Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Against the wind

By the time I arrived in Chicago I was exhausted from several nights of little and low-quality sleep. So after a short nap, we headed to the Art Institute. I could only manage about 90 minutes of browsing before returning to the hotel for the evening.

The walk between our hotel and the Art Institute (which proved to be our main haunt this trip) had lots to interest us: public art, amazing architecture, parks and gardens, as well as coffee shops.

Friday morning we ate our breakfast at Café Descartes before heading back to the Art Institute for another go at their world-class collection. We left around noon to Macy’s to meet Mark, who took the train down from Milwaukee. After lunch, we returned to the AI where I photographed some of my favorite pieces.

There’s nothing like comparing a new city to the one where you’ve been living for far too long. The entire time we kept commenting on how accessible everything in Chicago is. There is no way Dallas would ever have one-tenth the amount of public art/space of Chicago even if it did ever flood the Trinity River and create a downtown lake. In one park, we saw a sign in 7 languages reading “restaurant and café”! My hometown would instead pretend that Hispanics are not a majority and that “Mexican” is not an acceptable language for public use. Oh how sad and mundane my little hometown is! And pathetic. The only plus I could see about Dallas is its highway system: no city driving required. But that does account for the fact that you can’t walk anywhere and that there’s no public art/space if you do. I’d gladly trade in any number of the I.M. Pei buildings that dot the skyline for one classy, early 20th-century skyscraper and a decent café to get to by foot.

1 comment:

  1. Didn't know Chicago was a new city for you--I'm glad you got to go. I love Chicago. Next time swing by the Oriental Institute.