Chicago has a bad reputation -- think Al Capone and Leroy Brown, Upton Sinclair and fast-talking politicians (one reason why Chicago is known as the Windy City). But there's much more to the city than that, and I love it. DH and I just spent a weekend up there in an early celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary. I thought I'd share a little of downtown Chicago with my blogging friends who may not know the city firsthand.
Chicago is famous for its architecture. It's the birthplace of the skyscraper and home to Frank Lloyd Wright. We often take tours offered by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, but just strolling around the city you bump into the most wonderful things. Sometimes you might wonder why there's only the flat front of a building with nothing behind it.
But keep walking, and you'll see the building has depth, though it's a most unusual shape!
I love the Smurfit-Stone building, with its flat, diamond roof. I stooped down to get a photo of it with the black tulips blooming in Millennium Park in the foreground.
Millennium Park by itself is worth a visit to the city. Situated next to the Art Institute and Grant Park, and just across from Lake Michigan, it's a great place for a stroll. I love the Bean.
The Bean, officially known as Cloudscape, is a reflective, 3-D sculpture that you can walk into.
The inside is like a fun house mirror.
Here you can see me taking a photo of DH and myself reflected in the inside dome.
Walking from the Bean towards the Art Institute, you come to the wading pool and fountains. There are two tall fountains that mirror each other (there's one just to the right of the picture facing the tall one on the left).
There's a slide show of Chicago faces across the fountains, and the water performs all kinds of tricks. Here it is coming from this woman's mouth.
One of our favorite things to do in the city is to attend a performance at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier. This time we saw A Comedy of Errors performed as a play within a play, set on a filmstage in London in 1940. It was fabulous, but we've come to expect nothing less from them. During the summer, Second City (Chicago's comedy theater where so many comedians started their careers -- Gildna Radner, Bill Murray, John Candy, Alan Arkin, John Belushi, and the list goes on...) performs take-offs on Shakespeare. Our favorite was Hamlet, the Musical. They actually stopped the play for a minute because one man in the audience couldn't stop laughing! But next to the performances, the best thing about the Shakespeare Theater is the bathrooms. Yes, you read that right -- the bathrooms.
The bathrooms have a long glass wall that provides spectacular views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline.
Chicago has a "museum campus" with an amazing array of museums along the lake. We always visit the Art Institute, and then one or two other museums. This time we tried one we had somehow never visited before, the Chicago History Museum on the south side of Lincoln Park. It was fascinating to see the city develop from Indian settlements in the wild onion area (where the word 'Chicago' comes from), to eventually encompass fur traders, a small fort, a railway center, the meatpacking industry, jazz, bootlegging, skyscrapers, etc. And take a look at this intricate needlework from a manual arts class in the Chicago schools in 1925. We don't teach this skill to our children anymore!
If you've been to Chicago, you know I've barely scratched the surface. But I've so enjoyed the tours of New Zealand, Paris, Australia, etc., posted by my fellow bloggers that I wanted to share a little taste of what's in my corner of the world.
And in other news ...
My DH told me about an interesting article in yesterday's New York Times magazine, Exposed by Emily Gould, who went from personal blogging to a job as a blogger. If, like me, you wonder about the level of self-revelation that's appropriate on a blog, or that you're comfortable with, you'll find her piece an interesting read. We quilters certainly don't get the scrutiny or response that someone like Emily Gould does, but within our personal spheres, the issues are similar. Are internet 'friends' really friends? How would I feel if someone were hurt by an off-hand remark I made? How much do I want people to know about my personal life? Do I even know who's reading my blog?