Chicago: April 2013

My mom, who grew up in Illinois, used to tell the story of listening one day to WGN when a broadcaster starting talking about the weather in Schick-ago. It took my mom a moment to realize this person just didn’t know how to pronounce Chicago. Seriously? Who (especially on a Chicago radio station) doesn’t know how to pronounce Chicago? I don’t know if that story is really true or something she made up to keep us five kids quiet for one second, but I digress.

As far as U.S. cities go, Chicago is and has always been my favorite. I love the lake. I love the buildings. I love the art. I love the fact that there’s so much I don’t know and could learn (about all of the above and more). I love that it’s in the midwest (my heart!).

I was in the Windy City last month for a work conference, and it was truly delightful. Maybe one of my favorite trips ever. Here are a few reasons why:

I took the train from Milwaukee to the city, passing by melting snow, farmland, industrial yards, etc., all of which had a beauty of their own (except maybe the spots on the window – those were just ugly):

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Intelligentsia coffee:

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The Art Institute (is it just me, or are these lions way better than the NYC Public Library lions?)*:

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A Monet that’s not a haystack or water lillies (although I do like those, too):

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This Harold Sohlberg (whose name I’d never heard before) painting called “Fisherman’s Cottage.” As Liz Lemon would say, “I want to go to there.”

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This piece (pun intended) which was (according to the informational plaque) a pile of “candies, individually wrapped in multicolored cellophane.” Adult visitors were invited to take a piece of candy, as “the diminishing pile parallels [the artist’s partner] Ron’s weight loss [from AIDS] prior to his death.” The art museum evidently has a back room somewhere full of these candies, because the exhibitor is asked to continually replenish the diminishing supply, “metaphorically granting perpetual life.” It felt really weird actually taking a piece of the art, especially because I got horrified looks from patrons who had not yet read the plaque. Being the rule follower I am, I felt the need to point out, “It says you can take a piece. Really!” I wanted to add, “I’m not a defacer! Really!” but I didn’t.

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Don’t believe me about all that? Here’s the proof:

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Look at these “adult” visitors enjoying their culture (the part you can’t see is the pile of candies in the corner):

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Don’t tell Derek, but I love another man. Edward Hopper. Okay, so maybe I don’t love him, but I do love his art,** so seeing “Nighthawks” in person was awesome:

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Back outside, some of Chicago’s law enforcement trainees were out for a run (notice the awesome blue skies, too):

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And I was reminded that it’s someone’s job to actually clean all of those windows (including those that are 1,500 feet off the ground – can you imagine?):

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Little Goat diner…

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…where I ate some awesome spiced apple pancakes with cream cheese butter and oatmeal crumble:

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The pre-Broadway run of Big Fish at the Oriental:

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And Caffe Streets coffee (this was in Wicker Park, and I wondered how so many people (in the coffee shop, on the sidewalk passing by) got to be so hip):

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Well, this is just a small sampling of the awesome*** from Chicago in April. There were several other memorable things that I didn’t catch on the camera, like reconnecting with several college friends that I hadn’t seen in (in some cases) years. I also feel much more comfortable with the geography of the city outside the downtown area, as I rode the el out to see said friends “in their natural habitat” (as I texted to one). I consumed a lot of amazing food, walked around the city, explored the lakefront a bit, and oh, yeah, went to the conference every day! I can’t wait to get back to Schick-ago soon (hopefully next time with Derek).

——

*One more thing about these lions: Once when I was in Chicago, they (whoever “they” are) were doing construction/renovation (or something) nearby, and so they had covered the lions in plastic tarps. It looked like they were wearing rain ponchos, and I LOVED it!

**Want to know why? Maybe someday I’ll blog about it.

***I was trying to think of a noun to put here, but then realized that “the awesome” kind of fit. So it’s not a typo.

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3 Comments

Filed under EDIM, Travel

3 responses to “Chicago: April 2013

  1. Pingback: 30 things to do before I’m 30 | wert and art

  2. Pingback: 30 things to do before I’m 30 – update 2 | wert and art

  3. Pingback: 30 Things: Final Update | wert and art

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