If Florida is home or Gainesville is within drive, I would get to the Harn Museum of Art right quick, as some Southerners say. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I visited yesterday. What I found was room after room of exceptional art.
Joseph Konopka’s 1986 acrylic on canvas painting, View from 6th Avenue Between 38th and 39th Streets.
Deborah Butterfield’s Rory sculpture from 1992. Butterfield fashioned this mare using steel, scrap metal and other industrial materials.
Patrick Grigsby creates a photo-like image by puncturing cotton paper sheets painted black.
Like Maurice Prendergast? The Harn Museum offers this 1914 oil painting, Idyllic Landscape.
Photography? This museum has that too.
A tapestry that unravels, forming fiber-based drawings? The Harn has got you.
Pre-WWII art–this 1935 painting is by Francis Criss.
Even works by internationally renown artists like Kehinde Wiley.
Admission is free (yes, free). Happy museuming, all.
Few things fill my tank the way nature does. Headed to Gainesville for work, but took an early flight so I could head to the Florida Museum of Natural History, which has a butterfly rainforest. Squeal times 1,000.
December 1 already and downtown Oak Park is in full shop-local-for-the-holidays swing. Storefront windows on North Boulevard sparkle so merrily.
Snowflakes, sleigh bells, and strung lights for your holiday whimsy.
Chicago is like an English muffin. Lots of interesting nooks and crannies, and Chinatown has many. Tucked off Wentworth Street is Ping Tom Memorial Park. Wander down a concrete path and you’ll find yourself near the 18th Street bridge.
Not much to look at unless you walk under it.
The views are grand.
One of my favorite Chicago haunts is the Garfield Park Conservatory on Central Park just north of Lake Street. It has an Aroid House, which is a large room containing all sorts of aroids, spiky plants belonging to the Araceae family.
Plant size and form vary considerably.
Bunny Ears Cactus. Notice the tiny white clusters of glochids.
Golden Barrel Cactus.
And Queen Victoria Agave.
Admire with ease, but handle with caution.
I love upstart independent coffee roasters, so couldn’t help but be intrigued by this Western Ave. storefront in Ukrainian Village.
And this roaster has quite the origin story. Jesse Diaz served coffee at Star Lounge in 2007. Two months into his employment, the owners shared that they wanted to sell. So Jesse got a $2,000 loan from a childhood friend, and Dark Matter Coffee was born. The coffee is great, and the blends are quirky, edgy fun.
There is Unicorn Blood.
The Bourbons of Dr. Funkenstein. (Seriously, this artwork!)
And for Guns N’ Roses fans, Warm November Rain.
The staff at the mothership location could not be nicer, BTW.
Can you imagine Swedish fine dining and an evening of miniature puppet opera (yes, miniature puppet opera) at a restaurant off Magnificent Mile in Chicago? Imagine, my friends. It was the Kungsholm restaurant at Rush and Ontario that operated the Kungsholm Miniature Grand Opera from 1937 to 1971. For real.
Highly detailed puppets in miniature.
The venue even had an orchestra pit (complete with hydraulic lift) sporting 52 players. This is the conductor Tosci.
The Swedish American Museum in Andersonville currently has this episodic/operatic amazingness on display. Enjoy.