Monday 20 October 2014

Ten, and less, out of ten

I felt like a local today in Lincoln Park, exchanging friendly greetings with the tall black man with the warm brown voice and the little white fluffy dog as we passed each other on the Pond boardwalk for the second morning in a row. It was beautifully clear and sunny, the leaves (sorry to keep harping on about the blasted leaves – but they’re just so pretty) reflected in water that was disturbed only by the ducks and geese, and the egret stalking the shallows. In the farm, the sheep baaed, the cows were pleased to be out in the sun, and the ponies were whickering.

It was all a far cry from the restrained elegance of the Peninsula Hotel in Michigan Ave, where we moved today from the Hotel Lincoln (slightly reluctantly because Bastille were checking in as we left). Still, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with deep carpets, orchids, gleaming marble, a cellist and violinist sawing away, and a bright, understated room on the 17th floor with pleasing views over the Water Tower towards the John Hancock building.
The tower took a back seat to this morning’s Architecture Foundation Cruise along the river for 90 minutes hearing all about the buildings that line both sides. I learned about spandrels, and was reminded of a lot of other architectural stuff that doesn’t feature regularly in my life. It was a lovely way to spend 90 minutes, and the guide was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The buildings all looked sharp and clear in the bright sunshine, many of them reflecting each other and even the Trump tower, dominant and shiny, looked attractive.
Not living up to expectation was the wonut at the Waffles Café in Ohio St: a deep-fried waffle, it was certainly as unhealthy as I anticipated when I eagerly read about it months ago back home, but it was stodgier too, and not that nice. Shame. The deep dish pizza at Giordano’s just across the road, on the other hand, was much nicer than I anticipated (I’m a thin-base person from way back). It was too much to finish, of course, but it was very tasty and I would eat it again. Preferably when I was much, much hungrier.

The star of today though was U-505, the captured German submarine in the basement of the Museum of Science and Industry (where I went to an amazing farewell party in April at the IPW conference). Again, the time was too short – not our fault entirely, the museum closed unexpectedly early at 4pm – to appreciate everything there was to see in only this one exhibit, let alone all the other delights in its 14 acres of floor space. The submarine was so well presented, so thorough, so entertaining, so authentic, so interesting: full marks.

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