On Friday’s night, I went to this awesome concert performed by Gold Panda, Edamame and another artist that I can’t recall the name (I think it was Mike something) at Lincoln Hall. It was an electronic concert (it is not EDM) and it lit up my night. The show ended at midnight and so I thought to myself “Why not take walk?”. So my first few steps on walk was interesting, there was not that many cars on the streets. I cut this stream of people pouring out of the venue and then suddenly I bumped on this man whose in black and hand was clutching a sizzling ciggarette. I said “oops, excuse me” and then I realized that the man that I just stumbled on was not just anybody but Edamame, the artist who just had a really captivating show earlier. I exchanged conversation with him about his music, inspiration and music production. He was very knowledgeable and easy to talk to.
After that sweet chat, hunger hit me so I ventured to look for something to fill up my universe-sized stomach. However, given that it was 1a.m, my options were scarce and nothing really sound that appealing. I look into the urban expanse before me and had an urge to take a night walk in the alley. Before I went down the alley, i crossed a park with a playground and a lot of trees. People were sitting on the grass and on benches. There were more people there than I expected, it was a weekend night after all. Shadows next to shadows in the dark and many laughters and random conversations were happening, they gave me a feeling of safety and excitement. I could have sit there and enjoy the fun night with these strangers but I was on to something different that what I would normally do. Like they said “the night is still young”.
And if I have not mentioned, I went on this walk with one of my friend, I did not feeling adventurous enough to take on this night adventure by myself, more correctly, I did not feel safe enough.
Leaving the streets and the crowded park behind, I hit off the road to the alley. Nobody was wandering around the alley at these time, it was roughly 1:30a.m. The only living beings I came across were two big rats running from bush to bush.
Then it was drizzling. The wetness on the ground created a sparkling effect and reflecting the golden lighting of the streetlights that made my night walk somewhat mystic.And the night was so quite, I could only hear the raindrops falling on the ground, merging into puddles. The echo of the L train roaring from the far was the only sign of the beats of this lively city. I found two big comfy couches on the side of the alley. It is something I love about walking down the alley is that you will never know what you will find, it is full of surprise. Any thrown away furnitures, painting, shoes, instruments,…. interesting things.
So I sat down on this couch for 15 minutes, played some music with my friend and talked about Kerry James Marshall, an artist whose had an exhibition at the MCA that we visited earlier in the day. It was a lovely talk. After a while, we both realized that our clothes wear moist from rain and siting on these soft but wet couches so we decided that it was time to leave.
On my way back, a girl in an exotic floral shirt drew my intention on this walk, maybe because she was one in the limited number of people that I came across on that night walk. It was around 2 a.m and she was holding a cup of coffee, I believe, which made her even more interesting to me. I tried to give a compliment on her shirt but she show no interest, she look away and stare in the darkness. People are interesting, she was probably having something on her mind that kept her up this late at night and sitting alone outside in the rain like that.
When I went back to my dorm, it was about 2:00 a.m and it was late enough for me to just fall asleep right away.
“Walking after midnight” by Solnit related a lot to my walk on that Friday night and many of my other walks because I really enjoy taking late night walks. I love to see the city in a different angle when it is quite and there is merely the beauty of architecture and the air of city, no crowd, no busy traffic. It was surprising to me to read about this history of walking for women years before. The most interesting part was when she mentioned that “women goes for a walk to be seen and not to see”, I think that shows the objectification on women in the earlier days. Women were to be accused of prostitution for walking outside alone or being considered bad while man out on the streets were referred to as something good and admiring. This by standard is a terrible oppression on woman to show their power and pursue their interest. These stories, compare to today, seem a little different because now we are free to walk around the city whenever we want though women are still to be told to avoid going out at night for safety. Women are still in fear to be out alone at night because we are afraid to be sexualized and being abused. These are not how things should be. I want to be able to get out and be adventurous whenever I want and wherever I want to extend my knowledge, to find muse for my art and to be in control of every decisions in my life without anyone telling or warning me of the danger that I might face at midnight on the streets.