Whatever I write concerning this part of Chicago will be lacking. I’m not knowledgeable enough about many of the arts we saw to provide any type of educated opinion. However I feel like having traveled through France, Italy, South Korea and Japan has certainly given me enough experience to appreciate what Chicago has to offer.
We wandered around the parks located near the Art Institute of Chicago during a Friday afternoon. I was happy to be there near the end of summer, during the last week of August. There seemed to be less tourist around, which is something I always appreciate at locations like these. We wandered around the area soaking in the sights, including the marina/pier area, before heading into the Art Institute.
We spent a few hours wandering the various exhibits. I enjoyed the Asian section the most, which is not surprising. Some of the ceramic and pottery work is truly amazing. I don’t often schedule a lot of activities on the same day when I’m traveling. I often prefer to wander various neighborhoods letting my feet be my guide.
However in this case we had planned to grab lunch at the Slurping Turtle and knew that we had a later supper at Spiaggia. It was for this reason we only spent a few hours at the Art Institute museum before making our way over to the slurping turtle. On our way from the Art Institute I was really impressed with the architecture on display in and around the downtown core of Chicago. The myriads of designs, the materials and colors. I find myself lacking the correct way to describe just how beautiful most of the buildings are.
I also enjoyed several of the train stations designs and murals inter spaced between the various stops and city blocks.
I had purchased a combination ticket which included the Art Institute entrance and a sky deck pass. We visited the sky deck on a Sunday afternoon. To be expected there were lines of tourist waiting to go up the old sears tower (now renamed Willis towers). I believe this was officially the highest building I’ve ever stood one, far exceeding the Toronto, Seoul and Eiffel towers. It would have been interesting to be up on the 103rd floor on a very windy day to see if one could feel the sway. Once again from up on the 103rd floor we got an excellent view of the amazing Chicago Architecture.
Although I didn’t take a lot of pictures from the museum in question, we also visited the International Museum of Surgical Science. The entrance fee was reasonable, the building is beautiful and although the exhibits were smaller they were still very informative and interesting. The museum wasn’t as busy as the other tourist attractions we had visited which for me was an added bonus.
The one thing that really surprised me was the Chicago Ventura transit pass. I was fully expecting to see some interesting art on the pass, but instead got some corporate credit card and simple design. I spoke to a few locals that explained they had some problems when they launched the machines allowing the cards to be recharged. If you inserted your regular credit card, it would charge it not recognizing it wasn’t the transit card. I understand that this is probably handled by the Chicago Transit Authority but I feel like it’s a missed opportunity. For comparison below I’ve included some of the cards I’ve collect during my travels.
I wouldn’t hesitate to revisit Chicago just to discover more of it’s hidden gems