With our heads in the clouds and an eye on the silver lining, the Progress Bar CLOUD formed slowly above us. On recommendation of the architects, we were asked to build a second, miniature CLOUD in the far section of the bar, tying the aesthetic of the dance floor back to the lounge area.
With the help of “the Virgin Mary-O,” Wayne set about lining and building the smaller “chimney” installation. Luckily, it seems that lessons learned from the first half of the bar transferred easily to the smaller installation, and progress was speedy.
Overall, the social elements of building CLOUD CEILING have been almost on par with creating Calgary’s CLOUD – although, to be fair, they’re entirely different beasts. Nonetheless, Chicago has offered some delightful characters and (crossing my fingers) friends for the future.
Another artist/green-thumbed individual working in the space is Val, a longtime staple of Boystown, future Progress Bar bartender, and fascinating individual. When David Sikora was originally designing the bar in his head, he envisioned a Plant Wall, not unlike some of the illustrious indoor greenery seen elsewhere in the world. Val stepped up, brandishing his love of gardening, and the plant wall formed. By the end of the summer, the plants should be spilling over to the point where they completely conceal the planters. This touch of greenery softens the space, adds colour, and infuses Progress Bar with a certain somethin’ somethin’ that only living elements can bring. Now, the first person who throws up in a planter on the other hand… they’re dead meat.