Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chicago: Food & Fun & Children's Wishes

Jim & I like Chicago. Sometimes we go there to visit family, and sometimes we go just to spend some time together. This was a "time together" visit, and it was delightful.

After checking into our hotel, we walked down to Macy's, and had lunch in the Walnut Room.

Walnut Room
Christmas Tree

Lunch was delicious. Jim ordered a cheese appetizer, and I discovered that I do like Brie cheese - who knew? I had their famous chicken pot pie (delish), and Jim had Swedish meatballs, with ligonberry sauce on them - and surprise! I liked that too. While we waited for lunch, we went to the petites department, and surprise! it turns out that I was in the mood to shop for clothes.

After lunch, we walked to Daley plaza for the Kristkindlmarket. Mostly, we just browsed, although Jim did manage to buy some sweets, and one ornament.

Picasso Sculpture

Last year, quite by accident, we discovered the One of a Kind Show & Sale Chicago. This show is held on the 8th floor of the Merchandise Mart, and is full of amazing creations. This year, we decided to tackle it in two smaller chunks of time, which was only slightly less overwhelming than seeing it all at once. We saw beautiful jewelry, pottery, glassware, wood, textiles... of course, the pieces we really fell in love with were completely out of our price range, but looking was free.

Chicago River, by the Merchandise Mart

We also did some looking at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Jim & the Defiant Lion

Stephanie and Bruce Tharp designed this year's wreaths. They
combined the look of traditional North American cranberry wreaths with the hopeful spirit of Buddhist and Taoist wishing trees. In the wishing trees tradition, part of the lunar new year celebration, children throw oranges with attached paper notes over banyan trees. The artists have integrated this custom with traditional Western holiday decorations by incorporating “wishes for the world in 2011,” written by Chicago-area children, into each of the 2,011 clear and red plastic spheres that make up the wreaths.
You can read more about the wreathes here. This link also lists the children's wishes; here are just a few that caught my eye:
  • Love, for everyone to love more than they hate.
  • I wish there was an 8th Harry Potter.
  • is to help Africa.
  • I hoep we make flying cats
  • to find a cure for cancer and birdflu.
 Jim found a delightful restaurant, the Exchequer Pub, near the Art Institute. We shared a pizza, and a piece of red velvet cake - yummy. (Yes, I should have taken pictures.)

I'll wrap up with just a few pictures from the Art Institute.

Monet - Sandvika, Norway

This Monet caught my eye because, frankly, it looked seasonal.

We read about the exhibition "Neither Man Nor Beast: Animal Images on Ancient Coins," and laughed when we finally found it. It consisted of one small display case. Admittedly, it was laid out nicely. This is just one of the coins on display.

Chagall - American Windows

These glass windows were recently restored, and really were quite impressive.

Roman - Head of Mars

Jim liked this piece - even if poor Mars was missing his nose.

Roman - Statue of a Boy

I liked this piece. Sweet, innocent.

Architecture - okay, this wasn't in the Art Institute. But Jim likes architecture, and he took lots of pictures of buildings. So I had to include at least one photo, right?

Robin and some sculpture, I'm not sure what...

Jim & Robin. Behind us is a model for a sculpture that was near our hotel. Unfortunately, I forget the artist's name.

Ganesha: the
Remover of Obstacles

I like the idea that there is someone whose purpose is to remove obstacles - it sounds very imposing. And this fellow does look pretty imposing!

We stopped to rest at a cafe in the modern art wing, and received our drinks in these delightful metal bottles

The Titanic, by Stanley Tigerman

We looked for a magnet with this image (long story made short: we were trying to find it for a friend), but had no success whatsoever. Still, we managed to behave ourselves while in the gift shops. Our favorite purchase was a box of Christmas cards with owls...!


  1. Did you actually take photos in the art museum? Many I've been to don't allow that, so it's a real treat if you did!

    The wreath on the lion reminded me of the Santa hats we put on our stone dogs this year... :-) (Not quite as significant as the wreath, but still whimsical.)

  2. We did indeed take photos. Their policy allows photos as long as you don't use a flash or a tripod. That lack of flash, of course, meant some of the photos were a bit blurry...!