called my husband to pick me up at the Ridgeland station so I could take the Green Line home. I caught my first train without incident, but fucked up and took the hateful Brown Line instead of the required Green by accident (this, because I was on my iPhone trying to download OMD’s Romance of the Telescope, which features prominently in Schneider’s video). I could see that planned dinner out with my husband rapidly disappearing down the tubes (the parents’ night out at our local children’s art studio would end promptly at 8:30). Dammit. I got off the Brown, waited for the Green, told myself repeatedly DO NOT LOOK AT iPHONE. And then…..what the hell *is* that??? A train, wrapped like a present in sparkly twinkling Christmas lights and other holiday fizzies, zooming into the station.
I was momentarily blinded (and, just for a second, terrified). Christmas carols spilled out merrily from the train, and my god…there is a Santa Claus. There was also a sleigh and a couple of reindeer and a beefy guy in a black ski mask who I think was supposed to be Santa’s helper. Only later did I learn that this was the CTA’s fabled Holiday Train and I had totally, accidentally caught it! People plan all day for this and I did it without even trying! Wheeee! Read more