Saturday, April 10, 2010

Chicago, Illinois
Art Institute of Chicago

Joy, foreground, and Brian, right, are in the midst of a drawing class at the institute, copying from masters to learn technique. We are here today for William Eggleston and Mattise exhibits, and a stroll through the European masters rooms where these students are studying.

I have loved the two lions flanking the entrance since I first came to the institute decades ago as a student. I understand they now twitter each other — and are very competitive, as is fitting for lions — with help from a few of the undergraduate students.

If it is in stone, get it right. Proof there are times when it is important to have someone read behind you. I'm sure Mrs. Angelo was proud of her son, Michael.

Miller's Pub

On our way to Miller's Pub for a late lunch we pass the beginning of U.S. Route 66. The old road has long been replaced by interstate highways. Only small, scattered sections remain. In its heyday it ran southwest from here through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and into Oklahoma, turned west across Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and ended in Los Angeles, California. Along the way it passed through some of the most spectacular scenery this continent has to offer.

The sound of the "L" — the elevated trains — is Chicago for me. In the background is our destination, Miller's Pub. Beyond it is the Palmer House, scene of one of my youthful indiscretions. I was on holiday in Chicago with two college friends. We decided to spend one night there. We pooled our money, but only had enough for one of us to stay. So one went in, booked the room and the other two snuck in later. A maid found us the next morning and reported us. The friend who signed for the room was from a well connected Chicago family. The hotel manager recognized the name — easy to do when you are Daniel Stuart Elliott, etc., etc., the third — and simply called his father who covered the bill. We didn't find out about it for months.

Mark in Miller's Pub, which has been a Chicago institution since 1935. They are famous for their ribs, but we both had a helluva burger. That's the name of it, but it's also descriptive. Neither of us finished it.

Grant Park

It is a walking day for us. We stroll down to Grant Park — which has no statue of Grant in it — and find an impromptu game of leapfrog going on against the backdrop of Lake Michigan ...

... trees beginning to green and tulips in full bloom set against traffic building on Lake Shore Drive ...

... curious waterfowl ... including a Canada goose ...

... and a mallard drake.

It is a beautiful day. Lots of people are out and about. By afternoon it is a warm and still — perhaps the first warm, windless weekend this spring for Chicago — and people are shedding the coats they needed this morning. The dogs don't have it so easy. They are just shedding ... and panting ...

... a few find the luxury of a ride ... and the delight of the breeze it generates ... though this golden appears concerned about the traffic ...

... a few humans tempt fate and enjoy the breeze created on a Segway tour.

Grand Lux Cafe

Day's end is a good meal with friends at Grand Lux Cafe. I have rare ahi tuna with salad. The prices are righteous, the atmosphere good, the decor a bit over the top. It's a good way to end a stay in Chicago.
Photographs taken with a Canon 5D Mark II

No comments: