Yesterday PT and I got up early and biked downtown to check out the new modern wing at The Art Institute. It has been a LONG time coming and we were both really excited that it was finally ready for visitors!
We biked down Monroe towards the Art Institute and right away we saw something we had never seen before; people were walking on the bridge over Monroe, connecting Millennium Park with The Art Institute! We parked our bikes and were immediately greeted by people from Target with chips, water bottles, and pamphlets about the new wing. Target was sponsoring the opening weekend festivities, including free admission, and the chips were a delicious snack.
We walked through the doors and into this gigantic room! It opened at 10:30, we got there at about 10:35 and this picture was taken at maybe 10:42. I think all of Chicago was as pumped as we were because the place was packed, and this is as empty as we would see it.
We worked our way through the first floor, which was where the featured exhibits were. By the time we got upstairs and to this balcony, opposite the entrance where the first inside picture was taken, it was hard to move around comfortably, there were so many people there. We didn’t mind.
We were here checking out some free art!
Mom – LOTS of Picasso.
To say that the setting for The Modern Wing is distracting isn’t right. ‘Distracting’ has a negative connotation that I certainly don’t mean. The way that all the outer walls are all glass keeps reminding you where you are. You are between the beautiful and historic Grant Park and the biggest rooftop garden in the country, Millennium Park. Both parks are between Lake Michigan and the breathtaking Chicago skyline. Why would you want to have walls when you can see these unique landmarks and monuments all the time?
My favorite part of the Modern Wing was the Architecture and Design exhibits, naturally. I loved this display of chairs and lamps.
I really wanted to sit on that wire chair. It can’t possibly be functional, right? And I’m pretty sure I’m going to try to give my wall blue felt cancer sometime very soon.
While we were looking for the balcony and the bridge we were so excited about walking across, we stumbled upon this terrace that everyone was very adamant no one walk on.
After some serious searching we found the balcony. We think you can only get to it by walking through the coat check and into the elevator hidden around the corner, but it could just be all the people were hiding the normal entrance.
When you walk out of the museum and onto the bridge you get the full scope of the Chicago skyline. This picture is looking north west back onto Monroe, where Target rolled out the red carpet to welcome everyone into the Modern Wing. Below are the South Shore and Metra train tracks.
You can see the balcony at the top of the museum.
PT and I kept having those ‘holy shit, we LIVE here’ moments. If the opening was in January we would probably be less amazed, but this city is amazing from May-October. It is tolerable in November, December, and April. But it is May, yesterday was beautiful, the view of the city from the balcony and bridge was breathtaking. The new Modern Wing is one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. All of these things are less than 5 miles from my house.
Despite getting yelled at for:
1) PT’s bag was too big
2) No water in the museum
3) No water on the bridge (but chips are ok)
4) No flash (that was an accident!)
and awkwardly running into a boy I kinda dated for about three seconds, the Modern Wing gets two enthusiastic thumbs up.
We took a walk over to Lake Michigan and said hello to Opera, and the fishes. I tantalized PT with stories of what Lake Michigan is like on the other side, which we will be seeing next weekend!
We were tourists in our own city, which is good for you, once in a while. To get a chance to be a tourist in the city you live in is something not a lot of Americans get to do. PT and I took advantage of it yesterday.
I finished my sock during the Tigers game last night! I got to knit happy because they have been looking great this series (told you).
I even got started on Sock #2.
For lunch we had potato stir fry with broccoli, carrots, onion, and green pepper.
To get me to not dump him after the baseball debacle this week, PT made me Avocado-Mango Chicken for dinner last night.
It was excellent! I told PT I could still dump him at any moment, and it is all resting on the next Tigers Twins series, but I appreciated the dinner.
I’ve just been notified that tonight’s dinner will have a clam element. PT discovered Mark Bittman’s blog this morning and might be getting carried away. He is talking home made pasta with spicy red clam sauce and muscles? This is going to be good.