Thursday, September 30, 2010

photos from chicago

It's been a busy couple of weeks, hence no postings here. Fear not, dedicated reader (singular intentional) - we return to Portland and normal life tomorrow, after a week in Chicago followed by a few days baking in Pasadena.

In the meantime, here are some Chicago photos. Neither of us had ever spent time there, and we found the city to be fun and fascinating. Aside from the incredible architecture (we took the superb river cruise from the Chicago Architectural Foundation - highly recommended) and the mostly-meaty food specialties (I did get a hot dog, an Italian beef sandwich, a beef-and-sausage sandwich and a deep-dish mini pizza), we loved the high energy.

We began our sightseeing with Millennium Park, and the famous 'Bean' sculpture.

That day, I spent nearly 6 hours at the nearby Art Institute. We have been to famous art museums in many cities, but I have to say that this one had the most astounding collection I've ever seen. The 19th and 20th Century art was amazing, but this place has prime examples of every time and place.

I was not disappointed by 'Nighthawks', which bore a striking resemblance to the Peeps version.
Karen was dazzled by this one: 'Pardon in Brittany', by Gaston la Touche
...and this one: 'Easter Mystery', by Maurice Denis.
I especially like this Chagall Crucifixion, with Jesus as a Jew (duh!), surrounded by scenes of pogroms.

No visit is complete without seeing 'American Gothic' and the famous Seurat. It's really quite large.

We saw a ton of great architecture. Here is the interior of a building called 'The Rookery'. The exterior was kinda neat, but the interior atrium was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and was dazzling.
Stairwell at The Rookery, looking up.
I did the Hop On/Hop Off Trolly, which turned out to be a great deal, since one of the 15 stops was one block from our motel. I hopped off at Navy Pier, which was a major tourist trap. However, my destination at Navy Pier was the free stained-glass museum, which was very cool. I took a bunch of photos - here are some of my favorites:
There were several Tiffany pieces:

I especially liked this one:

After seeing the stained-glass collection, I went outside to join a work-related conference call. Here is my view during that conversation. An hour later, I was on top of the Hancock building (center).

On Friday, I took the Green Line out to Oak Park and walked around the neighborhood where Frank Lloyd Wright lived and worked. There are a number of his projects in a small area, side by side with the grand old Victorians.

Japanese tourists at the Frank Lloyd Wright studio:

The showpiece in Oak Park is his Unity Temple, a Unitarian complex that is being restored. Here's the outside - a poured-concrete structure that was daring for 1908.
And the interior. Still used for concerts and other events.
We saw so much more in Chicago, but these are some of the highlights.

Oh yes, in Oak Park I spent a few minutes at Ernest Hemingway's boyhood home, appreciating the scene of serene, large homes and the ghost of the little boy who turned out to be one of the major bullies in literary history. But that's a different story.

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