the elmhurst art museum

You might not guess that a western suburb of Chicago has a cool contemporary art collection, but Elmhurst does.

A large cube that reflects the sky.

Susan Frankel creates energy and patterns in her works.

Various artists contributed their napkin sketches. So ephemeral.

And then a plexiglass installation in Mies Van der Rohe’s McCormick House.

Adult admission for the Elmhurst Art Museum is $15. Enjoy.

5411 empanadas

If you have a hankering for savory pastries (who doesn’t?), empanadas could/should be your thing.

The Ham & Cheese empanada from 5411 Empanadas is kind of heavenly. A baked turnover containing slices of smoked ham with bits of oregano swimming in melted mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. That’s the Ham & Cheese.

5411 Empanadas started out as a delivery-only enterprise 10 years ago and now has a bunch of locations in the city. And Houston. Your tastebuds can thank me later.

the brown cow ice cream parlor in forest park

Another summer day, another opportunity to try ice cream. The line at Brown Cow in Forest Park was longish, but the ice cream was worth the wait. Ice milky in texture.

This one melted quickly. Messy but fun to eat when the temps are in the 90s.

The indoor lighting was dim, but the ice cream tubs were so bright. The yellow one in the lower right corner is vanilla cupcake.

garfield park conservatory

The Show Room is pretty empty, but I always find something interesting at the Garfield Park Conservatory.

Flower petals that look like a pinwheel.

Bromeliads in varying sizes and colors.

A bright pink tropical flower. So perfect.

The current main attraction is a 60-year-old agave plant whose flowering stalk measures more than 38 feet.

This agave blooms only once before dying. Bittersweet to see, but very special.

chicago’s historic pullman district

Love history? Chicago’s Historic Pullman District might be for you. Located 12 miles due south of downtown Chicago, Pullman is a planned industrial town from the 1880s plopped in a prairie.

Industrialist George Pullman constructed the town for his workers, and the town’s architecture is thoughtfully designed. To learn about the town’s unique history, head on over here.