Category: Taking advantage of Chicago

Thoughts for December: the weather and shopping

The carolers at Cloud Gate Friday sang “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas,” but I doubt that any of us were unhappy that it was warm enough to leave the gloves and hats at home. Christmas was still 3½ weeks away. The snow could wait. The weather the past few days has been such a... Read more »

Biennial needs more clarity for us laypeople

The Chicago Architecture Biennial, executive director Todd Palmer said in a WTTW interview, is “a kind of hands-on, fun, accessible way to get the public thinking about what’s new in the field of architecture.” Accessibility to the public is a laudable goal, but unfortunately, too many of the exhibits are obscure to me — even... Read more »

Giving Grant Park sculptures a closer look

A few posts ago, I wrote about trying to pay more attention, especially to things in my own backyard. In that spirit, and because it’s the Year of Public Art in Chicago, I took a walk through Grant Park to notice the sculptures I usually pass by. Armed with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs... Read more »

Loyola art museum deserves to be better known

If the key to marketing is finding your niche, the Loyola University Museum of Art has nailed it. But marketing is also about letting people know about you, and LUMA can improve on that score. I never hear people talk about going there. Since my to-do-in-Chicago list includes visiting little-known museums, I went to LUMA... Read more »

South Shore outing may inspire other “foreign” excursions

Except for Hyde Park, the South and West Sides of Chicago are mostly foreign territory to me. I want to explore them but aren’t sure where it’s safe to venture. But since a couple I know lives happily in South Shore, and since the Stony Island Arts Bank there has received so much publicity, South... Read more »

Explore your city on International Greeter Day Saturday

Saturday is the first International Greeter Day. We Chicago Greeters will be downtown and in five neighborhoods offering free tours to everyone that are usually available only to out-of-towners. We’ll be joining Greeters in 100 places around the world in celebrating International Greeter Day and the Greeter idea, which emphasizes informal interaction between visitors and... Read more »

To do in Chicago: a list of new-to-me possibilities for fun

Last week I was in a group of Chicago Greeters getting a tour of the Garfield Park Conservatory. Not only have I not spent enough time in the conservatory, I also had no idea there were outdoor gardens behind it. We also went into the “Golden Dome,” the Garfield Park fieldhouse and former administrative center... Read more »

Neighborhoods change — note Argyle Street and Andersonville

When I volunteer for a Chicago Greeter tour with visitors who want an ethnic experience, I take them to Argyle Street. The ethnic area is not as big as Devon Avenue’s or as polished as Chinatown Square, but I like its authenticity. Southeast Asians fleeing Vietnam in the ’70s were resettled here, and many are... Read more »

Celebrating a Chicago center for contemporary photography

If you’re in the Loop soon, it’s worth making the effort to walk down to 600 South Michigan to see the MoCP at 40 exhibit at Columbia College’s Museum of Contemporary Photography. The free exhibit closes on April 10. MoCP staff and student interns chose more than 150 images from the 14,000 in the museum’s... Read more »

A tale of two security guards

Visiting art museums, I sometimes wonder about the employees who stand guard near the entrances to the various rooms. Are they bored? Do they get sore feet or backs from standing all day? Do they care about art? I’ve never had the nerve to ask such questions until recently, when a guard in the new... Read more »