Our first attraction for the day was the Museum of Contemporary Art. I can't declare myself an educated art aficionado, but I do appreciate the imagination and work involved in the creation of any artwork worthy enough to be displayed in this gallery. But WTH? Some pieces of work were just blurry, badly composed photographs made really large and had a frame slapped on them. Heck, I could do that! But for every "bad" piece of art there were easily ten pieces that truly made you think about what inspired the artist. If you happen to find yourself in Chicago, this gallery is a must-see. (photos to follow)
We then hopped on the bus and took it down to the Millennium Park stop so we could visit the Vivian Maier exhibit next door at the Chicago Cultural Center. Visiting this exhibit was the inspiration for this trip. If you're not familiar with the story behind Ms Maier, it's basically about a full-time nanny, part-time photographer who was a recluse, and it wasn't until after her death did the public realize how amazingly talented she was.
Well I was not disappointed! It was inspirational, to say the least. It is sad to think that Ms Maier will never know what an effect her work would have on the public, and that people (like me!) would actually hop on an airplane to see it.
We next went to take lots of pictures of the "Cloud Gate Sculpture" (locally known as "The Bean"), an incredible stainless steel bean-shaped object designed to reflect the Chicago skyline. There were dozens of people there, most of them ignoring the skyline reflection and taking pictures of their own instead! (us included!)
It was then time for a very late lunch, and since we had already had Chicago-style pizza, we thought we'd try a Chicago-style hot dog! (Just a tomato and some little peppers added, as far as I can tell.)
In our hop on-hop off bus pass booklet there was a coupon for some "Chicago-style popcorn", which we had never heard of. Garrett's Popcorn Shops had a store right next to the theater we were attending later, so it worked out really well. Jodie went in to get our free sample, and came out with a really tiny bag, remarking, disappointingly, that they mixed in two types of popcorn: cheese and caramel. Huh? It did not sound like an appealing combination, but "OMG", as the teenagers would say, it was fantastic! For the record, a one-gallon can of this costs $30, and it's so popular the lineup for it was almost out the door!
Our last attraction for the day was to see Hair at The Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre. I was twigged to see this because my favourite radio channel - Little Steven's Underground Garage - had been playing one of its songs on heavy rotation lately, and maybe, just maybe, if I could see the song performed live I'd be able get it out of my head. Nope, didn't work! :) Overall, the performance wasn't quite up there with Tommy or Priscilla, but I'd still recommend it to others to see.