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Published: February 21st 2012
I love to read about free, cheap, or interesting things to do in downtown Chicago, but I'm afraid most of the time, I never get beyond the "oh, I'd love to check that out" phase. Sometimes it seems that life moves so fast I don't often have the chance to go downtown for the day. When Maureen asked if I'd like to go to the Contemporary Museum of Art with her, I jumped at the chance. I love spending time with Mo, I haven't seen her in forever, and I've never been to the Contemporary Museum before.
The day ended up being better than I ever imagined! When Mo asked me to go, she also mentioned an exhibit at the Cultural Center that I had coincidentally just read about and was very interested in checking out.
We took the el from Midway right downtown, and it was so nicer than driving. Mo had a groupon for the tickets to the Contemporary Museum, which is not a very large museum, but is still interesting. We decided to take a docent led tour of their newest exhibit, "This will have been: Art, Love and Politics in the 1980's" and were very
happy we did. It ended up being the highlight of the museum for me.
Next we headed down Michigan Avenue, headed for the Cultural Center. After a quick detour to the Hersey Shop (and a delicious brownie later) and Topshop, we passed the Marilyn statue! Now, I know the statue has been there for almost a year now, but once again, it was one of those things on my "to do" list that I never happened to get to. I was super excited to get a couple pictures of it.
Once we arrived at the Chicago Cultural Center, Mo remembered there was a free concert from the Classical Symphony Orchestra. We hurried up to the third floor and proceeded to enjoy a beautiful concert - Bruckner - Symphony No. 4. It was gorgeous, and made even more amazing in its gorgeous setting, the Preston Bradley Hall. The hall contains the world's largest Tiffany glass dome, marble mosaics and more. Such a beautiful concert, and free!! The Chicago Cultural Center was built in 1897, and was the original Chicago Public Library. The Tiffany glass dome has over 30,000 pieces of glass and covers over 1,000 square feet. I couldn't
stop looking around.
After the concert, we continued onto the fourth floor, to another free event- a unique art exhibit. "Morbid Curiosity: The Richard Harris Collection" was housed in two rooms, full of interesting artwork. One of the rooms was "The War Room" which had works of art spanning from the 1600s to today. Works by Sandow Birk called "The Depravities of War" depicts details of the US led Iraq War. Very haunting images.
The second room was "The Kunstkammer of Death" (a word for the traditional European cabinet of curiosities). There is art from different periods and from different countries, all depicting ideas of death and mortality, subjects that a common theme throughout the ages. So many amazing works, I can't recommend this exhibit enough! It is here until July and is free - what else do you need to know? Go check it out!
Our day continued for dinner at Rudy's Bar and Grille - located on Madison right off Wabash, I had a gift certificate from WGN, and this seemed like the perfect chance to use it. Mo and I got a chance to try some yummy green bean fries, and I liked their
veggie burger, too.
Our night was not over yet...one more stop! Millennium Park had just this weekend opened a light/music installation on the Bean, so we stopped by to check it out. It was pretty cool, and I just loved how engaging it was for all the children (and even some of the adults)!
Thanks Mo for a great day downtown!!
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