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 It looks a little outdated from the outside but it is clean and in a good location for walking or catching a train around the city.
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.
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.
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.