Sunday, May 28: Chicago – Day 2

I didn’t go to bed until after 1am last night, which is late for me by any standard, since I’m generally in bed by 9:30pm Pacific and I’m 2 hours ahead here. Slept about 5 hours which (unfortunately) is normal, went out to the lounge for coffee about 6:30. Breakfast with Dan then I went to the gym. He stayed behind. One of his feet has been bothering him for months. In an attempt to protect it, he overused the other late yesterday and quasi-injured it. So he will be trying to stay off it as much as he can.

We had a light day planned anyway so that worked. The weather forecast keeps changing. It was supposed to be raining much of the day; thankfully, not so much.

We left the hotel about 10:15, took a right on Monroe and headed several blocks to Crown Fountain at the head of Millennium Park on our left, and the Art Institute of Chicago across Monroe from that on our right. That’s the beginning of Crown Fountain above. It’s 2 walls of concrete I guess with water flowing down, and images on the insides that face each other. The black wall on the far right is the 1st one; the 2nd in the background you can see the image. Lots of people cooling their feet in the water in between, not more than a couple of inches deep. The photo below is the other side of the 1st one, and by the time we got there she was spitting ūüôā We were actually headed to the park entrance behind it, and just happened to time this just right.


 A little sculpture garden at the entrance to the park.
¬†The Art Institute opened at 10:30am. We got there around 10:40; there was a decent line but it moved fast. (That’s me right of center.)
¬†Moving my way through the line. That’s Dan sitting at the top of the steps to the right of the lion.
It’s a pretty big museum. There’s lots of stuff we decided early we could skip based on we’ve seen a lot of it, namely European art, and anything smelling like Antiquities. So we headed to our favorite: Impressionism. And we were impressed. This is the best collection of Impressionists we’ve seen since the Musee d’Orsay in Paris; possibly better. Probably better? I’d have to go back to Paris to be sure ūüôā Who knew?
¬†A Renoir called Seascape. This was definitely the largest collection of Renoirs I’ve seen, and they were excellent. I only took photos of a few.
¬†This is Dan’s favorite of the Renoirs – Chrysanthemums.
 Two Sisters (On the Terrance) Рthe colors were quite vivid.
 One of the most famous in the exhibit РA Sunday on La Grande Jatte, by Georges Seurat.
 Van Gogh Рself-portrait
 Monet РIrises
 Monet Р(yet another) Water Lilies
 Monet РWater Lily Pond
¬†Harald Sohlberg – Fisherman’s Cottage. We loved the overall look of this.
 A sculpture called Le Grenouillard, or Frog Man, aptly named. It was the back of it that got my attention first in passing, then the front was even more intriguing. Below is a view from the side that also shows the back.


¬†Camille Pisarro – an artist we’d seen before, but not this many at once. More impressionist stuff that we really liked. Above: The Place Du Havre, Paris. Below: Peasant Woman Gathering Grass.


¬†“Paris Street; Rainy Day” by Gustave Caillebotte
 The wing that contains Modern Art is appropriately designed. Dan liked the clean lines, the glass and the wood.
 Tanktotem I by David Smith. At least it was interesting.
¬†A Pollock. We’ve seen several over the years, and, although I enjoyed the movie about him with Ed Harris in the title role, I can’t say I understand his work. But here it was in an American museum so we figured we might at well get a photo.
¬†Around the corner from that, the epitome of the kind of modern art we don’t care for. Those of you who have traveled with us before know the rule: if Dan can do it, it doesn’t belong in a museum.
 Examples of post modern design. We thought it was interesting and loved the colors.
Dan thought his rule applied to this so much he took a photo to help remind him he wants to try to do something like it! While you can’t tell here, this is big – at least 6ft x 6ft.
Tansaekhwa – Korean for monochrome.
Rene Magritte – On The Threshold of Liberty
I thought this was fun. Ed Paschke – Minnie.
This was very cool but the photo didn’t quite capture it. The piece is Untitled; artist is Kevin Beasley. He assembles his sculptures from articles of clothing – “sometimes his own, and more recently, house dresses and kaftans sourced from the same store his grandmothers shopped in.” It looks both fragile and scary, with a ghost-like quality.¬† What you can’t see as clearly in the photo are what look like pools of water in the folds of the fabric on the floor. Look carefully and you’ll see them.
Kurt Seligmann – Magnetic Mountain
Another fun one, Dan called it whimsical. Small Town by Day by Georg Scholz. Lots of stuff going on, the most interesting the butcher scene towards the bottom, of which I got a close-up below.


Paul Delvaux – The Awakening of the Forest
Another Rene Magritte: The White Race
And another: Time Transfixed.


Joan Miro – an artist we learned about in Barcelona and hadn’t heard of before that trip. This is just called Woman.
Salvador Dali – Anthropomorphic Tower
Pablo Picasso – The Red Armchair
Hanns Kralik – Out My Window
And a few Warhol’s below which need no description:




When we first got there, we made reservations for lunch in the museum restaurant for 12:30. It was that time we moved in that direction to the 3rd floor in the Modern wing.


Dan had steak and eggs, I had a burger.
This was on the terrace outside the restaurant, and was part of the art exhibit, representing among other things, juxtaposition, especially on warm days.
A nice view of some skyline at the end of the terrace. I found a photo on the internet of about what this portion looked like in 1979 when I was here last, below.

Next we went to see more American art, focused especially on 1900-1950. Some fun things there, many you will recognize.

James McNeill Whistler – Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (Portrait of the Artist’s Mother)
AKA Whistler’s Mother


This was on tour so will have to catch it next time.
Georgia O’Keeffe – Yellow Hickory Leaves with Daisy


Edward Hopper – Nighthawks. I’m guessing you’ve seen most of these so far before (Except maybe the O’Keeffe)


Archibald J. Motley – Nightlife


Ivan Albright – Picture of Dorian Gray


Otis Kaye – Heart of the Matter
What you can’t really tell in the photo is the money and the pencils intentionally look very realistic, and there’s an almost 3D quality to them.


There is a bridge that connects the 3rd floor of the museum to Millennium Park across the street, so we took that.


This is a sculpture in the park called Cloud Gate. We forgot to take a photo as we were approaching, so I had to steal one from the internet so the next photos made sense.


As we were crossing the bridge a bit ago, this father told his young daughter as he was taking a photo of her, “I like your pose.” She was doing some cheeky thing with her hand; Dan said “you should do that.” He was happy I attempted it in the photo below.


Underneath the cloud.
We went back to the hotel to rest a little. Dan put some ice on his foot. I started working on photos. We stayed for 2-3 hours and caught a bite to eat when the lounge opened up for dinner – buffalo chicken wings and macaroni and cheese. Worked for us. We went out again for the sole purpose of going to 360Chicago – the observation deck in the John Hancock Center. Irene had given us tickets for it that she’d won at a comedy club. To make a very long, frustrating story short, we spent 2 hours in line and had to pay for tickets anyway by the time we got there. It wasn’t really worth it but we did get some good photos of Chicago at night. And we got out at night – it was a lovely walk back in 70 degree weather.
John Hancock Center. The Observation floor is 94.









We were done there about 9:30pm. We sat for a few minutes (below) then decided to walk back. We’d taken Lyft there to help save Dan’s feet, but he was feeling better and really wanted to do it.


 Chicago Water Tower, built 1869
 We walked along Michigan Ave, aka the Magnificent Mile.


 A lively little place called Shake Shack where we stopped for a late treat: vanilla custard with strawberries for Dan, and a salted caramel shake for me.
Waiting for our elevator back at the hotel.
A pretty full day I guess. We intentionally didn’t walk a lot due to Dan’s feet and still managed to log around 5.5 miles. Tomorrow we will have the morning and early afternoon before we have to head to the airport around 3pm. We have no idea really what we’re doing yet. So unlike us and that’s so working for me right now.


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