(It is a very long post, but I want to record my memories of that day)
On Thursday. we had the best-ever field trip to the Art Institute. The best in almost four years that I volunteer at the Open Door Shelter!
When I came to cook dinner the first time after “the start of everything,” we discussed what we can do outside the shelter, and I said that we could do the Art Institute and see the new Monet Exhibit. I also suggested a couple of other things, but this one was embraced immediately.
Remembering all out previous Art Institute outings, I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm but held a pinch of skepticism. It happened before that when it is time to go, the youth forget, or just do not want to get out of the house, or whatever. I remember all delays in departure, losing people on the way there and back.
This time around, being late was not an option. I was not even sure how to secure our place in line for a Monet exhibit for the future date. A week after our conversation in the ODS, which was a week before our Art Institute outing, I went there during my lunch break, trying to see more of the exhibit and finding out what my options are for next Thursday.
The Monet Exhibit in the Art Institute opened last week. I didn’t have time to attend during the members-only days, but I was also hoping that the second week won’t be so crazy.
It turned out that although the line outside was small, the virtual line for the exhibit was massive. I came in only twelve minutes after the museum was open on that day, and the first hour of each day is a member hour.
I guy with an iPad was standing at the entrance, and he asked whether I was planning to visit the Monet exhibit and if yes, he can put me in the line. There was already 30 minutes wait by that time!
While waiting, I went to a permanent Impressionists exhibit. It is one of my favorites, if not the most favorite collection. The room, which usually exhibits Monet’s works from the permanent collection, was vacant for the time of the new exhibit, and I was thrilled to see that it was repurposed to show tons of Toulouse-Lautrec works! I don’t know whether any of my friends love Toulouse-Lautrec art with the same passion as I do, but let me tell you, it was a real treat! I am posting just a couple of works, which usually are not on display.
This week, I started to go to the office again, and for the next couple of weeks, I am planning to be in the city three times a week.
I can’t even start to describe how much I love being in the city. Coming to the office gives me a lot of structure. Yes, I am a very organized person, but I still do not know why, but I always get more things done in the office. Also, for many years, I used the time on the train as “my personal time.” It was always that I had almost two hours a day when I could reply to my personal emails, ce=heck the social media, write my own blog posts. And when I work from home, it is like: when I sit down at my desk, it means work.
Walking in the city feels different, as well. I do not know why. Today, my Apple Watch shows more than fifteen thousand steps, and it feels like nothing. When I am in the city, I walk fast, and nothing hurts.
On Tuesday, I had lunch with Vlad (belated birthday lunch), and I didn’t get to walk much, because I had to carve time between meetings. But today – I walked and walked.
I went to the Art Institute. The same El Greco exhibit, which I saw on my last visit to the museum before it closed, is open again, and I felt infinitely good looking at these amazing paintings. Afterward, when I realized that I have over an hour till the next train, I headed to the Riverwalk (actually, I half-planned it to be that way). That way my first real date with my city after months being apart, and I was breathing in this twilight, and the opaque water surface…
On Friday, I was planning to see El Greco exhibit in the Art Institute, since now the museum has after-hours three days a week, including Friday. I was anxiously monitoring their website, which was saying that the museum is opened. Finally, since there was not that many people in the office, I decided to go there during the lunch break. We were told to work from home on Thursday evening, but since I left on Thursday before that announcement, I had to come on Friday to pick up some stuff.
I was approaching the museum and wondering whether it was still opened. I was; there were not that many people inside, but there were some, and I was so happy I had that chance to enjoy the exhibit. Actually, the closing was announced two hours after I left the building :), so I was lucky indeed.
Anna and Nadia were visiting me last weekend. We asked Nadia whether she wants to see art, the dinosaurs in the Field Museum, or the whales in the Aquarium, and she said – art! So we went to the Art Institute. Anna wanted to see Andy Warhol e
xhibit, but Nadia refused to acknowledge it as an art :). After being there for ten minutes, she started to ask, “can we see the art now?”
We went to the Ryan Educational Center to do the family project – a shadow box. Then we went to see Chagall’s “American Windows.” To our surprise, Nadia liked them a lot! She was sitting on her knees by the first window, then running to the second one and sitting there, and then moving to the third one. She spent at least ten minutes there, and would probably spend more if we would let her. So you can’t even say that an abstract art in not for toddlers. Go figure!
I love Chicago. I love this city at any time of the year, but especially in summer. It is a challenging task to talk me into going somewhere in summer. I like being here, and I do not mind the heat at all. There are so many things that only happen in summer, and summer is so short!
One of the reasons why I like summer in Chicago so much is that I can blend with the crowd of tourists from all over the world, and to take pictures of the same buildings for one hundredth and first time.
On Friday I took a half-day off, Boris came to the city by 12-30, and we headed to a quick lunch in the Pret, and then to the Art Institute.
This year the Nichols Bridgeway was closed way too often, for all sorts of events, like Pokemon Go! (I am trying very hard not to comment on the worth of these events, did you notice?!) This Friday it was opened, and so we’ve entered the Art Institute that way.
We both arrived on Friday, on two different planes, 30 min apart. And we managed to meet at the Airport train station, though it was not easy:). I’ve picked up our Holland passes and the train tickets. It’s only 20 mins to the Amsterdam central railway station from the airport, and as I’ve already said, the apartment is not more than 10 minutes walk.
We were given a code to open the front door, and when we got to the fifth floor, the key to our apartment was right there in a keyhole, waiting for us.
This time once again, I’ve used VisitACity App to plan our trip, and the app decided that it will be best to do the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum on the first day. I tried to play with an app and move the things around, but it would insist :), and I obliged. I’ve been to both museums “in depth” during my previous visit to Amsterdam, so this time, my goal was mostly to show both of them to Boris.
But first, there was lunch. Retrospectively I think that lunch in the museum was a good idea, it was quality food at a reasonable price. The asparagus soup with mackerel sounded like something similar to the Finnish salmon soup, turned to be a pale variation of the latter, but still decent.
I’ve got some ginger tea with “Rembrandt selfie” macaroon.