Friday, August 26, 2011

Chicago to Boston Part 3

We loaded into Mari's car. The a/c was broken. That's right...
Road trip through the Midwest. In July. Delightful!

Fried Pickles at Green River Diner, Indiana.

Stopped at Indiana Dunes State Park for a refreshing dip in Lake Michigan. Muggy, muggy Lake Michigan.

Hello Cleveland!
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

"Amplifier Stack" invented by John Cipollina (Quicksilver Messenger Service)

Grilled cheese from a restaurant in Cleveland that relies primarily on its own garden for most menu items. I was pretty impressed with the sustainable/locally grown food movement I encountered in some parts of Cleveland and most of Boston.

Heidelberg Project in Detroit:

The focus of the Heidelberg Project (HP) is rooted in the need to improve the under-resourced and horribly blighted Detroit community where the project was founded.

We continue this mission, as we began, by providing hope and inspiration to local children through art and education programs and hands-on workshops.

Managed to find a vegan cafe in Rochester, NY.
Drank some Kombucha in efforts to recover after consuming copious amounts of gas station food.

Our route:

Pics from Boston Adventures!

Isaac took us out on a sailboat!

Freedom Trail:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chicago to Boston Part 2

Farmers Market Oak Park Style

This particular market takes place in a church parking lot.
Volunteers wake up at 4 am and make homemade donuts to sell at market. Profits benefit the church. The line is very long and

Farmers Market banjo time!

I made my way over to Hinsdale and visited Sandi and Tom.

Meet Sammy. "I am treated like a tiny human! I love you!"

We paid a visit to Great Aunt Lois. She is currently recovering from a recent fall and is living at a rehab center. Unfortunately, she didn't know who I was. We had a nice conversation anyways. I asked her what it was like attending the Art Institute of Chicago and she had no trouble recalling the time she spent there learning to paint and draw under the tutelage of some very talented artists and professors. I love this woman dearly, and it was hard to watch her struggle to put sentences together.

Seeing her made me think about all of the wonderful holidays we spent together with my grandfather (her brother) and my grandmother. It's hard to believe that just 11 years ago everyone was alive and moving around without wheelchairs or oxygen tanks. I will always cherish the Christmas mornings we had together, complete with stockings (handmade by Grandma), a new set of paints or brushes (from Lois) under the tree, and old fashioned donuts I always asked Grandpa to bring back from his daily 6 am visit to the Buttercream Bakery. Lois would open her stocking to find various types of candy- she'd read every single ingredient listed on each candy label out loud while Grandma rolled her eyes. Grandpa would turn on golf or baseball and zone out until it was our turn to open something he had lovingly picked out with Grandma. Their eyes would light up as we opened their gifts and squealed. We'd usually spend the whole day together playing games and eating stocking stuffers/whatever delicious spread Dad cooked up that year. I miss those days.

Sandi dropped me off at the train station after our visit.

I took an architectural tour of the city via boat.
Fantastic way to see the city!

Willis (Sears) Tower

"Corn Cob Towers"
Also called Marina City-very 60s

The Windy City

Stopped at Navy Pier (basically Pier 39 but with McDonalds and party boats)

Met up with Mari and Isaac for Deep Dish!
2 pints Blue Moon + Deep Dish = food coma

Evening activity: Outdoor art and music festival.
Mashups galore

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chicago to Boston Part 1

After landing in Chicago about an hour late (summer storms delayed our arrival), I jumped on the L and headed downtown. Chicago is pretty gross in the summer, but I was happy to find out that their trains and buses have A/C.

I got off in the downtown area and explored a bit.

I found an art store and picked up a miniature sized sketch book and some Micron pens for sketching. I knew I'd want to draw at the sculpture park I was hoping to find on my walk. After checking out Reckless Records and sorting through a great collection of used vinyl, I picked up a vegetarian (awesome, right?) Chicago style hot dog.

I finally found Millenium Park and found a spot to people watch near the Crown Fountain. The pillars of Crown Fountain are composed of LED screens that project the faces of Chicago residents. Their faces change expression and spit water on visiting children every half hour or so.

My mom's cousins picked me up and took me on the famous "Art Spooner Tour of Chicago!"

Art and Sher showed me Hyde Park, the site of The University of Chicago as well as Obama's house which is guarded by several men with guns (they don't allow you to take pictures or slow down in your car) so I don't have a picture of that. We eventually headed toward the water and checked out an incredible view of the Chicago skyline.

The site of the first human-made self-sustaining nuclear fission reaction. A few Vonnegut quotes crept into my head.

Frank Lloyd Wright's house where I admired his work and learned about what a spectacularly responsible and loving family man he was!

The crickets there are so loud they sound like fire alarms. Listen:

Speaking of bugs, I got to see fireflies for the first time that night. We ended the evening with a Chicago style dessert. I ordered Watermelon and Cantaloupe- very refreshing.