Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Missing Links

Sorry I did not blog yesterday i was bone tired and needed to sleep. so sit back and let me tell you a tale the includes not one buts to days of Chicago sized adventure.

15 May

We started the day with a visit to the Chicago Cultural center. One of the scenes from The untouchables was filmed on the steps here. It was quite breezy on the way there so i had to break out my rain jacket which might have jinxed our day. the Cultural center had an exhibit of art prepared by special needs citizens which was really quite good. There are two exquisite domes in the Center that we saw. The first was all stained glass and had a wrought iron chandelier in the middle of it. The Second Dome was the best out of the two. It seemed to be laid entirely of Italian tile and had the names of important literary figures laid in it. There was a quote in the hall that bewildered me. It is by Isaac Barrow;

I love to read there is nothing better than a good book sometimes, but a book cannot do all of the things listed above. A book cannot console like a mother, or laugh like a good friend, be faithful like a dog, or come close to the counsel of a Fathers wisdom. It can do these things to some extent, but i say man needs more than pages he needs the companionship of another living breathing creature.

Next we went to the Billy Goat Tavern under the Wrigley Building. I was lucky enough to interview Sam Sianis, the original owners nephew. He is a kind and funny man who is hard to understand at times because of his accent. When i asked him if he has lifted the curse of the Billy Goat off of the Chicago Cubs he simply said that he has tried but the Cubs are not helping. He said he has had many people from all over the world and that he has had Actors, Mayors, Governors, and even Presidents visit his tavern. He also said that he and Mike Royko were like brothers. After we talked he gave me a free cheeseburger and a coke, which was nice of him and i was quite hungry.

We moved on to go to the Cubs game but sadly we got rained out and went to a rather large mall instead. As the girls shopped i wandered of into the wet streets to see what i could find. I walked past at least three BEAUTIFUL churches. Along this walk i almost got hit, was mistaken for a bum, and decided wet converses are horrible to walk in.

After we all got back together we headed to a restaurant called Ann Sathers that Prof. Tomlinson said has the best cinnamon rolls in Chicago. Sadly the restaurant was closed and we were all pretty hungry so we started walking toward the Biograph Theatre were our play was at. I was under the assumption that we were going to stop and eat but nay the great Greg Tomlinson said to march on. So thus began what would be dubbed the Greg Tomlinson March. This hell march had to extend two and a half miles past many food establishments through rain and on wet cold feet. It did not help that we were cold wet and hungry and Prof. Tomlinson made us carry him, took my rain jacket and used poor Kristen as a pack mule. Ok he didn't do that i was just making a funny.. When we finally reached the promised land that was the Biograph we ate at a near by restaurant. Sweet potato fries have never tasted so good.

May 16

So today we went on an architecture tour of the Auditorium Theatre, went to the Art Institute of Chicago, The Tempest at the Steppenwolf Theatre, and Macbeth.

Today was clear skies and a wonderful temperature with a pleasing breeze. We bought our tickets for the architecture tour at a local architecture store, ironic. I lost my ticket while we were looking in the shop so i had to go and charm the women there to give me another. They did. It might not have been so much my charm rather than the green wrist band that proved i had already paid to get in. Anyway the Auditorium Theatre is amazing. It is the biggest man made space i have ever been in. the stage can be made into 23 configurations that can extend up to 93 feet across. It seats up to 4500 and has seen everything from Phantom of the Opera to the Greatful Dead. There are lights all the way across the three giant arch's that are gold painted. there are murals on both walls and an arching one above the stage. It is 127 feet across and the acoustics are PERFECT. It was an amazing theatre. I would love to see a play there.
The Art Institute was our next stop on the perfect blue day. We were greeted by the bronze lions that are on either side of the front steps of the institute. These lions are adorned with Bears helmets whenever the team goes to the Super Bowl. Inside you are automatically greeted with a grand set of marble stairs. I made my way to the top of the stairs and started in the the Medieval arts section. This area is dominated with catholic influenced art that i did not really care for. The European modern art section was really interesting. I saw Picasso's and other famous paintings. I really enjoyed the photography section. The photos that i saw really showed a lot of feeling. Then there were others that showed enough to be interesting but left you feeling that their was more to the picture. The sculptures in the Institute were amazing. I saw Samson and the lion and a Adam and Eve painting i really enjoyed. The Institute is so huge though. There is no way that you could see everything without a guide. I got lost multiple times even with a map. Although while i was lost i saw amazing works of art. I saw everything from Hindu religious statues to a statue that was just a pile of chalk.
The Tempest at the Steppenwolf was and amazing play. The theatre kind of reminded me of pictures of the Globe theatre the way the seating was, it just wasn't as big. The play was amazing though. They Incorporated a projector to convey colors and feelings onto the blank stage. There were a lot of vibrant colors to contrast the grays and blocks of the stage and black wall. I most enjoyed the scenes with Ariel in them. I just really liked that character and seemed to connect with him. His main motivation to complete Prosperos tasks quickly and efficiently is to be set free and be able to return to the elements. This is really how i feel in the school year with all my work, i just want to finish it so that it is satisfactory so that i may be set free. After the play we took the elevated train way out into a neighborhood and walked to see Macbeth. The show was in a very small theatre and was an all woman production. I liked the acting and it was good, but the set had a very high school feel. That was the aspect i was disappointed with was that we traveled so far and the play had a high school feel to it. I would like to reiterate that the acting was good though. Afterwords we traveled back to the hotel and hit the sack.
It was defiantly an eventful two days and we had fun and experienced many things. Colter will fill y'all in on what happened today. I am excited though to see were our travels will take us in the coming days.


  1. The name would be Greg Thompson, would'nt it?

  2. Thompson. Greg Thompson