Brightly colored containers and crafts on a activity table.

Chicago

Chicago is only four hours away and now I’m wondering why we haven’t gone before. We’re staying in the Near North neighborhood at the Ohio House Motel. It looks a little outdated from the outside but it is clean and in a good location for walking or catching a train around the city.

A trapezoidal black skyscraper alongside other skyscrapers and a limestone water tower.
Hancock Center reminds me of Minas Morgul.

Lore is blown away by the variety and quality of Chicago’s architecture. The broad streets and sidewalks, along with the open space along the lakefront make it easier to admire the buildings than in New York, where you really have to look straight up much of the time.

Woman seated on museum steps painted red, yellow, and blue.
Lore is hard to spot but looks right at home on these colorful steps.

Our first order of business was the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), which had an exhibit of sculptures by Alexander Calder. They didn’t let us take pictures of that exhibit but we saw many of his delicately balanced mobiles. There were some other exhibits, but not many, including works by sculptors influenced by Calder.

A stegosaurus skeleton displayed in front of a painted mural of the same.
I liked how the museum incorporated old murals into the contemporary displays of the fossils.

In the afternoon we took a train (underground, not elevated) to the Field Museum of Natural History for my dinosaur fix. I love dinosaurs and always have ever since I was a kid. The dinosaurs are among the many fossils in the Evolving Planet exhibit. I suppose we could have skipped the exhibits on cyanobacteria and synapsids but I happen to like learning about evolution. Some of the videos weren’t working, which is one of the pitfalls of high-tech multimedia museum displays. The exhibit’s emphasis on biodiversity and extinction ended with a rather simple but stunning mosaic of our planet’s many beautiful life forms.

We walked from the Museum Campus back to the Near North for a dinner of deep dish stuffed pizza from Giordano’s. It was good, not great, pizza—a little lacking in garlic and onion for my tastes—but the crust was really soft and delicious. Our small pie was still massive and probably good for about four meals.

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Adam

Adam's artificial habitat is my official website and blog. I write as often as I can, so it is the best way to keep up to date on my goings-on.

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