Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Chicago Day 1

In college, my friends and I were in love with Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George. We watched it over and over. Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters were brilliant, and the cast contained Brent Spiner before he was Lt. Data on Star Trek. The whole musical centered around Georges Seurat and his painting, A Sunday on La Grand Jatte. I never thought I'd get to see it. I never thought I'd get to Chicago. Today I made it--to the Art Institute of Chicago and to see A Sunday on La Grande Jatte . The painting's location isn't obvious. Actually nothing in the museum is obvious. It's a museum made to wander around in. We wandered around in English landscapes for an hour before we found it. Steve saw it first. He brought me around the corner and ah, beautiful and so cool. You can see the dots that Seurat made the painting with. You can tell their individual colors when you are close enough. You can see how they meld together in one cohesive whole when you stand further back. On top of that, the Art Institute has American Gothic and lots of Monets. Love it! We saw lots of Egyptian, Greek and Roman art. Amazing! And the miniatures--a whole room of diorama rooms from different time periods and different countries made by one woman as her hobby. Fantastic!

After the art museum, we set off to find the Silver Bean, aka the Cloud Gate. We asked information and a security guard, and we not only found the Bean but got to walk over a cool aluminum bridge from the museum into Millennium Park. Finally, the monument that eluded us on our first trip was found!

Then we took it on faith that the information man was telling us the truth when he said that the John Hancock Observatory was only 8 or 9 blocks up Michigan Ave. It was more like 12 or 13. But since we walked on the shady side of the street and there was a breeze, it wasn't too bad. We zipped up 94 floors in 40 seconds on the "world's fastest elevator" and listened to David Schwimmer tell all about the sights of Chicago that we were seeing. There is even one section that they call "the front porch" that is screened in and open to the elements. I just love Chicago! I'd love to return. There is just so much to see and do here. We haven't even scratched the surface.
We hopped back on the El after getting some good advice from a City Concierge and headed to dinner at Cesar's (home of killer margaritas) and our next destination--the Blue Man Group theatre. Steve has been wanting to see the Blue Man group since he has known who they were, and his dreams came true this night. It was spectacular! They are a very clever, talented group of men. We loved the music and drumming, and the skits were funny! Also, I almost made it into one of the skits. They were looking me over, but I guess I didn't seem scared enough because they didn't choose me. Bummer! Steve was mentioned, though, in the introduction as the guy with the credit card bill unpaid. Dubious honor. We are getting used to this El stuff. It's very convenient. We found a station really close to our hotel on the way back tonight. It's only a couple blocks down which beats the 4 or so we traveled this morning. Of course, we then got too cocky as tomorrow's episode will show. Stay tuned for details.

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