After delivering our presentation at the NCTE conference today in Chicago, kc dyer (my intrepid pal in tights) and I embarked on one an odyssey to find Oz Park.
Anyone who knows me, knows that one of my influences were the fourteen original Oz books by L. Frank Baum. It just so happens that Chicago is Baum’s birthplace, and there is a park to commemorate him in the Lincoln Park area of the city.
kc and I hopped in a cab—and wouldn’t you know, our driver was from Korea, so we had a good chat about his homeland and I even made sure to thank him in Korean. My only regret was that I didn’t have any Won on me with which to pay him.
Well, it took us a while to track down this otherwise obscure park. I was a little disappointed that the pathways weren’t paved in yellow brick, but there were some neat statues of the famous Oz citizens.
kc’s trademark veggie pink Doc Martins were a perfect match with Dorothy!
I think my favorite statue was that of the Tin Woodsman (though kc had to nearly stand in the street, braving zooming cars, to take this shot).
Here’s the Scarecrow and the Lion too:
Earlier in the day, kc and I went to the Chicago Art Institute, where I saw some of my all-time favourite art pieces, including American Gothic and Sunday on La Grande Jatte. This art gallery covers over a million square feet and, true to form, kc and I wandered around hopelessly lost for the better part of the afternoon!
Thankfully, we were still able to find our way to Oz. (And by the way, thanks to kc for all of the photography.)