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7th Nov 2017
Frank and the Piano in Chicago

It was cold today in Chicago (5C max) but the sun was out so we set off downtown and spent the day around the Millenium Park area on the lake edge. A grand public space has been created there with the terrific popular sculpture Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor - looking like a polished mirrored bean, Frank Gehry’s bandstand for outdoor concerts (the third of his works we have seen on this trip), and the great Art Institute of Chicago where we spent most of the day. It has a new Modern Wing extension designed by Renzo Piano (opposite the Gehry, hence my blog title). We joined a tour of highlights of the modern collection by a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide, which we enjoyed immensely. The whole collection is a bit overwhelming, and it is especially rich in impressionist works.

The city is filled with lovely early 20th century buildings, which we will start to explore more tomorrow. We are staying out of the the central area on a delightful street in the North Center district, in a spacious 1920s apartment on the top floor of a building with lovely wooden features, stained glass and high ceilings, owned by a retired architect.

Our trip from Toronto yesterday was remarkably easy, leaving from a little airport on an island off the edge of the city which you reach by underwater pedestrian tunnel. Security was quick and pleasant and when we landed at the smaller Chicago Midway airport we were first off the plane and through in no time, with a very jovial immigration official welcoming us. What a pleasant change! Always wise to travel via small airports if you can.

Next: The Sweet Life
Previous: Niagara and more + an amazing coincidence

Diary Photos

The top floor is our home in Chicago.

Happy Birthday Donald? One year since the Yanks made a mistake! Our Chicago street.

Well he does have a building here!

Newspaper grandeur: The Chicago Tribune.

Iconic building in Chicago.

For my door folio.

Public library meets modern.

Can you spot us (reflection)?

This is where I took the other photo. A great sculpture to engage people.

Oh the trees were magnificent.

Gehry wonder but hard to photograph.


Just beautiful. It made my day.

I just couldn't get enough.

View from the Piano wing of the Art Institute.

Yoko Ono sculpture at the Chicago Art Institute.

Piano opposite Gehry.

Large art installation in the park. Another face on the wall in the foreground.

Old architecture as an art form.

My folio is growing.

Peter rugged up for the weather at another wonderful door.

Elevated trains in Chicago. They run down the streets and around buildings.

Part of the so-called Chicago Magnificent Mile: Michigan Avenue.


Chicago in autumn.

Lake Michigan: a large inland sea.

Oh we will!

You have seen these scenes in movies: the elevated rail tracks (the L) that run above the cars.

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