Because one post on a fun day in Chicago is never enough, here’s more of my windy city adventure …
After visiting the 1893 World’s Fair exhibit at the Chicago Field Museum, I wanted to explore more of the museum.
I think I know what I want to be when I grow up: the person who makes these cool scenes in the glass cases in museums. I always loved school projects, and I feel I could totally rock this job. If you hear of any openings, let me know.
Here’s another one, for your viewing pleasure: A Tea Plant in Ceylon. I’m totally feeling the little elephant. Can you spot him?
The Field Museum had another really interesting temporary exhibit that I’d known nothing about, State of Deception — detailing nazi propaganda. Boy, was it ever horrifying/interesting/relevant today/supply your own adjective.
Here’s a horrifying game on display, Juden Raus! (Jews out!). This game, aimed at kids, features slogans that are hard to believe were real, yet they were: “Show skill in the dice game, so that you collect many Jews!” and “If you succeed in chasing out 6 Jews, you will be the victor without question!”
Above, see an actual star that the Nazis forced Jews to wear. No matter how many times I see or read about these things, it never fails to amaze me how a small group, headed up by one person, can make such a huge difference and can accomplish so much evil and find so many followers. Why do the good people remain silent? And yet, I think the same thing today regarding many issues. I feel the frustration, as a hopefully “good” person: what can one person do? It’s a dilemma, that’s for sure.
Moving on to cheerier topics, you can’t leave the Field Museum without a glance at Sue, the premiere exhibit. She’s the most complete T-Rex skeleton ever assembled. Really, I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to wander through a museum on my own. Often, a school group would pass by — usually, quite noisily and quickly. I was reminded of the many field trips I’d accompanied, both as a teacher and then as a chaperone, and how frustrating those can be. Most kids seem to enjoy taking in museums at a run, wildly hitting any buttons that light up or make noise. Several passed me on this day, laughing, being “shushed” by their weary teachers. I also saw many parents there, patiently explaining things to young kids, most of whom seemed at least mildly interested. That brought back happy memories of visiting here with my own kids, years back.
So many interesting things in a museum, although I’ll be the first to admit that not everything fascinates me. I walked past the gem exhibit without much regret, and displays of ancient pottery don’t excite me a lot either.
Holy cow, there’s always something new to learn. Giant tree sloth? Never heard of him, and yet, wow. Look how huge this thing is (well, was). Apparently they originated in Argentina, and could be 20 feet tall and weigh 4 tons. I’d hate to look out the window and see one of those things staring back at me, that’s for sure.
After a wonderful visit, I left the museum to enjoy the 2.5 mile walk back to shopping. Thankfully, it was great weather for December — misty, cloudy, but upper 40s. “Cloud Gate” (aka the Giant Silver Bean) seemed aptly named on this day.
I heard music, and walked over to a ledge. Was it a concert? No, it was ice skating. Charming …
I passed the always-fascinating Chicago Tribune building, with its bits of stone from every state and many countries and famous sites. I had to take this photo in honor of last summer’s vacation.
Back to Water Tower Place. Walking into the entrance will always take me back to this same time in 1983, when I attended the 4-H National Congress in Chicago. One day, they brought us here to shop. The whole mall concept was new to me then, and that year, these escalators were lined with poinsettias. I will always remember how grand, exciting, and “big city” it all seemed. Even now, it was pretty neat ;).
Did you know that Chicago’s American Girl Doll Store has now moved to Water Tower Place? This was my first time to visit it at the new location. It was lovely, as expected, although I think I actually preferred the old stand-alone store. Even though my girls are pretty much past the doll stage, and even though it’s all ridiculously priced, and even though it is an example of every Americans-as-crazy-consumers stereotype there is, I love the American Girl store. It is a little bit of magic. I couldn’t resist photographing this sweet music vignette — even though it appears that the pianist is in the midst of an accident …
A final view of the magic before getting on the bus for the ride home … and the day was over. What a lot of wonderful things there are to see in the world!