Detour: Our trip to Museum City (errr… Chicago)

Sorry that we haven’t been updating the website so much. (Our gracious readers have been clamoring for more, no doubt, so we will do our best to make like Mr. Chesterfield and Satisfy.)

We were in Chicago for five days, and life has been intervening in between all that (Pesky life!) And while this post is not DIRECTLY related to our house in Yonkers, I’m making it anyway.

It was good to be away from the dust and confusion of our half finished home to step into the lap of luxury of Chicago– even if it meant living out of a suitcase (not much different really)

We went to Chicago for a confluence of business and pleasure– Stephanie’s dad turned 65, her sister turned 12, her niece graduated from eighth grade, and there was a big trade show in between all that.

I went along for the ride, to see her family and then to play tourist for a few days. I also had a dinner with an old friend who lives in Evanston, and who I hadn’t seen in six or seven years.

Our travel was marred by delays due to weather in New York. The weather in Chicago was fantastic. We spent a day and a half at the Dunes in Indiana, and bought some draidels for $3 that we later found on ebay (with their accompanying box) for $500. So that was a good day all around!

When we got to Chicago, Stephanie went to her conference, and I put on my tourist hat. I went to a bunch of great museums (Chicago is a great museum city!) I also walked all along Millenium Park, and in general played the tourist. Among my museums were:

Museum of Science and Industry: Saw the Leonardo exhibit of his inventions, an actual captured U-boat, a giant model of a mythical juggling company (where you get to help figure out advertising, financing, and then can watch the manufacturing process of a top with your name etched into it. This may be one of my favorite museums ever. Definitely a don’t miss if you are in Chicagoland.

Art Institute of Chicago: Walked through their contemporary art collection, including a series of fascinating Joseph Cornell boxes (largest collection together in the world); An amazing display of glass paperweights from the 1860’s to the present day; and the Miniature Rooms collection, which are models of rooms in miniature (English Manor Hall circa 1560, Santa Fe living room circa 1950) that are just amazing in their detail and creation of world.

Chicago Cultural Center: Saw a great exhibit of Chicago artist Nick Cave’s Soundsuits. (He’s not the Bad Seeds Nick Cave) It’s set on the fourth floor of a magnificent building in the heart of Chicago opposite Millenium park. The gallery is about 40 feet tall, and features 30 different sound-suits– costumes that Cave has manufactured to make music in. They are fascinating (One is to the left) I spent about an hour and a half taking it all in and trying to figure it all out. I highly recommend checking this exhibit out if you have the chance.

The Field Museum Saw the new King Tut exhibit, which was more hype than substance. It was interesting, and well done, but I thought it would be better than it was. I felt like the museum’s regular old Egypt exhibit gave about the same level of education, and didn’t cost $15 and have huge amounts of lines to see. I much preferred their new evolution exhibit, which takes the bulk of the museum’s natural history collection and turns in into a timeline of the history of life on the planet– it was fascinating, and I gave it short shrift in order to go to my appointed time at King Tut– next time, I want to really spend a couple of hours in there and read it all.

Silk Road Chicago Only caught a little bit of this month long exhibit/project by Yo-Yo Ma and friends, but it was very interesting. Also caught a 50th anniversary of the Sister Cities of Chicago that was across the way, and was also really interesting (although primarily food related.

Marshall Fields While not really a museum, this is perhaps the quintessential department store. (And certainly an essential Chicago experience) I spent a couple of hours perusing its aisles. Especially the mini- boutiques of Levenger, and the Frangemint shops. Sadly, the art vending machines that they had in the basement cafe are now gone. (I brought caramel Frangemints to my friends for dinner, and they were a BIG hit!)






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