Taxi is Life!
As I have previously described, taxi for the cabbie is at best drudgery but for the usual passenger, it can be life, and quite often, sometimes life lived to its fullest, many on the way to a domestic trip or European adventure, while for others, they are simply glad to be getting home after a long, tedious workday, pleased to having avoided a laborious and lengthly bus ride. My first numerous cab rides occurred on a 1982 honeymoon, five weeks in West Germany, Belgium, France, Spain and Portugal, taking cabs to dinner and elsewhere, we the happy couple oblivious to the thoughts and emotion of the drivers taking us to pleasant destinations, Madrid especially memorable, zipping around, for us, in that Easter Sunday city in Spanish-made Fiats.
The taxi then, for many tourists and travelers new to a given city, is freedom from the perplexity of unknown streets, the cab their magic carpet ride to restaurants and hotels and cars and nightclubs. For the many medical patients also using the cab, the taxi is often what keeps them alive, dialysis and cancer patients at times very reliant upon taxi services taking them to and from life-providing and life-sustaining appointments.
Yes, taxi can be seen as death to the cabbie, a never ending night minus morning's dawn but for many passengers it is a celebration about everything worth living, embracing each breath as they exit the cab, life and all it entails waiting at the next curbside, the cab their vehicle to the next pleasant minute and hour waiting around the corner, surprise and exultation host and hostess to an expressive and exciting night, cab a quick pathway to what all we hope may be an earthly heavenly garden. While the cabbie growls, the passenger smiles, and "thank you," they say, "thank you very much, we enjoyed the ride!"
Art is Life!
Instead of first flying off to Paris or Madrid or Rome or Amsterdam to see the art and explore all of their great museums, first consider these terrific museums here in Midwestern America, a wonderful trio all residing within a compressed, narrow 280 mile triangle of each other. I know because I have just visited all three and all of them are world first class pillars of art and the creative spirit. The three, in order of my visitation are:
The Art Institute of Chicago
The Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art
Detroit Institute of Art
The highlights are many. In Chicago, the Thorne Miniature Rooms are unique, located nowhere else. In Toledo, the Glass Museum located across the street from the main building, along with the two Van Goghs, are enough to incentivize a visit, and do check out the incredible Max Beckmann painting, "The Trapeze," an artistic expression of post-WWI Germany. Detroit has Diego Rivera's "Detroit Industry Murals," along with an incredibly comprehensive collection of art from every corner of the planet.
Chicago is 245 miles from Toledo and 281 from Detroit. Toledo is only 58 miles south of Detroit. Take seven days and explore. Rent a car like I did in 2012 and drive across Indiana. There is so much to see, not only in the museums but along the rural roads taking you west to east, east to west. I love Paris but these museums are a match, and you don't have to fly across the Atlantic Ocean to see them though looking down at Greenland is always fun. See Greenland before it melts away into climate-change gloom and doom.