Chicago 1

DSCF9472We’ll be visiting some cities on this trip that will be new to me, and most will be new to Greta (although she did spend some time in Chicago when she was two).  But there’s a peculiar pleasure in seeing a city you’ve visited with some frequency over the years.  You don’t have to rush around seeing all the top sites.  You know your way around, and you know what it used to be like.  You can catch the new stuff, and casually re-visit favorite places.  So the agenda in Chicago this week will be largely driven by Greta, who cares more about museums and food (wasn’t that the title of an Updike story?) than architecture.  I’ll take the stealth approach, and walk her past lots of architecture on the way to museums.

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Today it was raining and blowing like hell, so we headed to the Art Institute, mainly seeing modern art and the new Piano wing.  As usual, simplicity of conception, space and light, with elegant detailing.  DSCF9386DSCF9420DSCF9398

We spent a few years trying to find decent handrail brackets, and finally had to make our own. Does anyone know the store where Renzo buys his hardware?

We spent a few years trying to find decent handrail brackets for our house, and finally had to make our own. Does anyone know the store where Renzo buys his hardware?

Sculpture by Charles Ray. Both Greta and I thought it was pretentious and stupid, (George Segal abducted by Jeff Koons), but we liked the view out the window.

Sculpture exhibit by Charles Ray. Both Greta and I thought it was pretentious and stupid, (the love child of George Segal and Jeff Koons), but we liked the view out the window.

The train is a nice touch, but the pink street cleaner is sublime.

The train is a nice touch, but the pink street cleaner is sublime.

We also saw Millennium Park, Daley Park, and Lurie Garden for the first time.  Many excellent parts – especially the garden.  DSCF9417DSCF9454

I'm assuming that's boxwood.

I’m assuming that’s boxwood.

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But perhaps it’s all a bit much put together?  Every piece seems to be trying to outdo the others, and the curving walkway/bridge/thingee reminded me of some elevated ride through a theme park or zoo where you can look down on all the different exhibits.  DSCF9461DSCF9467

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The rain stopped, and we just wandered around the Loop until it was time to eat pizza.

I hadn't seen the Aqua before, and I liked it as much as I expected to.

I hadn’t seen the Aqua before, and I liked it as much as I expected to.

The Alcoa Building. Still looking great, surrounded by banality.

The Inland Steel Building. Still looking great, surrounded by banality.

This probably seemed like a cool idea during the conceptual stage. Didn't quite turn out that way.

This probably seemed like a cool idea during the conceptual stage. Didn’t quite turn out that way.

We realized that Donald Trump probably has his name on a God-awful building in every big city in this country. That alone should keep him from getting elected.

We realized that Donald Trump probably has his name on a God-awful building in every big city in this country. That alone should be enough to keep him from getting elected.

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