Sunday, September 09, 2012

My Kind of Town

Last weekend, Ethan and I went on a short trip to Chicago so he could go to a writers convention. It had been almost 20 years since the last time I was in the city, so I was pretty excited to get a chance to see it again, as an adult.

The first thing I went to see was the giant jellybean sculpture ("Cloud Gate") in Grant Park.
I love how it reflects the Chicago skyline!
It was even cooler underneath.

The last two times I visited Chicago, I went to the Museum of Science and Industry, so this time I decided to go to the art museum. It was awesome! I even got to see two of my favorite paintings in the whole wide world!

Un Dimanche après-midi à l'Île de la Grande Jatte (A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte) by Georges Seurat
Nighthawks by Edward Hopper

There was also a Roy Lichtenstein exhibit on display while I was there. I like his art as well and it was really special to get to see it in person. You just can't substitute prints for actually viewing the works up close. I also went to the planetarium, where I saw a cool show on the universe.

Adler Planetarium

Yep, that would be the Windy City!

The view of the Chicago skyline from the planetarium was iconic.

One of my favorite things to do when visiting someplace is sample the local cuisine. First off, I had to have a Chicago-style hotdog.

What?!? How will I survive?
The only "acceptable" ingredients: mustard, onions, tomatoes, pickle relish, and a dill pickle. The dill pickle goes ON the hotdog!

This was still one tasty hotdog, in spite of the lack of ketchup.
Then it was Portino's for an Italian beef sandwich! The juice from the beef soaks into the bread, making it deliciously soggy.

Picture doesn't do it justice. Full of salty, juicy goodness!

We also stopped by the original Billy Goat Tavern, made famous by John Belushi on SNL. I didn't know what to expect, but this is pretty much classic midwest. And the burgers were good and cheap!

That would be an empty glass of beer in the front, with football in the background. There are some things the midwest gets right.

Of course, you can't go to Chicago without sampling some deep dish pizza. Lou Malnetti's was the restaurant we visited. I think from my experience in the past, I might like Giodarno's better, though. The crust wasn't quite as buttery as I like.

Blurry because that wasn't my first beer.
As I mentioned, Ethan was going to a writers convention for speculative fiction. I didn't really do much at the convention because I'm not that interested in speculative fiction (a.k.a. science fiction and fantasy) but I did watch the Masquerade, which is a costume contest. There were some amazing costumes there!

My favorite costume, a steam punk aviatrix. The propellers moved!
Other things that I did but don't have pictures readily available for: I took an architecture boat tour, which was really cool and informative, visited the stained glass museum, and met up with some friends for tapas! It was really great to hang out with Jess and Laura, and the tapas was really good too. As always, there were so many things I could have done but didn't have the chance. But I feel like I got a good taste, both figuratively and literally, of what Chicago has to offer. What a great city!


Kate Not Katy said...

I went on the architecture boat tour when I was there last month and really enjoyed it too. Glad you had a great time!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the vicarious trip! We'll use this for ideas for a trip there - if we ever get done with remodeling and the need to go to Roanoke before doing other things. Maybe we can tie a trip to Chicago in with one to Toledo. Would love to visit with Callahans as well!

Laura said...

Come back soon!!!

Lynn said...

What? I had no idea you were coming to Chi town. I totally would have driven down to see you guys! We took the boat tour a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Sorry I missed you!

puppie said...

I gotta say, you seem a lot happier now that you're back in the states.

L said...

Thanks Kate! And Laura, I hope I will!

Lynn, if I'd known you'd drive down from WI, I would have told you. But that's a whole 'nother state, so it didn't occur to me. Sorry I missed you too!

Puppie, thanks! That's not to say I don't miss Sydney. But Miranda wasn't working out for us.

Carlw4514 said...

totally agree with the "no ketchup" thing, although I modify that to allow some ketchup if you also have used mustard. btw does anyone, including manufacturers, ever spell it catsup anymore? I just noticed my PC's spellchecker is flagging 'catsup' spelling.

L said...

I love ketchup, although Ethan is not such a fan. He doesn't like hot dogs as much as I do either. I don't know if anyone still spells it catsup anymore. I have never spelled it that way and I'm not sure what was originally correct.