Last week, Michelle, who writes Scribbit and who lives in Alaska, mentioned that any big city looks just any other big city to her. She just wasn't interested in visiting any of them. Always up for a challenge, I wrote her a post to convince her otherwise.
And she published it! Today! Go read it and then come back here.
As you can tell from reading my post over there, I am a big fan of Chicago. Most people who visit are surprised by how beautiful the city is. And they usually mention that the people here are friendlier than they thought we'd be.
What did they expect? Al Capone? (Don't answer that.)
Last week, in the interest of research, I coerced my friend, Amy, to come along on a driving tour of the city. Our goal was two-fold: to show Amy some corners of the city she'd never seen before and to take pictures for the blog.
You saw a good bit over at Michelle's, but I left out a few places that I thought I'd highlight here.
The Art Institute of Chicago. These lions herald the way to the Art Institute, one of the most popular museums in Chicago. Wander through the galleries here and you'll see world famous paintings by artists such as Monet, Cezanne, and van Gogh (I'm a huge fan of the Impressionist, can you tell?). Kids, big and small, will enjoy the Thorne Miniature Rooms and the hall of armor. Very cool.
The Art Institute is located on Michigan Avenue and is FREE during the month of February and every Thursday evening from 5-8 P.M. During the summer, free hours are extended to include Friday evenings from 5-8 P.M. And this year, to celebrate the opening of the new Modern Wing, the Art Institute will be free for the entire week of May 16-22.
Millennium Park. Just a short walk north on Michigan Avenue from the Art Institute is Millennium Park, home of the famous Chicago Bean sculpture. (I know that's not its real name, but that's what everyone calls it.) Millennium Park is home to Chicago's ice rink, which provides hours of fun in the winter. In the summer, you can take in a concert from the beautiful Pritzker Pavillion.
Chicago is full of hidden gems. Architectural bounty. Beautiful gardens. And specialty shops that just call my name.
I know in my "other" post I said I wasn't much of a shopper, and I'm not. But I do enjoy hunting down treasures in out of the way places.
If you enjoy that kind of thing, too, then today is your lucky day because I'm going to let you in on one of my favorite little shops in the City: Vintage Pine.
Vintage Pine is located at 904 W. Blackhawk, just a couple blocks south of North Avenue. It's an obscure little place--you might even miss it if you drove past it, but the huge Whole Foods Market they're building across the street should point you in the right direction. If you find the door, you have to ring a bell to get inside.
Kind of like walking through Lewis's wardrobe, once you're in, you're in a magical land. Walk up two flights of stairs to a loft that contains treasures from all over Europe--pine chests, cherry dining tables, French market baskets. It's worth the drive just to browse around this treasure-trove of European furniture and accessories.
So there. You should have your fill of Chicago by now. If you haven't ever been here, do come check us out--you might find yourself surprised by what you find here.
And for my friends who live here, I'm always up for a day in the city, so let me know when you want to go!