A Travellerspoint blog

Days 236-242: Chicago, IL, USA


storm 15 °C
View Summer 2014 on ErnieLG's travel map.

I stayed with this really cool couple. They were from Georgia and Saint Petersburg. Thankfully, they let me crash with them for the whole week. They even let me have a key. It was right next to the University of Chicago and even closer to Barack Obama's house. I ate at this little cafeteria where he used to always eat at. There was a little bar near by, too, that had a jazz band. I had some Chicago style pizza with some new and old friends which was actually really good and took me two days to finish. And Halloween was good! I went to a sweet party with a balcony in one of these big skyscrapers the weekend before. Then on Halloween, I hung out with my friends Becca and Rick and went uptown to Boystown where there was a parade. But freaking polar vortex! The winds and hail and snow were crazy! I watched John Wick by myself in a totally empty IMAX. It was good!

I went to a restaurant. Great sandwiches. Busy but fast. Near the university asked on a main street with some cool street art.
Medici Cafe: 9

Millennium Park is a cool park that just goes along the coast and it's right next to the Art Institute. They're building a lot more, so it might be a lot cooler soon. And this statue and fountain are some of the most recognizable things from Chicago. This was a really good gallery. You could probably see it all in one day if you weren't early in the morning. Some unique works are here by some big names. Saw.. some Degas, stupid Renoir, Sisley, Seurat, Dali, Tanguy, Pollock, Warhol, Klee, Kandinsky, Rodin, El Greco, Rembrandt, Gilbert Stuart, Copley, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Thomas Eakins, John Comfort Tiffany, Augustus Saint Gaudens, Daniel Chester French (the guy who made the Lincoln monument I think), Andrew Wyeth, Thomas Hart Benton, Diego Rivera, Georgia O'Keeffe (who I don't really care about)... There're sections on other kinds of art and antiquities, but I've already seen so much of that.
Millennium Park: 8.5
Cloud Gate: 8.5
Crown Fountain: 8.5
Art Institute of Chicago: 10

The University has a ton of free art to see, but you need to pick up a brochure at the Oriental Museum to see when and where. The whole campus is really nice. There're vines growing up all of their neo-Gothic buildings. There's this house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that apparently shaped architecture of the rest of the 19th century (and we snuck onto a paid tour!). It was a really cool building. And there's this really pretty church thing right next to it. Abbas next to that is the Oriental Museum which has some pretty big walls from Assyrian temples and stuff.
University of Chicago: 8.5
Robie House: 8.5
Rockefeller Memorial Chapel: 8
Oriental Institute Museum: 8.5

Well, this whole area downtown is just a nice clean shopping area with some expensive stores. I mean, it's nice cuz all the cool buildings are over here, though I didn't go up any. The churches were pretty nice. I went to the bar at the top of the Hancock Tower which has an awesome view, but you only really get to appreciate it if you are sitting at the windows with someone. Otherwise you're kinda far away. If you're alone, or want a better view, just pay the 20 to go to the observation deck versus 15 to get a drink at the bar. Though I hear this is better than going up Sears Tower cuz it could take hours to get through the lines, even if you have a Chicago pass. But the guy at Walgreen's gave me a discount on the soup!
Michigan Avenue: 8
Magnificent Mile: 8
Lakefront Trail: 8
MI Ave Bridge: 8
Tribune Tower: 8
Wrigley Building: 8
Holy Name Cathedral: 8
Fourth Presbyterian Church: 8
John Hancock Center: 8.5

Don't really give a shit about zoos, but it was free! Lions, camels, gorillas... And the park's on the lake and has since ponds and greenhouses you can check out.
Lincoln Park: 8
Lincoln Park Zoo: 8

There's this preserved mansion from the 19th century. It's about 20 bucks, and it's main draw is an entire floor of Tiffany glass.
Richard H. Driehaus Museum: 8.5

There's a cool science museum by the university. It had some things that're more for kids, but their exhibits and movies are awesome. Their theatre is a big dome, and I saw a movie about monarch butterflies and D-Day. And I got to go on a u-boat. Their was another cool attraction about patterns in nature like the golden ratio and fractals. It's shockingly expensive though: almost 40 bucks.
Museum of Science and Industry: 9.5

I went to this neighborhood where there's a lot of outdoor art. So first of all, this place is free and has free events. There are small galleries for local artists that are mostly abstract and not that great. There are some cool things about architectural conservation efforts. The building itself is from maybe 1866 and has some cool rooms. But overall, it's not that impressive. The Picasso statue is nice. We saw some weird Hanukkah dance and song there. It's right next to a Miro statue and this Chicago Temple.
Picasso Statue: 7
Chicago Cultural Center: 7

I checked out a jazz and blues club that has a cover usually (12 when I went on a Thursday). It is awesome. They have two stages and are open from about 8pm to 3am. Drinks aren't too expensive. Awesome acts. It's a little far toward the north end of the city, so be prepared.
Kingston Mines: 9.5


Posted by ErnieLG 20:37 Archived in USA

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