Chicago Cultural Center Marilyn Monroe Exhibit

We recently discovered the Chicago Cultural Center. Very neat place. It’s always free and they have a calendar of events every month. Dale and I went to see the Marilyn Monroe-themed exhibit Life as a Legend.

The exhibit featured many of the most famous photos of Marilyn but, more than that, the exhibit focused on art inspired by Marilyn’s iconic face and fame.

These two were my favorites. The one on the right is called Marilyn Lichtenstein as it shows Marilyn against one of Roy Lichtenstein’s famous screenprints.

Very good for a free exhibit. The culture center also features the largest Tiffany glass dome in existence and was a stop for the public art project “The Red Ball.” I’ll be posting about those soon!

Shoe Sale!

Dale was walking downtown when he spotted this odd little vehicle promoting a shoe sale at Marshalls.
Needless to say, I am SORRY I didn’t see this in person. Dale is lucky because his area of downtown Chicago always has weird stuff going on! I want to drive this weird motorcycle thing! How fabulous is it? X-posted to my other blog because, well, it’s odd.

Weekend in Petoskey

Last weekend, Dale and I went to Petoskey for Rebecca’s baby shower. Check out the photos over at Rebecca’s blog. I took the photos so it’s like a big crossover event!

I got to spend the day with Heather and Maggie, which was really great! Sadly, the only good photo I got of them is on my camera phone and I don’t really understand how to get that off the camera. So next time you see me, feel free to ask to see it.

UPDATE: Figured out how to email myself from my phone. Super cute photo of Heather and Mags below…

And now the rest…
The remainder of the weekend we spent staying at Doug’s house in Petoskey. We got to go to Ozone, the club Doug manages–that was a hoot! Lots of loud music and a dude that was given quite a piece of performance art.

Sadly, it rained a great deal so we had to stay in most of the time. Dale got in two bike rides and a morning photography session, however. I got in one morning run (that’s right, I said “run” but it was more like a slow jog but whatever).

Northern Michigan landscape.

Barn in Mist. I like barns. I like barns.

Landscape near Petoskey.

Wild turkeys! We love wild animals.

This is Doug driving us to breakfast. I liked this picture. Dale sat in the backseat all weekend.

We had breakfast in Crooked Lake. At a neat little place–the kind you only find on random roads in rural areas. We also went to an awesome estate sale clearance center in the middle of NOWHERE. And I will never promote it because it’s the greatest place on earth for estate sale steals and I don’t need the competition.

And we drank a lot of coffee and played a couple of games of Chinese Checkers at a coffee shop. It was very exciting, obviously.

Actually, my favorite non-friendship thing of the weekend was the concrete statuary place, which you can see by clicking here.

Marshall Field’s vs. Macy’s

I work right next door to the legendary State St. Marshall Field’s building. Two years ago on Tuesday Macy’s officially took over Marshall Field’s stores and changed the name–and Chicagoans were NOT amused. Sales at Field’s are down–way down–and on the anniversary date a few faithful shoppers protested the name change in spite of it happening two years ago!

The above photo gives an overview of the scene–minor compared to the previous protests. Most people are just protesting by sending their hard-earned money elsewhere.

This is my favorite pic. The motto of Marshall Field’s is “Give the lady what she wants.” This sign holder–also holding her child–is a play on that. Give the baby what he wants! Ha!

This fellow has a slightly darker take on the name change.

The event was sponsored by

I love working downtown. Odd things happen all the time.

Dale’s Mom and Grandma Visit!

Aunt Linda called the night before Dale’s Grandma and mom arrived to warn us that Grandma has “slowed down” so we just have to walk a little slower and make sure we let her rest if she “gets a little tired.” What Linda did not do was tell us that what grandma lacks in speed she makes up for in stamina–the woman wore us out. At 84 1/2 I think we were the ones slowing her down.

Here they are at the train station when Dale picked them up. This is Dale’s mom on the right and his grandmother (his dad’s mom) on the left–an unlikely combination of visitors but honestly they could not have been better.

Dale really wanted Grandma to see where we live without having to be stuck in a car on a sunny day. He also wanted to show her that we live in a nice neighborhood–a lot like hers at home–so he hired Rick’s Rickshaw to drive them around and tell them about the area.

This is Rick of Rick’s Rickshaw peddling them in front of a Frank Lloyd Wright house.

Apparently, Oak Park was formed by some folks looking to escape the cesspool of sin that is/was Chicago. They came and built a bunch of churches.

Hey! Look over there! It’s another Frank Lloyd Wright house!

After the rickshaw ride, we got manicures and pedicures–it was a first pedicure for both Dale’s mom and grandma!

Nails drying…

Our fancy toes…

Later that night we made dinner and relaxed at our apartment in Oak Park. We heard some Hawaiian music and discovered that the retirement complex that is our backyard was putting on a summer Luau right outside. We went out and enjoyed the show, of course–how often do you open your back door to find a Luau?

On Sunday we went to the Art Institute of Chicago and saw the Thorne Miniature Rooms. You can check out some of the miniatures by clicking here. There are nearly 70 rooms that capture the spirit of interiors of Europe and America from the 13th century to the 1940s. In fact, they are so detailed you can’t entirely tell they are miniatures in photos.

Rebecca took this one…
The detail in the tiny rooms was like nothing we’ve ever seen. That’s a real embroidery project all right! It might have put the Fairy Castle to shame if the Fairy Castle wasn’t so entirely awesome.

The rooms are set in the wall, as above.

It may look like we are resting here but actually Dale was resting and also shooting photos. We were just nice enough to sit still.

Another shot of us relaxing at the museum.

Turns out we took a couple of art critics to the museum. They were more than happy to share their opinions of the masters. They quickly dismissed Van Gogh’s as looking like a “paint-by-numbers”, Monet looks blurry and Picasso is just “stupid”–many of the greats were dismissed with, “who would want that?” followed with an eye roll!

Inspecting a naughty painting!

Our in-house critics seemed to favor realism. Dale waited to catch a photo of them studying this painting–in fact, for being such harsh critics of the classics, they studiously read all the plaques and considered many paintings carefully before making their pronouncements. While standing in front of the one above, they discussed posing for such a painting sometime in the future. I think they were serious.

Dale insisted we stop by his favorite garden spot outside the art museum. We’ve been there before. Seriously. It’s a beautiful and quiet spot that seems to not be over-run with tourists no matter how busy the day. Boy did his Aunt Linda lie to him! Grandma was going on like the Energizer bunny and Dale was longing for quiet nooks to relax in.

A lovely photo of Dale’s mom!

A very funny photo of Dale’s grandma waving at the camera.

We also took them over to Millennium Park and, of course, Could Gate, better known locally as the Bean. You can see the skyline reflected on the bean itself.

With the Chrysler Building behind us–you might know it as the Adventures in Babysitting Building, assuming you were 12 in 1984.

On the train on the way home for the day… and another chance to play some highly competitive Scrabble. Not to toot my own horn but I won the two games I played! Quite the accomplish when this time last year I couldn’t even figure out how to get double points.

It was a great visit! We were so happy to have them stay. Dale probably doesn’t like to admit it because he doesn’t want anyone to worry but he’s been homesick this summer and this visit was just what he needed.