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.