Two women admire a painting of a man and women in front of their home.

Second trip to Chicago

A man and a woman reflected with the city skyline behind them.
Adam and Lore and Chicago reflected in the Cloud Gate, Millenium Park

We decided last minute to go to Chicago for the long weekend. The Chicago Jazz festival was underway our first night but we skipped that to frolic at the Cloud Gate (a.k.a. The Bean). If you ever want to feel like a monkey amused by its reflection in something shiny, go see the Cloud Gate.

Two women admire a painting of a man and women in front of their home.
Two women admiring American Gothic by Grant Wood, Art Institute of Chicago

We spent the better part of the next day at the Art Institute of Chicago in the American Modern Art exhibit. As Iowans we were required by law to gaze at American Gothic by Grant Wood. We had company. Visiting American Gothic is a minor league version of Mona Lisa at The Louvre—in the sense that there’s a small crowd that makes it hard to stand and admire it. It was still fun to see in person.

Mosaic decorations in a building lobby include an inscription about books.
Inside the Washington Street Lobby of the Chicago Cultural Center

Near the Art Institute is the Chicago Cultural Center, in the former Chicago Public Library building. This is truly a wonder, not just because you can go in for free and look at exhibits but because of the mind-blowing tile mosaics and dome ceilings. I’m starting to suspect Chicago has something of a second city inferiority complex because everything is so deliberately over the top.

A woman waiting in a graffiti covered restaurant booth.
Lore waiting for Chicago deep dish pizza in Gino’s East

In addition to artery-clogging Chicago art and architecture we ate some unhealthful Chicago food: Italian sausage sandwiches and deep dish pizza. Our pizza dinner was at Gino’s East in River North, a place huge and busy but not crowded inside. The interior was divided by graffiti-covered wooden booths and partitions that preserved some intimacy. We didn’t have a marker to add to the graffiti so I borrowed the waitress’s pen to write our names on the seat cushion.

An illuminated ferris wheel at night.
Ferris wheel at the Navy Pier

We walked off the pizza at the Navy Pier, a schlocky Coney Island-like place but a good long walk. We got rained on pretty hard right at the end of the pier as we learned why Chicago is called the Windy City. It was a long wet walk back.

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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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