Thursday, August 18, 2016

Day 48 - Hipster Lovers of the Arts for the Day

As loyal listeners to Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me we have been accustomed to the host of the Chicago based show making fun of how Brooklyn is the hipster capital of the world.  We think he is just jealous that it stole the crown from Chicago but we found plenty of hipster in the Windy City.  First we are staying in a hipster hotel.  Second we went to the bakery downstairs for breakfast and it was pure hipster.  We then switched to patrons of the arts for the day by going to The Art Institute of Chicago which is simply the most amazing art museum in the US and may even rival those of Europe.  It has an extensive collection able to dedicate whole rooms to many artists but even more importantly the paintings and sculpture are well placed, well displayed and the signage is very complete and informative.  We got there at opening and stayed until we got kicked out but still did not see all the art they had on display.  Another great trip experience in a series of them.

These were on the entry doors of the Art Institute.  They seemed a little over the top until we actually got in.  It may well be the best museum in the world.

The only criticism of the museum is that putting a you are here in a list of things is not particularly informative

Having been thrown out of the museum into the streets where if one looking skyward one was sure that we were once again going to be the victims of an afternoon storm we quickly bagged the idea of going to Wrigley to watch the Cubs get rained out.  We then decided to try to get discount theatre tickets and as one of the outlets for those was not far we walked through the sprinkles of rain and then more steady rain to the storefront they operate out of.  We secured two tickets to Blue Man Group, a show that we have been meaning to go to for years but have never made it to.  More on that later.

This is one block from a Pizzeria Uno with the same sign shape, size and font.  It made me think of McDowells in Coming to America.

The guy who sold us the tickets gave us directions as to how to take the Chicago Transit Authority, which we thought was the formal name of a band from the past, to get where we needed to go.  I guess the city must have wanted some extra publicity for their rapid transit system so they stole the name from the band which had shortened it to Chicago anyway.  In any case he suggested we take the elevated train so we could be more touristy and see the city but most of the time it runs between buildings and you actually see very little downtown.  The theatre was close to Wrigley so there were some Cubby fans on the train although most took the faster underground line out.

An el station in the Loop

Michelle may have been unprepared for the afternoon rain but these guys are ready

Once out by the theatre we returned to being hipsters and ate at a Vegan restaurant in the same neighborhood.  The food was plentiful and left no room for dessert.  Having once again added to our credit card balance we repaired for the theatre.  For once we were early for something and actually had to wait in the lobby for the doors to open.  Considering how they treat late arrivals to the show that was a very good thing.  The show was great fun having drumming which Larry loves/  The show as currently being performed uses cell phones as props but is assuredly very anti-cell phone.  Larry took the message to heart and didn't even turn his on again until we almost got back the hotel and wanted to take a picture of the Weber Grill which features very large Weber grills over each entrance.
Our hipster hotel room had this in the bathroom mirror as a night light you could not turn off.  It is bright enough to reflect of the opposite tile.

Speaking of architecture, Chicago excels at having interesting buildings.  Maybe it is the legacy of having Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright working in the city a century plus ago but both the old and new buildings often have an interesting shape and even the boxes have interesting details.  It was an attractive and interesting city to walk around.

Regular Features
Statistics Corner
States involved: Hobson rested and we stayed within the confines of Chicago.

Hobson slept in the parking lot adjacent to the hotel..

Song of the Day: Keep the Car Running by Arcade Fire  - We heard it yesterday for the first time on a Chicago station while stuck in traffic.  A good tune that didn't apply to driving electric as the car isn't running it caught our ear and of course this is a hipster band so it had to be today's song rather than yesterday's while we were not feeling as hipster

Coolest Car of the day: The buildings in Chicago may be interesting but the cars are boring as hell.  The closest we got to interesting was a bright green Kia that matched it's owners bowtie.

Church of the day: This Episcopal Cathedral is a couple of blocks from the hotel.

Coolest Thing of the Day – Larry - Finding out that Grant Wood did other great work other than American Gothic and how all of his work including that famous one was social commentary.
Daughters of the American Revolution - Gran Wood

Coolest Thing of the Day – Michelle - As is often the case she cannot decide what to favor.


  1. we love chicago. one of our favorite cities. so glad you enoyed it

  2. for the record, none of what you described as hipster is actually hipster.