It was a long weekend, as I took Thursday & Friday off last week, and I spent a couple of those days in Chicago!
My only view of Marina City (my favorite) on this trip was from the car!
Kate was over a few weeks ago, doing some "planning out loud." She needed to make a trip to Milwaukee & Chicago to pick up work for Together With, a show she's curated, opening soon in Madison (and later in Denver). It could have been done in a day if all she did was drive & pick up work... but she wondered if maybe I'd like to go along and make it an overnight pre-birthday trip with a little time for some fun stuff, too!
Well, she didn't have to ask me twice... days off secured, our Airbnb was booked!! Our apartment was on the 38th floor at Presidential Towers -- a slightly different area of the city than we've stayed before. Cozy, and with a great view... but no corkscrew!! (And, yes, I mentioned it in my review.)
We had to book parking separately, which I did via a new-to-me app called ParkWhiz. I used another parking app on a previous trip, but ParkWhiz had a better rate this time around. We couldn't check in until 3 p.m., so used the app to find parking for lunch. Turns out, the lot was over-sold; there were already illegally parked cars -- which we briefly considered doing -- but we drove around the lot for a while longer until someone left. ParkWhiz was very anxious for my feedback, and when my rating for this particular incident wasn't very high, they gave me a $10 credit. Unfortunately, I didn't do that until we were home, so I guess we'll be saving it for the next trip (not a bad thing... it will happen)!
Though we considered trying a new spot for lunch, there's nothing like an old favorite! We ended up at The Purple Pig again -- I've been there on every trip to Chicago, save one, since we discovered it 5 or 6 years ago. We had Bobota "Greek Cornbread" with Feta, Mizithra Chese & Honey and Deviled Egg with Arugula & Capers (new), Smashed Potatoes with Sheep Feta & Oregano and Housemade Gyros & Pita Bread with Pickled Beets & Pickled Sweet Potatoes (new). So good!! I never knew until last week that capers were available any way other than tiny & pickled, but the ones that came with the deviled egg were large enough to slice!
We made a stop at Eataly before heading to our apartment. I've been to Eataly a couple of times now, but still find myself pretty overwhelmed! Other than a bottle of wine (which we were unable to open) and a 4-pack of local beer, all we bought was a jar of salt-cured capers and a tote bag.
Lucky for us, The Art Institute of Chicago is open late on Thursday evening, and there were some interesting exhibits! We took a walk...
The Chicago Picasso at Daley Plaza.
...stopping often to photograph art & architecture.
And through Millenium Park, with an obligatory stop at Cloud Gate.
And, of course, a selfie.
We were fortunate to see some of each of the solo performances by Eiko & Koma. Koma's "tango" was mesmerizing (I couldn't stop watching his feet).
This is Eiko "descending" the stairs. I was struck by her feet, too! There is a page of videos on their website, if you're interested in seeing what they're all about (some interviews, too).
We visited a few of the current exhibitions, including Whistler’s Mother: An American Icon Returns to Chicago, Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium, and Saints and Heroes: Art of Medieval and Renaissance Europe. I was drawn in by the lovely countenance above, and also sword.
Of course, we visited The New Contemporary.
I have my favorites.
There was plenty more that we'd liked to have seen, but there is only so much slow-walking a person can do! A few hours is all I can take in even my most comfy footwear.
Prior to arriving in Chicago, we'd scoped out some possible restaurants in our "new neighborhood." But it was a bit of a trek back and we were hungry NOW, so we checked out The Dearborn, which we'd passed and noted on the way to the AIC. When I saw HAMILTON: THE COCKTAIL on the drinks menu, I knew we were in the right place. It was delicious, as was our dinner! Service was fantastic. Kate had fish & chips, and I had gnocchi -- which included the first morel mushrooms I've ever eaten, hopefully not the last.
This may be our pre-theatre stop when Maddy takes her friend Katy and me to see Hamilton! (By the way, there's a new post from our intrepid traveler!)
While Kate ran out to make a pick up on Friday morning, I sipped coffee in the apartment and cast on the Colorwash Scarf. Though here the yarn is just admiring the view with me.
I'll share more about this project in a day or two.
Thwarted by parking issues (so many signs, too many apps, valet?) in addition to being a little bit hangry, we drove out of the city center to find some lunch, and ended up at Staropolska Restaurant -- a hankering for Polish food -- also available on-street parking!
Most of the menu was in both Polish and English, there were restaurant patrons conversing in Polish, our waitress was bilingual (at least), and even the posters at the video store across the street were in Polish!
Kate had one stop in Milwaukee at The Pitch Project, which happens to adjoin Brenner Brewing Co., and I was happy to sample a new local beer while she conducted her business.
Home by Friday evening... dinner & a movie... and everyone came over on Saturday to celebrate Kate's birthday!