Monday, October 26, 2009


This year, I turned (gulp) forty and my mother turned seventy. We decided that we needed to go somewhere to celebrate, and she suggested a girls' trip to Chicago. Now, I've always been a New York gal--I spent a summer there at Parson's School of Design when I was in college, and I've been hooked ever since--but I'd never been to Chicago. Ever.

We hit Michigan Avenue Thursday afternoon and spent a chilly, rainy, WINDY weekend in Chicago. I don't feel like I got to really see the city because the weather just didn't work for a stroll around Navy Pier or Millenium Park, but mom and I did a whole lotta shopping, ate some great meals and saw Jersey Boys (so fun!).

The highlight of my trip was the Art Institute of Chicago. I have never in my life seen so much incredible modern and contemporary art in one building. I could have spent days in that place. They were even having an exhibit of Caldecott winners and honorees artwork. It was such a treat to get to see original illustrations from some recent winners and to really spend some time examining their technique. The most incredible were Brian Selznick's illustrations for The Invention of Hugo Cabret. The originals were tiny--3 x 5 postcard sized--and so amazingly rich with detail.

Here are my mother and I as we are leaving for the airport on Sunday morning. It's not the best picture, but it's the only one we took the entire trip!

So, to answer the question: New York or Chicago?? I think I'd still have to say New York. There is such an incredible pulse to that city that you feel when you touch down at LaGuardia. I love New Yorkers, and I love watching the city street trends and wandering into galleries and bodegas.

But, Chicago is a close second--especially if you are going on a shopping trip. Everything is right there in a gigantic, capitalistic clump. And, the sidewalks were clean.



Little Ms J said...

First, there is no way your mom is 70. Damn, girl. You got yourself some good genes!

Oh, and I'd have to say NYC. I like Chicago in a throw on some flip flops and grab a beer at a pub kinda way. New York? It speaks to me.

Lisa and Laura said...

I lived in Chicago for 5 years and I love that city. The shopping is insane. I'm thinking it would be a great place for a blog friend meet-up someday...

You and your mom look HOT. Those are some good genes, my friend.

Corey Schwartz said...

Oh, happy birthday! What a nice way to celebrate.

If you're ever going to NYC, let me know and I'll meet ya! (just stones throw from here)

Hardygirl said...

We MUST meet up! Chicago or NY--I'm in. But, I'm with you, Ms J--New York speaks to me. Although, the shopping in Chicago is the ultimate.

Yes--Let's hope that I got half of my mom's good genes. She's a freak of nature--no surgery and she slathers vaseline on her face every night (which grosses me out).


Kimberly Derting said...

Both of you look fabulous! Happy birthday, by the way!!!

Solvang Sherrie said...

You both have the same beautiful smile! And I swear you southern women have the best skin.

I remember visiting Chicago as a child and riding the elevator in the Sears Tower up to the observation area, like in Ferris Bueller. That building is so tall it feels like it's moving all the time! I must get back to Chicago some day...

ElanaJ said...

You are simply stunning! What a great picture. I haven't been to NY or Chicago, but I'd like to go everywhere.

Irene Latham said...

With you on the amazing Art Institute AND how NY still takes the cake (apple?). I could spend days in that museum. Did you see all those Mary Cassatts?? Love. Makes me miss my mama. xxoo

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