Thursday, June 19, 2008

Magnigicent Mile

Late Wednesday evening after enjoying the symphony at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, we took the Clenet out for a drive. Starting out from my Gold Coast neighborhood, we entered Lake Shore Drive southbound to Michigan Avenue. As we casually drove past the likes of Louis Vuitton, Neiman-Marcus, Gucci and Tiffany, we received many compliments from pedestrians, tourists and even a traffic cop.

There's something special about driving a car like this along Chicago's Magnificent Mile. With the top down, we were able to look up at all of the tall buildings and take in the sights. Each and every stoplight, we were the first car waiting for the light to change. The reactions were as simple as staring and smiling to cat-calls: Suhweeeet, nice car, cool ride, that a Rolls, check out that car, just to name a few.

Mario and I have only driven the car in the Harbor Country communities along Lake Michigan in the southwest tip of Michigan. Driving in the third largest metropolitan area of the country is a whole different game! There are so many people that must react to the car. On the road this morning, a car from two lanes over started blowing his horn and shouting towards my direction. I looked over and the guy simply had a huge smile on his face and his left thumb pointed up, hanging out the driver's side window. "Oh baby, that's one nice ride" was his only reaction just as the light turned green.

Fast forward to Thursday evening. After dinner I took the car out again for a quick jaunt up and down Lake Shore Drive, the Yacht Club and back to Michigan Avenue and the loop. It was about an hour earlier than when Mario and I were together the previous evening. More people were out and about and again, I received many of the same reactions and compliments.

This morning (Friday) as I drove to the office, a few co-workers on their bicycles passed me as I entered the GSP parking lot. They too have the thumb's up.

I must admit that the attention is fun, however there are times I feel a bit "too obvious" while waiting at a stoplight. A few less-fortunate people walking past in the crosswalk also gave the thumb's up and cat-calls...but I must say that I feel a bit guilty or embarrassed getting their attention. I return the gesture with a very heartfelt "thank you" as I do with all others.

The one fun thing is letting people know it's a Clenet...not an Excalibur or Rolls Royce. While downtown last night a car full of young guys asked about 172 questions from the next lane over. I had to quickly explain that it's not French and is an American car built by a French designer.

Who knows...maybe some of them will Google the name and find my blog? We'll see...

Tomorrow is the Burr Ridge Car show. I'm sure I'll have an update to add over the weekend.

Happy Motoring..

-Ron Zarantenell0

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