Two days of very large turnouts marked the inauguration of Donald Trump to POTUS.
The demonstrations were peaceful by most accounts, though there were a few arrest on the night of the inauguration. So, Friday night, I went downtown to see what would become of a planned demonstration around the Trump Tower which sits beside theChicago River in one of the grandest public spaces in the U.S. of A. I was actually quite surprised and accepting of the building, for sure a large and unmistakably phallic structure from several vantage points. It’s large presence was well situated in the midst of Chicago’s downtown cluster, took full advantage of the immediacy of the river guaranteeing it’s inclusion on the armada of architectural tours popular with out of owners and locals alike. It was the later, unfortunate inclusion of very large letters spelling out the extremely well known developer’s name, that has made the already grandiose building more self aggrandizing and probably increasing the number of it’s detractors.
On my way to Trump Tower, I encountered a police barricade 1/2 a block north of the main entrance, just across from the House of Blues. The fellow in front of me identified himself as press, may even have shown a pass, so…”Evening officer, Don Colley, visual journalist writing for an independent blog”. The officer pointed to the next cluster of cops towards the bridge. I approached the one who seemed to be following me most closely and said, pointing a thumb over my shoulder,”The officer said to tell you I write for an independent blog…” and seeming either satisfied, indifferent, or not particularly impressed, she waved me on. I was on the north side of the river at the Wabash Street bridge and looking across saw the demonstration procession wrapping around the Trump Tower cordoned off a block or more in each direction. Hence, the less than informative view of the goings on as you look towards the bridge tower and the Church of Christian Scientists with the odd buttressed roof.
I got what I could from that view then strolled along the bridge to just behind the police line on the south end of the bridge at Wacker Drive. I got a good start on the drawing before an officer came over to inform me that while she liked my nice drawing, I wasn’t supposed to stop on the bridge and needed to head back or join the revelers. I said I understood but during the course of drawing in court, occasionally officers would permit me to sit in more advantageous spots and this was a particularly good vantage point, yes? She said she had to go back across the bridge and when she returned, I needed to have moved on. Fortunately, I got it done.
The following day I joined some friends and fell into what has been reported as a crowd of a quarter of a million participants for the Women’s March. The high spirited energy of the gigantic crowd was palpable and did not leave this observer untouched. A disclaimer perhaps should be that while I’m prepared to be objective should I witness things out of the ordinary, I was there not just to witness and record the event, I was there in full support of equal rights for Women and Planned Parenthood.
Pitt Pens and fountain pens in a Strathmore sketchbook.