A Travellerspoint blog

Chicago

11.05.12 - FLW

sunny

To complete yesterday's big day out, at twilight (8pm) we went to the 96th floor of the John Hancock building (Signature Lounge) for cocktails and snacks with Brooke. This floor is free entry as long as you buy something. The disadvantage is not having the ability to walk around or access a window. However, the ladies restrooms have the best views: full floor to ceiling windows. Perhaps I should have had more cocktails to legitimise my need to visit the loo. Anyway, just awesome views of a beautiful city at dusk whichever window you can look out of.

Now to today.
We took the train from Clark/Division (local station) to change at the Loop to go to Oak Park. Trains are the favoured mode of transport for us. We passed through some less than pretty outer 'burbs. Even so, there is not a lot of graffiti around here, just a lot of backyard "crap" like rusty pipes and junk.... Many of the black population live in the suburbs we passed through. Actually a couple of African American women were sitting next to us and talking away. It was unintelligible English. If you watched "The Wire" you might be in with a chance understanding these ladies. Saywha? Mosdef. Mahersbunds dawta, ya'll heeye. One of those moments to smile internally and store away in the memory.

So we arrive in Oak Park 45 mins later. The birthplace of Ernest Hemingway. That house he was born in, it still stands. There is a museum dedicated to him, but our interest was in Frank Lloyd Wright. Those amazing prairie style houses and the Unity Temple. The tour through his house and studio was very good (I've been impressed at the quality of these tours so far). The downside was there was far too much to see and we were rushed through a bit too fast. Pictures do not do justice to this house. To stand inside and have the 360 degree vision and smell the wood is the way to go. This man was pure genius. It's very hard to imagine living in this house 100 years ago. It is so modern and unique even in today's standards. Certainly a highlight for me. Art in a functional form.

The Unity Temple was a similar experience but different in the way that I've never been inside a Unitarian Universalist Temple before, so naturally I was curious about this "religion" too. I love the way travel broadens your mind and makes you ask questions. It was a weird place, aside from the signature FLW elements, I found it hard to muster up any spiritual feelings. Odd to be in a place of worship so lacking any religious features. I did like!

Paul says when he shuts his eyes now, all he can see are horizontal lines and glass stained windows with geometric patterns.... me too.

So tonight, we plan on having the famous deep dish pizza at a nearby place. I am not sure my stomach is going to thank me for this but all in the name of immersion into the cultural experience, I must do it. It will be countered by healthier options tomorrow because the B&B host has convinced me to visit the Protein Bar, her favourite wholefoods cafe, by giving me her a taste of her quinoa salad. I must admit, this is more my style and cannot wait.

Weather was warm today 74F (mid 20C). Stumbled upon a fab consignment boutique in Oak Park and got myself 2 tops for $15. Shame mahersbund was waiting outside otherwise I would have looked a lot longer....bought more, had more to carry and pack. Mmm, maybe it was a good thing after all! Hoping there's more opportunities ahead like that.

- x -

I am not sure about access to computers in Boston, so bear with me if I need to use the iPad.

Posted by fay_bee 14:40 Archived in USA

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