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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Playing Tourist in Chicago by Margot Justes

Friday was one of those incredible days in Chicago, the weather sheer perfection, sunny and warm with a light breeze, everything was still green and plenty of blooming potted flowers on Michigan Ave.
I spent a fantastic day downtown. We parked the car in Grand Park North and walked to State Street, then on to Wacker Drive, and right across the river from the Trump Tower, we found a new restaurant for breakfast. Hotel 71, appeared to be a boutique hotel with an inviting al fresco outside dining area, so we stopped to eat. I had an egg white frittata with mozzarella cheese, veggies and black beans, and it was tasty. Dina had an egg and bagel sandwich with goat cheese. Also yummy.
The Trump Tower is gorgeous, the sleek lines and glass seem to go on forever, nothing garish about this building, except maybe the Trump name everywhere you turn.
After breakfast we walked down Michigan Avenue to Nordstrom's and the Water Tower, where we stopped at Macy's and had a LancĂ´me make over with master make-up artist Alex Sanchez.
That was fun, but I never wear that much make-up, and it took two tries in the shower to get my face really clean, but in the meantime I felt pampered and relaxed.
We walked back on Michigan Avenue and stopped in the Art Institute, there is a certain comfort in stopping in a gallery and meeting old friends.
What makes a master in art, literature, in any of the arts? Is it simply a matter of survival? Or is it somehow so well done that it survives and is still relevant? Who decides that a work is masterful and worth saving? Is it that it gives us comfort because it is familiar, reaches us, makes us think? I've often wondered why a piece of art in whatever format survives through the ages.
A short respite downstairs in the outside cafe, was just what was needed before heading home. And the ride back at 5:00 pm was a breeze, we wondered what happened to rush hour traffic.
Chicago is a beautiful city, with much to offer any visitor; the architecture rivals the rest of the world, as does the theater, restaurants and certainly the museums. Yesterday was a reminder I don't have to go far from home to feel like a tourist.
Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris

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