Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas in the City

We are in Chicago -- sitting on the edge of Michigan Avenue overlooking Lake Michigan (honest, we've got a lake view -- off to one side, but still a view of the lake). Pretty impressive. The lights on Michigan Avenue are beautiful. Glowkid and her mom and I are like hicks from the sticks enjoying every minute.

I don't know Chicago that well. I've been here maybe a dozen times in my life, far fewer and for far less time than I've been in New York. So I am not as familiar with where things are, but it's a pretty easy place to navigate. And we've had a great time so far.

We went to the Field Museum to get King Tut tickets, but got there after 4 pm so we didn't manage that. Will have to turn up at 8 am tomorrow to get tickets then. Not a problem. We'll be there. Going over we got to travel around the new version of Soldier Field which glowkid's dad came to earlier this year to go to a Bears game. She was impressed. So was I as I hadn't see the "new" version of Soldier Field. It does resemble a space ship grafted onto a roman temple or a greek temple or something classical and incongruous. Or maybe it's the space ship that's incongruous. Anyway, it was interesting.

After we got back we walked up Michigan Avenue and had a wonderful meal at The Artist's Cafe where they know how to make spanikopita and also a very fine chocolate cake. From there we walked up further past the Art Institute (the lions on the steps had wonderful wreaths around their necks and were most impressive) and headed over to State to Macy's -- formerly Marshall Field's -- which was a treat indeed.

There aren't a lot of stores around like those anymore -- where you can find nearly everything you might conceivably want for Christmas in one place. The tree in the Walnut Room was gorgeous. The glowkid's eyes were big as dinner plates as we went up and down the escalators from top to bottom. And we walked around looking at the mechanical figures in the windows, all with scenes from Mary Poppins, and talked about my great uncle Van whose company did the arrangements for one of the big New York department stores about 50 years ago. He used to bring big photos home to show us when he came to visit. I never saw those sorts of window displays in person until Youngest Son and I were in NYC in 1990. The photos didn't do them justice. Glowkid and I thought these were equally cool.

We are now back and exhausted (in the best possible sense) and still raring to go tomorrow morning back to the Field to see Tut. Then Glowkid and her mom will head out to Texas and I'll head back home. The museum shop had some pretty impressive stuff today, which probably means the exhibits will be impressive tomorrow. Will report back.

Christmas in the city has been a wonderful Christmas present for all of us!


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