Sunday, January 27, 2008

The weekend: weather, exhaustion

In Chicago there's a saying: if you don't like the weather, just wait: it will change. On the sidewalks, the Caution Falling Ice signs have been put out again, even as the air is softer. The crew is finally going to get R & R, come Monday morning, because it will be too warm to install the ice. Although we're four days from opening, everyone needs the break.

Nancy Barber arrived last night from Toronto, and we talked for hours, (docents, meetings, contacts). Gord finally walked in the door after nine thirty. Exhausted. His right eye, bright red bloodshot.

After a quick meal and a hot bath, he crawls into bed, huddling under the covers. And he wakes at dawn, unable to turn it off. River has his own story of fatigue: every night when he returns, just steps from the revolving door at The Hard Rock, he forgets that there is this ridge in the sidewalk and even though he's tripped on it before, and he trips on it again, catching himself before he falls. Today at breakfast, he laughed about it.

Ari claims to have gone postal Friday night, after so many overtime days at The Fulton, wrapping in the frigid dark there. Jaz keeps asking what the schedule? Everyone is just about maxed out, but a lot of work seems to get done after dark.

Tim is holding up well; rumor is that he has a Chicago girlfriend, but he won’t confirm. Today, Sunday, the call time was optional: 10:30 at Fox and Obel for omlettes. Gord’s picture was on the top right hand corner of The Chiago Tribune (The Iceman Cometh) and two articles about the project were inside -- one was a full page with color illustrations. It was a glorious day, much warmer.

Even the ice was breaking up in the river under Michigan Avenue, and Gord couldn’t get enough of it: a dusting of white snow sitting atop the shards; the melting around the edges, the darkness of the river.

At Millennium Park, the people of Chicago came out to skate, to stroll, to take pictures in front of the bean. You'd think it was the first day of spring.

A large contingent of docents and volunteers gathered around the wall for instruction, but at that time, the work had stopped, waiting for the temperature to go down again.

Because of the warm weather, the entire wall had been draped in blue and orange tarps - River had to peel it back to they could get a glimpse. Here they all are, waiting for our presentation, organized by Rose Di Pietro. Here’s Rose.

The warmth in the air is a physical relief for everyone, but it slows down install of the paintings. When the air is warmer than freezing, the ice can get soft between the freezer truck and the wall - as it gets shaped and cut. Once up on the wall, the plates freeze the paintings hard again. Gord says we lost a couple of hours Saturday, but there was nothing to be done: the tarps had to be lowered.

Today, everyone worked under the blue tarp on the back wall. Yesterday I bought dinner for Spence, the man who opens the interior door for guests at BACI. We high fived, because for some reason, he can’t talk.

Tonight after 9:30, we’re gathering in the suite for pizza. It’s already 10:20 and I haven’t heard a word from anyone. Photos today: opening photo: Friendly Joe; the bean & the wall: Patrick Pyszka; photo of Jaz & River on their backs: Art Sutherland.

1 comment:

mokrasouth said...

That Rose DiPietro is a great organizer! Beautiful too.
Signed, Deb (Rose's mom)