A fiery, red sun, rising out of Lake Michigan, welcomed me to the city yesterday morning. Betty and I walked to the Art Institute on this beautiful day with the city looking as bright and sparkly as anyone could wish. Chicago never looks as grungy as New York, at least in part because there are alleys here, where trash gets picked up by an army of trash collectors and recyclers. New York trash gets put on the sidewalk, even on the most elegant streets.
We saw a wonderful show about Benin, another show of Japanese prints about Americans in Yokohama and drawings about Daniel Burnham's master plan for the city. In 1909, Burnham laid out the system of parks along the lake front and forest preserves in the suburbs that are still in existence and cherished today.
In the evening, I drove out to the suburbs and had dinner with some of my cousins. Unfortunately, the group keeps diminishing. They are all very special to me and I try to see them each time I come to Chicago.
Today, by contrast, is a gray, gloomy day with occasional raindrops in the air. I met more cousins at the Museum of Contemporary Art where we saw the Jeff Koons show and then went on to a show of political prints at a new gallery space at Loyola. The exhibits were OK, but I was mostly interested in talking with these cousins whom I haven't seen for more than a year, possibly two.
Most of my time from now until Monday will be spent with friends and relatives. Tuesday I'm on to Door County. Raja has a nice post about it here.