Monday, October 19, 2015

Back in Chicago - Rediscovering the city and its sites

Chicago - Cloud Gate looking west bwI was back in Chicago for a meet up with several of my highschoold friends who now call North America their home.

I also took this chance to checkout some of my favorite landmarks which I was seeing for the second time and a few I have not seen before. I heart Chicago.

I took a red eye flight from San Francisco to Chicago so I got to Chicago very early in the morning. After a little over four hours of travel, this Pinoy was back in Chicago!

The hotel couldn't check me in yet so I left my luggages at the hotel's concierge and decided to sight see a bit. After a quick coffee and light breakfast, I did my own walking tour. I was going to meet another highschool friend Arlyn later that day because she and I were rooming together. We were going to meet the rest of our high school friends later that night.

Even though I've been to Chicago before with Mijo in 2003, I was excited to be back in Chicago. The rain also added excitement. We need rain badly in California to ease the stress on the vegetation lacking the necessary water.

I started my walking tour on the corner of S. Dearborn and W. Adams Sts. to see Calder's Flamingo. Seeing the sculpture for the second time gave me a different perspective of the work of art. The red color stands out from the monotone background the Chicago skyscrapers provide. I tried to walk around the sculpture even though the rain was relentless. The sculpture gave me an impression of balance from all angles.
Chicago - Alexander Calder's Flamingo Chicago - Alexander Calder's Flamingo in the rain Chicago - Alexander Calder's Flamingo and buildings 

I decided to walk northward to W. Randolph and N. State Sts. to see the Chicago Theatre. My good friend from highschool Arlyn called to let me know she is on her way to the city. In the process, I completely forgot the the Picasso sculpture is nearby. I noticed by the theatre's door there was a Marquee Tour at noon to see the behind the scenes look at the theatre. Maybe, next time?
Chicago - Chicago Theatre Chicago - Chicago Theatre sign Chicago - Chicago Theatre sign change

I walked toward the lake to the Millenium Park. I was excited to see the Cloud Gate.
Chicago - Cloud Gate looking west

The Cloud Gate, or The Bean, is a public sculpture by artist Anish Kapoor. It is a polished steel sculpture and was formally dedicated in 2006. Three years after Mijo and I visited Chicago. I love the way the sculpture reflects everything around it. Because of its shape, the reflection is distorted. Lots of interesting angles of the reflected Chicago skyline can be seen from The Bean.

Here's a 360 view of The Bean.
Chicago - Cloud Gate looking northwest  Chicago - Cloud Gate looking southward Chicago - Cloud Gate looking southeast Chicago - Cloud Gate looking northeast Chicago - Cloud Gate looking east 

Here's what the underneath of the sculpture looks like. The Bean is easily one of my favorite sculptures!
Chicago - Cloud Gate center under

While waiting for my good friend Arlyn, I walked around the Millenium Park. It is nice to have a park near the Financial district.
Chicago - Millenium Park Wrigley Square 

I don't quite remember from my last visit to Chicago all what I was seeing that moment at the Millenium Park. Like this artsy structure at the J. Pritzker Pavilion.
Chicago - Millenium Park J Pritzker Pavilion

Or these sculptures and fountains near the south part of the park.
Chicago - Millenium Park Outdoor sculpture  Chicago - Millenium Park Crown Fountain 
Chicago - Millenium Park Crown Fountain looking south Chicago - Millenium Park Boeing Gallery South 

 Finally my friend Arlyn made it to the city. We planned to meet at the hotel to check our bags in and continue with the sight seeing together. I last saw her in San Francisco a year ago when she visited one of her siblings who lives in the East Bay of San Francisco.  I was excited to see her and catch up.

After checking in our bags, we both went to the Art Institute of Chicago. The Institute has lots of Impressionist paintings so I really enjoyed going to the museum. I've been there before. Since  that was her first time at the Art Institute, I decided to get an Audio guide to get more information on specific arts. 
Chicago - Art Institute of Chicago

Here's the Institute's superstar painting by George Seurat called A Sunday on the Grand Jatte.
Chicago - Art Institute of Chicago Seurat Jatte 

I love the Van Gogh room.
Chicago - Art Institute of Chicago Van Gogh room

 Chicago - Art Institute of Chicago Van Gogh Selfportrait  Chicago - Art Institute of Chicago Van Gogh Bedroom 

I also love the Monet room.
Chicago - Art Institute of Chicago Monet room 
Chicago - Art Institute of Chicago Monet Stacks of Wheat Chicago - Art Institute of Chicago Monet Irises 

Here's another favorite of mine which is a painting by Edgar Degas called Cafe Singer.
Chicago - Art Institute of Chicago Degas Cafe Singer 

I was getting sleepy so I checked out the museum's cafe. Afterward, we freshed up and got ready for our highschool meet up. We were going to meet up four other friends from highschool and they all live in Chicago and nearby cities.
Chicago - Art Institute of Chicago Cafe 

The next day, Arlyn and I were joined by another close friend from high school Jasmine. Jasmine is one of our local savvy hosts and she's the one who suggested we all take the Architecture Boat Tour.
Chicago - Architecture tour view 1 
It was my first time going to the Architecture Boat tour and I recommend this to anyone visiting Chicago. It is a great way to see Chicago plus the naration and commentaries from savvy tourist guides add to the color. The tour pretty much occupied the entire morning.
Chicago - Architecture tour view 2 
Chicago - Architecture tour view 6 Chicago - Architecture tour view 5 
Chicago - Architecture tour view 4 Chicago - Architecture tour view 3 

After a sumptuous lunch at the C Chicago, we all went to 360 Chicago. 360 Chicago is formerly the John Hancock Observatory.
 An added attraction is The Tilt.
Chicago - 360 Chicago The Tilt 
The view from up there is nothing short of extra ordinary. The weather cooperated as well because it was raining earlier that morning. We pretty much spent most of our afternoon on top of the John Hancock building. We were able to catch up some more on stories back in our high school days.
Chicago - 360 Chicago south view Chicago - 360 Chicago north view Chicago - 360 Chicago afternoon shadows 

 The following day, Jasmine, Arlyn and I went to check out a beautiful structure called Bahai House of Worship which is nearby Jasmine and Rod's house. Such a beautiful place to worship no matter what religious affiliation you belong to.
Chicago - Baha'i House of Worship Chicago - Baha'i House of Worship front 

 Of course, no trip of mine would be complete without some pictures of Chicago food. 

This one is a hotdog from a place called Artist's Snack Shop near my hotel.
Chicago - Artists Snack Shop hotdog 

This coffee is from Intelligentsia Coffee near the Millenium Park. Good coffee!
Chicago - Intelligentsia Coffee 

Chicago is also known for its deep dish pizza. I met up with the rest of the highschool friends at Lou Malnati's Pizzeria in the northside of the city. 
Chicago - Lou Malnati's pizza 

C Chicago lunch after our Chicago Architecture Boat Tour. This is also the place where we had a paparazzi moment with D. Rose of the Chicago Bulls. 
Chicago - C Chicago 
Here are the rest of the food I ate at C Chicago. 
Chicago - C Chicago bread Chicago - C Chicago veggie side Chicago - C Chicago tuna tartare Chicago - C Chicago salmon Chicago - C Chicago dessert

On my last day in Chicago, my highschool friends and I all met up for lunch at Eataly.
Chicago - Eataly breads
Chicago - Eataly prosciutto Chicago - Eataly pasta 
Chicago - Eataly kitchen  

Here are the rest of the Chicago pictures I took way back in 2003. Enjoy!
 Chicago From Above IMG_1069a Chicago From Above Chicago view from John Hancock John Hancock Building IMG_5519d IMG_5513a IMG_5643a Buckingham Fountain Navy Pier Navy Pier At Night 
Michigan Avenue The EL Chicago At Night Chicago outdoor sculpture Chicago Main Public Library Wrigley Park Chicago Outdoor Sculpture Chicago Outdoor Sculpture

 It was great to reconnect with my high school friends. Never in my wildest dreams that my highschool friends from the Philippines and I will be meeting up someday in Chicago.

No matter how quick my trip to Chicago has been, I still was able to enjoy every moment of it.


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