Saturday, November 06, 2010

Uptown Girl

I love that song by Billy Joel, and he could have written it about me, or maybe my theme song should have been Downtown by Petula Clark.  Anyway, I went to Chicago on Thursday with my Art Institute Group to hear a presentation by Terry Evans, My Expeditions:  Prairie and Other Landscapes.  Terry is a world class photographer who moved from Kansas in the 90's to Chicago and transferred her skills to many other types of prairies, city, inhabited, aerial, etc.

I am going to show you a sampling of her work at the beginning of the post because there was none available to photograph at the Art Institute.  Her photos were shown to us on a powerpoint presentation so I downloaded some of the available photos from the Internet.

On with our adventure . . .

Standing with her camera waist high Terry took pictures of the prairie.

The prairie skyline

Bison on the Kansas Prairie

Prairie Specimens from past centuries

Downtown Chicago by Terry Evans

Oak Street Beach in Chicago

We took an early morning train into the loop (another name for Chicago downtown), long ride because it made every stop, certainly not the business express.

This structure above the city is call the El.  This is an elevated train system that runs above the city in the downtown area.  I came in from the suburbs on the Metra system train, not the El.

As we walked to the Art Institute, we couldn't help admire all the beautiful planters that line the city streets.  Our current Mayor Daley is a huge proponent of beautification.  He is retiring so I hope his successor continues his work on the greening of Chicago.

The flowers do not seem to have been nipped by frost yet.  However, the downtown temperature tends to stay warmer in the fall because of Lake Michigan.

I grew up in Chicago but far south of the downtown area.  As a child and young adult we came into the city often for shopping and after high school dances and proms.  I remember seeing Johnny Mathis at the Chez Paree after a school dance before he was ultra famous, going to the Empire Room after a prom and later on going to just about every college dance at some big hotel, even saw a very young Bob Newhart perform at his alma mater Loyola University.

Plantings at Millennium Park

The band shell at Millennium Park

The shorter building in the middle is the Prudential Building which used to be the tallest building in Chicago!

The Bean at Millennium Park

Beautiful fall colors in Millennium Park against the skyline

I worked downtown for several years on Michigan Avenue, frequented the local hotel restaurants like the Blackstone, Conrad Hilton, Palmer House and The Pick Congress Hotel for lunches and after work get-togethers.  There weren't many great places to go once you got out of the city proper, so we socialized in Chicago.  I guess that's why so many young people now want to live in the city - I lived at home!

Art Institute of Chicago

Chagall's Stained Glass Windows
(They have been replaced in their home after five years of rejuvenation)

I finally got a clear shot of three of them without people standing in front!

We had some time to stop at the Museum store across from the Art Institute (Arts & Artisians)  - loved these glass flower sculptures.  I wonder if they would hold up outside?

Lots of sightseeing buses as we traveled along to lunch

A little pigeon looking for his lunch!

Lunch at Heaven On Seven (Cajun food on the seventh floor of the vintage Garfield Building) No Credit - good thing we brought cash!

I think they had lots of this in everything!

They even had hot spice pouches hanging from the chandeliers.

We had to really hustle to get back to the train station or we would have had to wait an hour for the next train.  I don't recommend this after eating Cajun crab cakes for lunch!


The Whimsical Gardener said...

I've never been to Chicago. Your photos capture it beautifully - it looks as if you had a wonderful day! The glass flowers were especially eye catching! Do you happen to know the artist's name?

Carolyn Gail said...

Great pics of our lovely city, Eileen. I love downtown Chicago as well and have many fond memories of my long career on Michigan Avenue.

Downtown has changed so much and I especially love the many plants and flowers that are everywhere.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Whimsical Gardener, the name of the store is Arts and Artisians at 108 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. You could probably contact them to find out the artist of the glass flowers in the window.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I would love to go to chicago...I have quit a few feiends living there and seeing these beautiful photographs jsut remind me again how much I'd love to go. I've also heard that young people want to go is a moving city with much culture!
And I love chagall's stained glass!!

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

Great post! I have never been to Chicago, but have heard so many good things about it that I would love to go. I love Terry Evan's images of the prairies, as well as the beach image (such an interesting perspective!). It would have been nice to hear her talk on where she found her inspiration for these shots.
The blue Chagall windows are incredible!
I would love to try my hand at creating one of those glass sculptures that you show in the post...I have seen the glass paint at Michael' husband may kill me if I take up another craft!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jennifer, I have been to Toronto, lovely city, reminded me a lot of Chicago.

Look up Terry Evans on the internet, she is quite a fascinating person. She does a lot of aerial shots now, works with all types of scientific people and has a couple of books out.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Carolyn,

I hope our new mayor (opps, I mean your new mayor) keeps all of this up. It's too bad they don't ccampaign as plant lovers - this would get them the vote!


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Ronelle, you would love Chicago, very busy, like Paris and lots of good food from all different ethnicities.


Shirley said...

Thank you for sharing Terry's photos, I like the bison and praire landscape, and for your own. Chicago looks like a great city to visit and I love the beautification project. I wish more cities had mayors who cared to "green" their cities.

Shirley said...

PS to my previous comment, I too love Uptown Girl and Downtown! I remember Downtown playing on the radio(and was thrilled when it was played in the series LOST) while the smell of my mom's fresh baked bread wafted through the house. Great memories!


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Shirley,

There are always lots of memories when I go downtown.


Anonymous said...

Hi Eileen, What a nice trip to Chicago. Having never been it was nice to see it.

Karen said...

Hi Eileen, thank you for this post. We've been through Chicago several times but it's so nice to see it through the eyes of someone who knows it so well. I wish we had seen the 'Bean'...Carl would love to build something like that out of stainless. How cool. The prairie shots were amazing, too!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Grace, we were lucky we had such a nice day.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Karen, you would have loved those stained glass windows.


GardenJoy4Me said...

My goodness Eileen that was quite a journey ! and what sites to see .. the plantings in the city are very pretty and yes I would hope the same if a new mayor was taking over.
Ottawa and Toronto are beautiful cities .. I grew up at the west end of Ottawa .. the major museums there are outstanding .. so much to see and do it can be overwhelming.
It sounds like you had a wonderful outing : )

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Joy, I have been to Toronto and it is a lovely city, a lot like Chicago.


Zoey said...

It's been a long time since I have been to Chicago. I once lived in Wheeling, Glenview and Mundelein. That seems like it was another life ago--way back in 1978-79.

The city looks different now. I remember going to the Sears Tower and wondering where the Sears store was! LOL.

Enjoyed the post.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Zoey, it is actually a lot prettier than in the past. There are many beautiful green areas with flowers and planters all along the streets.


Luna Miranda said...

each photo is amazing...thanks for taking me to Chicago. wonderful skyline. the aerial photography especially the beach shot is fantastic, and the glass art--oh, so beautiful!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks for visiting Luna. Terry took that beach shot from an airplane, and the people on the beach contacted her later when they saw the photo.


Anonymous said...

Dear Eileen, I have so enjoyed my visit to Chicago with you. A city about which I know very little. It certainly appears to be very dramatic in terms of architecture and, clearly much attention is being paid to municipal plantings. I know that I should love to see the Art Institue, which I understand to have a very fine collection.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Edith, I know you would like the greenery in Chicago. It has really changed a lot in the last twenty years with the influence of the current mayor.


Mary Anne said...

Hi Eileen: Your post on Chicago was fabulous....loved it. I also loved the post on The Holiday Market in Western Springs. I photographed it too! However, some of my shots a quite different! As for the Sally Weaver shot of her artwork.......I took almost exactly the same picture!

Miss your company! I am trying to get my profile picture on the blog and guess what (if you can imagine)I can't seem to get it done!

Also, Gatsby's Gardens refers to you as Garden didn't seem to mention Blogger Coach. Talk soon! and again Eileen, a beautiful post on Chicago.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Mary Anne, thanks for your kind words about the Chicago post. I am always amazed at how great our city looks when I see the photos.