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.
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?
I walked toward the lake to the Millenium Park. I was excited to see the Cloud Gate.
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.
Here's what the underneath of the sculpture looks like. The Bean is easily one of my favorite sculptures!
While waiting for my good friend Arlyn, I walked around the Millenium Park. It is nice to have a park near the Financial district.
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.
Or these sculptures and fountains near the south part of the park.
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.
Here's the Institute's superstar painting by George Seurat called A Sunday on the Grand Jatte.
I love the Van Gogh room.
I also love the Monet room.
Here's another favorite of mine which is a painting by Edgar Degas called 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This coffee is from Intelligentsia Coffee near the Millenium Park. Good 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.
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.
Here are the rest of the food I ate at C Chicago.
On my last day in Chicago, my highschool friends and I all met up for lunch at Eataly.
Here are the rest of the Chicago pictures I took way back in 2003. Enjoy!
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.