March Madness

3 Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (Dr. J Series), Jeff Koons, 1985

The three teams that I care about in this year’s basketball tournament were all second seeds. Consequently, they easily beat their first round rivals today. They being Michigan State, Purdue and Michigan. Sorry Rey, but I’m headed to Ann Arbor tomorrow. It is still a long way to the finals, let alone any of the other lesser accolades, but it is always nice to sail through this first round without any upsets. This photo credit is from the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA).

We started with an architectural tour that took us back to our hotel and beyond. The great fire not only germinated Chicago’s architectural revolution, but also served to protect it too. The walk ended at the cultural center, which we had seen before. We then began our stroll to the north. We revisited the architecture society and toured their museum. It is much improved in their new locale.

Heading north, we walked the Miracle Mile, with a side trip to the MCA. After its closing, we continued north on foot and eventually landed in a bit of a hole-in-the wall treasure of an Italian restaurant, on Wells. After dinner it was only a short stroll to Second City.

We had tickets to the She the People show. We got there early and scored primo seating. This is a reprise show. It was funny and lived up to all my expectations as this theater’s status as an incubator for SNL. The show purported itself as a girlfriend’s guide to sisters doing it for themselves. I was perfectly seated as the object of white male hegemony and in the second act, I got my just desserts. 

Nighthawks

Nighthawks, Edward Hopper, 1942

We spent the day at the Chicago Art Institute. It was a bit rainy, but no ma. We ate breakfast in the hotel and it was less than two blocks to the museum. We’ve been to this art museum before, but it’s so fine that visiting it again was sublime.

Hopper’s painting is a family favorite and although he set it in NYC, it wears well here in Chicago too. We walked the night-hawk life ourselves tonight. Normally, i.e. yesterday, we’ve been back in our room by sundown. You can’t really count Monday, because the train was so late, we never could have been in-house before sunset. There is danger here after dark.

Murder, assault and robbery abound. Read the news. Listen to our President. He knows. I know that he has been here. He left one of his towers down the street. Risking all, we stepped out for the night. Our destination, Art on the Mart. We are staying inside the Loop, which is not the same as being in-the-loop, but we walked outside the Loop, which is not the same as being out-of-the-loop.

The Mart is Chicago’s furniture market. It’s the country’s second largest building, by floorspace, second only to the Pentagon. All that floorspace creates quite the façade, when crammed into two blocks, especially fronting on the Chicago River. We viewed the light show from across the river, above the projectors.

Art on the Mart

In the Belly of the Beast

Màximo the Titanosaur

We launched from the Palmer and headed south on Michigan Ave. Our first stop was Yolk, an eatery that we’ve frequented before. Anne had an egg scrambler, with key lime pancakes. I had avocado toast, with fried capers and some of Anne’s too. The pancakes were great. Breakfast was interrupted by an angry young man’s outburst. He flipped half-a-dozen chairs and then marched out. After a while, two of Chicago’s finest arrived. They were soon followed by backup. It was a coffee shop after all. Did someone say free donuts?

The day’s main event was the Field Museum. We started with mummies, the regular Egyptian kind. We had a guide though. Next up was Sue the T-Rex. She is now installed in her new home. Màximo the Titanosaur has taken her old place in the central hall. We then Honey I shrunk the kids, an exhibit that enlarged a foot of soil into a full length exhibit. We got some sit-down time and watched a 3D China movie. It was all about the Terracotta Warriors. We followed this up with more China and another special Chinese show. More mummies, both Peruvian and Egyptian. Then the closing bells started ringing.

There was still plenty of daylight left at five. We walked the length of Grant Park and ended up in Millennium Park, at the Bean. Officially the Cloud Gate, but call it selfie central. Italian for dinner and then less than a block to the hotel.

She Bends Heaven and Earth for Me