Monday, October 15, 2007

Today at the Archicenter

(I've been volunteering at the Chicago Architecture Foundation as a Visitor Services Volunteer since March 2006, usually every other Monday morning.) I got to my 9:30am-1:00 shift just 5 minutes late. (I'm improving.) I'd had coffee but no breakfast at home and I really regretted the latter when it seemed too busy to even run a few yards across the building to grab something at Corner Bakery. A pretty big group (16) for the 10am Historic Skyscrapers walking tour. I was sure the 11am Chicago Old & New tour had been using "the devices" (these things that amplify the docent's voice; you hook a rubber earpiece over one ear. And you have to leave an ID/credit card at the store as a deposit and get it back at the end) for the last month or so. (Historic uses them, so you've got to give them out before 10 and gather them back at noon.) The employee at the ticket counter then wasn't aware this tour used them, so I had to scramble to hand out 24 devices at 11 when the tour should have been leaving. (I should add that about 20 of the people taking the tour didn't buy their tickets until about 10:55.) Then both docents' devices didn't work and I had to replace them. Still, the tour only left 8 minutes late, so no problem, and my 1:00 replacement showed up early so I didn't even have to gather them back in.

New experiences today: a woman couldn't take a device because she's allergic to rubber. And, I broke an earpiece.
Not new: I directed a lot of people to Frank Lloyd Wright stuff in Hyde Park and Oak Park. I stole glances at cute guys buying tickets until their (of course) girlfriends showed up. I practiced my slow, purposeful pacing. I only got through a few pages of my book.

I was about to randomly bring up my Flickr page when the midday ticket employee mentioned he'd just got a digital camera. I had an excuse and we talked about Flickr/photography for a while, and I told him and the man who "hired" me as a volunteer all about my legitimate and less-legitimate architectural photos. (I mean, the ones that aren't quite obtained legally...)

So I got out early and ate at the Bongo Room (South Loop version) for the first time--excellent croissant sandwich, and I've never, ever gotten my food so fast at a place like that! Coffee was a little slower. Eventually I got home, then out again.

Then a Flickr friend and I spent nearly two hours wandering around a school under demolition. Then I got some tiramisu gelato in (area that used to be Maxwell Street).

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