Day 2: blueberry crisp pancakes, strolls through the park, and lots and lots of art.
Breakfast on Sunday was at the Bongo Room, by recommendation of our first Lyft driver (pro tip: Lyft and Uber are the way to go in Chicago for quick transportation). The blueberry pancakes with vanilla sauce and cinnamon granola on top were excellent. The sauce tasted like a creamy yogurt - delicious and not overpoweringly sweet. Jeremy had a pork loin burrito thing with some magic pesto sauce that went perfectly with the sauteed potatoes seasoned with fresh herbs (didn't really pay much attention - did I mention the pancakes were good?!). Once again, the place was tiny but hopping. I'm starting to get the hang of this city thing!
The Bongo Room is on the south end of Grant Park, so we took advantage of the perfect weather to walk through some great scenery on our way to the Art Institute. I enjoyed all the large-scale art displays in the park, including this multi-colored rectangle with artists' names. It's called "The Artists Monument" by Tony Tasset. The designer wanted to honor all artists without creating a hierarchy of prominance, so the names are simply listed alphabetically. It adds a fun and bright pop of color to the surroundings, especially in the winter!
|In front of "Artists Monument" by Tony Tasset.|
|Chicago skyline, as seen through Grant Park.|
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the best art museums in the nation, and after touring it I can definitely see why. The museum covers a wide range of art styles, but it doesn't throw every single piece of its collection onto the walls. So, you're able to actually appreciate and absorb what's there. Jeremy pulled me to see the Asian art because of his involvement in Muay Thai, and I pulled him to see the huge European pieces because of my experience in Europe. I particularly enjoyed Monet's work - his art always brings a deep pleasure and contentment to my soul. We both had no idea what was going on with most of the contemporary and modern pieces, but we dutifully looked at the famous stuff anyway.
Also, did you know that the famous "American Gothic" painting of the skinny man with the pitchfork standing next to the long-faced woman with a bun is actually a father and daughter combination, not husband and wife? It was painted during the Great Depression, when many people were reaching back to rustic and agricultural roots for something to latch on to. Learn something new every day...
|Two of Monet's paintings and an inlaid Japanese box.|
We walked around the city center (pictures to come later), then hit up Summer Dance Chicago. An open dance floor with rotating dance styles, Summer Dance was hosting two-step on Saturday with old-style live music (think "Turkey in the Straw"). We swung by, made a splash for two dances, threw a few dips in, then dropped the mic and peaced out. Dinner was Lindy's Chili - famed according to my "Vintage Chicago" book, but not actually that spectacular. Kinda a flop, solid chili though.