It's the first day of fall, but Chicago has been winding down for a couple weeks as temperatures cool, school starts, and the lowering sun is more likely to be blocked by the towers around us. The picture above was taken from Hyde Park on a particularly cold and windy day. It had to be taken with care between waves of spray and mist that threatened to obstruct the view and soak the camera and us.
Here is more of what we've been up to:
Hyde Park Segway Tour: I've always viewed Segways as a failed invention mainly because of the hype that accompanied their release. Bikes are greener. Segways are often ridden by overweight tourists. At the same time, I always wanted to try one out. Not a convert now, but this Hyde Park Tour from Bike and Roll was definitely worth the price (and shame). We saw so a number of things in a short amount of time and the reduced travel and ease of use meant more time at each stop. They were fun to ride. A couple of the places we stopped are shown below.
Rockefeller Memorial Chapel: One of Chicago's many beautiful cathedral/chapels. Located on the University of Chicago campus, it is unaffiliated with any any specific cult, remaining a place for anyone to come to meditate or pray.
Osaka Garden: This was another part of the Hyde Park Tour. Free, well maintained, strolling Japanese Garden that was originally built for the World's Fair of 1893. This part of Jackson Park was vandalized during WWII and had to be rebuilt. Rockefeller Chapel's outdoor counterpart for peaceful meditation.
Robie House: Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, this house is over 100 years old and still fits in with newer buildings on the University of Chicago campus.
Italian Village/Italian Festival: From the short amount of time we've spent in Chicago it seems that many of the ethnic neighborhoods are more name and tourist attraction than genuine ethnic homogeneity. The Ukrainian Village, for example, is now more Mexican than Ukranian. The Italian Village is similar. It had a number of Italian Restaurants, the Lemonade stand pictured above being one of the main attractions, but it lacks the feel of Philadelphia's Italian areas where one is out of place (in a good way). We returned for the Italian Festival featuring a fake Trevi Fountain and classic crooners on multiple stages.
Museum of Contemporary Art: Like many other modern art museums, the building itself is one of the main reasons to visit. With multi-floor winding staircases overlooking koi, a huge cathedral like core, and its ever-changing front exhibit, one can spend a day here without even looking at the spinning saw blade art, or putting the shoe coverings on to walk on the carpet art.
Indiana Dunes: My second time to the dunes. This time with a hurt ankle, so no jumping from the tops into the cushion-like sand. The Dunes are part of a huge park system that is compared (by Indiana) to the Grand Canyon. Though they aren't quite as visually impressive, they are rare and interesting natural creations.
Beat Kitchen: Cross "See Radiohead Live" off my concert bucket list! With a cover band this good (Kid A) who needs to pay hundreds for limited view seating or smelly festival crowds to hear a band you idolize? 5-peice with keyboards, three guitars, sequencer, and all. Now, if only I can find a good Louie C.K. cover comedian...
Quesadilla's Vegetarian Cuisine: Full vegan Mexican food with mixed-menu options. Comfortable and laid-back cantina/cafe atmosphere. First decent Cuban sandwich I've had since becoming a vegetarian!
Dimos Pizza: I think I may have found my favorite Chicago vegan food! This pizza place has everything from vegan macaroni and cheese pizza to chicken and pineapple.
Other recent favorites posts:
Chicago: Never a dull moment!
Chicago: Blue men and music, street performers, and Miller Beer Tour
Chicago: Towering views, lively fountains, beaches for dogs, and boat-shaped restaurants