Sunday, October 24, 2004

Yam goes midwest...

In deciding what to do during our only weekend here, we thought we'd go to the mall, seeing that there isn't a whole lot to do here otherwise. Originally, we were going to go out at 11, but my coworker had to get some other work done, so we pushed it back to 2-3pm.

..which was great because I had 3 hours to "see the city" on my own. So I headed out to see "O"...not the Cirque de Soleil show, but "O" Street.

Downtown Lincoln consists of a square of area bounded by about 9th Ave to 14th Ave from the west to the east, and "K" Street to "Q" Street from south to the north. Our hotel is on "P" Street.

I feel like I'm in kindergarten. On one hand, the lack of imagination of this city's planners is somewhat mind-boggling, on the other, at least literacy must be at a decent level because everyone *must* know the alphabet, and probably don't need to sing through the "ABC" song to figure out whether they need to advance to the north or to the south -- especially if going backwards in the alphabet. Okay, I'm mean. =p

But seriously, quick, how many blocks and in which direction should you walk if you want to get from P Street to L Street? No singing! Haha... It's not that easy!

It was a beautiful sunny day today, a stark contrast to yesterday's incredibly windy yet warm and humid weather -- midwest twister weather? Perhaps.

So I headed out towards the University of Nebraska at Lincoln to the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery on campus. It was one of the few attractions that I cared to see in my thorough reading of the "Lincoln" tourist magazine, which we read in detail at the airport while waiting for our third team member's hour-delayed arrival on Monday.

The gallery has a number of outdoor installations and three indoor galleries. I liked the David Ireland special exhibit... otherwise, nothing else really caught my eye.

The installation on the steps to the entrance, however, will not be missed by *anyone's* eye:

It's called "Fallen Dreamer" by Tom Otterness.

During my visit, I talked to the reception guy, who looked bored out of his mind because who really goes to the art gallery on campus? I asked him about about other "attractions" in Lincoln; the other main thing I wanted to see was the Nebraska State Capitol. Apparently it was within walking distance so after completing the gallery, I took the 15 minute walk through the quiet Lincoln downtown.

Apparently, the Nebraska State Capitol is an "architectural masterpiece that embodies the union of art, architecture, and humanism." Too bad it wasn't open until 1pm -- I got there at 12.30pm. Instead of waiting around, I thought I'd head back to see more of the university. Besides, I'd took my pictures like a good Chinese tourist:

On the top of the tower is a "sower", illustrating the importance of the city/state's agricultural background. In fact, from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln's campus map, in the "East" campus, there is a "tractor testing track". You don't see those at all universities. =p

Speaking of architecture, from the little tidbits that I've learned from my friends' architecture classes from U of T, apparently, the "silo" is even an architectural marvel, combining the practical aspect of it (i.e., storage) into different designs. I thought of that because of this, integrating that design into a different (i.e., church) architectural design:

Another design at the university that I kind of enjoyed:

It reminded me of the Leaning Tower of Pisa mixed with Toronto City Hall mixed with the structure in Toronto-Dominion Centre.

On the walk back uptown, I saw "The Cornhusker Hotel":

Just one of the many "Cornhusker"-named entities in the city. =) Back at the art gallery, I took the elevator:

The elevator ride was very uncomfortable. I've seen these type of designs in spaces that attempt to reduce noise, but for people who have (really strong!) astigmatism like myself, it's really bad! Thank goodness it was only a one-floor ride -- I would have gone crazy.

After that, I went back to the hotel to meet up with my coworkers to go to the open-air mall -- kind of like how our outlet malls are, but with normal stores. There wasn't a whole lot there though, we all bought something from Banana Republic, but that's pretty much it.

For dinner we went to "Carlos O'Kelly's", a Mexican food place. We've had Mexican food *four* times this week -- I don't think I've had so much Mexican food in such a period of time. Not complaining though... it was pretty good.

In the evening, we watched "The Manchurian Candidate" at a nearby theatre -- $2!!! Even cheaper than Rainbow Theatres with the exchange! =) The movie was not bad... although I guess I wasn't ready to take in such intensive drama... it was kind of disturbing.

Tomorrow, I plan to go to service and then probably go do some more shopping. =p

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

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