October 7, 2011

Chicago: Day Two

Our second dawn found us with camera’s in hand to take pictures from our 40th floor aerie. I found myself fascinated by the massive buildings on one side and trains and train tracks on the other. Breakfast again coffee and a bread, we packed and took our suitcases down to be stored till we got back.

Taking a quick look at the secure lobby and the plaza in front.

Bathrooms abound in Chicago….across the street from the Art Institute gardens was a bakery. G got cookies and I used the facilities. When we looked up we found ourselves at the Historical Foundation’s store and building where I bought an all purpose book on the architecture of Chicago. We again played tourist photographing the giant diorama in the atrium. Across the street, we just had time to photograph the gardens before the museum opened.

Once inside, you are greeted by some of the cast iron decorations removed from Chicago Buildings.

A small gallery of American Modern furniture. The desk is wood and metal.

The Chicago Art Institute is a must see. I remember my grandfather taking me there to see the Goya when we were changing trains once…perhaps I was twelve or thirteen and very ill from my undiagnosed IBS. This day, we took a flying run first to see the Russian war posters first. I asked one gallery guard if he liked working there, and he replied yes. “In this show?” No, he couldn’t look at it. I agreed as the contents got worse and worse at the show stretched on.

Modern American furniture. Impressionists…so often surprising me with the thinness of their paint, and finally the American galleries where G almost had to drag me out. I kept saying things like, “Look at this Bellows. It shows no gestural lines or passion at all as the other’s do. Then look at this one…Ashcan school…”

The entire Chicago Exchange room with it’s famous arching doorway outside.

Lunch in the museum café. Pauses to see several other spaces and rooms too. Leaving, we dragged our feet through several gallery’s of oriental wonders, G found a cab, and we rushed to reclaimed out bags at the hotel.

Yes Virginia, there’s a Chase Bank on every corner, and yes, there are twenty taxis in every block.

We corralled our luggage, G immediately found yet one more cab, and we were whisked off to the Union Station. We were again whipped in never to see the main grand hall, had a brief stop in the first class lounge, and were driven to our car and room. It was a whirlwind hour, and we were on our way west.


  1. Love the shot of the Windy City rail yards. My granpa drove a train to and from those yards when he worked for the Chicago and NW railroad.

    His run the last years of his 50-year career was the Chicago- Milwaukee run. He would deadhead back to Fon du Lac where his family lived when his run was complete. Dianne

  2. You certainly got a lot of sightseeing in just a few hours. I imagine you were in heaven....

  3. I'm glad you had a good time and loved the Cultural Center. It's absolutely my favorite place in the city.

    Giordano's is a Johnny-come-lately. They won some competition then never made a good pizza again.

    You could spend an entire day at the Art Institute. Sometimes I do that. I'm going back to the city at the end of this month: friends, family, lots of art and maybe a trip up to the city of Milwaukee. One of my P'burgh friends lives there now.

  4. Mage, it has been wonderful to read your travel blogs. It makes be dream about doing the very same trip one day. When I was a child we moved from California to Montreal and took more or less the same root a summer long in a huge mobile phone that contain much of our household goods. I've always wanted to do the trip again.

  5. OK... I just couldn't resist. I need to get to bed, but I just had to see some of your photos! AWESOME!


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