A Day to Refresh

Anyone recognize that stately lion?

I wish he’d look this way.

There are two of them standing as welcome to the Art Institute of Chicago.  I love them, especially when they are wearing Christmas wreaths about their necks.  And as many museum goers know, the AIC offers free admission during the month of February.  So I took a day (a school day no less, made arrangements for P to be picked up after school), took the train downtown, and enjoyed the museum for a couple hours.  Saw all my usual favorites, the Impressionists Monet and Caillebotte, the fifteenth century Dutch painters,  Georgia O’Keefe’s massive Sky Above Clouds, Nathalia Gontcharova’s Spanish Dancer.  Wrote down the artist and title of some new favorites to research (oh yeah, haven’t done that yet.  Where is that list anyway?)   Visited the Thorne Rooms and the new Modern wing.

And since it was such a gorgeous day, filled with that endless blue sky and the hope of spring, though there is still plenty of snow on the ground, I took a little stroll to Millenium Park.  There were some sculptures visiting from China.

And a public skating rink where people on their lunch break from those skyscrapers could go for a noon-time skate.   There was one guy, no doubt inspired by Olympic speed skating on TV the night before, who had just taken off his suit jacket, donned his speed skates and took off.  He was serious about his skating.  “Everyone move aside for that guy!”  Thought I had a picture as he dashed by but he was moving so fast.

I was ever so tempted. . .

…but somehow my recent skating experiences told me I probably should pass this time.  Didn’t want to have to maneuver my way though the Loop back to the train with any kind of injury.

Time to head back to Union Station but first I stopped at Urban Outfitters and Dick Blick Art Supply on State Street.  The old Carson Pirie Scott building has been renovated since the store moved out a couple years ago.  It is truly beautiful but so difficult not to see Carson’s merchandise in it’s wondows.   Field’s is long gone too (Macy’s now) and that whole retail lanscape is just different.  It doesn’t speak Chicago to those who remember such places.

But I so love Chicago.

Published in: on March 11, 2010 at 9:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Ice Skating, pre-fall

I know this is a little late but . . .here we are, just before my unfortunate twirling accident on New Year’s Eve.  This was our daughter’s first experience with ice skating so I helped her a bit without skates on.  I was however wearing my kung-fu-grip boots that have seen me so diligently through this winter.  With her skates on, this gave her a couple extra inches and I found the helping a bit awkward.

Soon grandpa arrived with a runner sled and off the skates she went.  She had such fun gliding across the ice this way.  Grandpa had fun too.  So I put on skates, and had a great time, for a while.

And despite breaking my elbow, this was our view about 4:30 pm as we skated closer to the new year.  It was an amazing thing to see.  (Click on each photo to see the light on the snow.  Really beautiful)  The photos were taken by my sister-in-law (thanks Meg!) who was visiting from Canada.  She even took some of me actually upright on my skates, but these are much prettier.

Okay, spring.  I am ready for you.  My arm is healed and I’m anxious to begin my garden.

Happy March to you!

Published in: on March 1, 2010 at 2:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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