As long as I can load up ($) my Ventra (public transportation) card to take the train downtown, I will achieve my minimum of 10,000 steps per day; it's a modest attempt to stay active and healthy. I'm quite fortunate to live in Chicago as it is such a beautiful city and there is so much to see, especially if you're on a budget. Recently, it's becoming very apparent to me, that I still have much to learn about my own city. Granted, I didn't live in Chicago for 14 years and coming back has been an awesome reunion. For instance, I didn't realize that Loyola University has an art museum downtown. I must have walked past this museum thousands of times! Seriously, how could I have missed it?! It's located right across from the Old Historic Water Tower & Ghirardelli Chocolates - hmmm, maybe that's why I've missed it? I was distracted by temptation. Anyway, I took a time-out from my normal programming yesterday afternoon, to go check it out and then take advantage to walk back to my Lake View neighborhood ... a total of 4.5 miles.
Loyola University owns a nice chunk of real estate downtown, from Rush Street to Pearson Street and a small street named Tower, where the horse and carriages line up. Honestly, I never really paid attention to their immense buildings, which house, to name a few, their School of Education, School of Business, School of Law, School of Social Work, Alumni Relations, the 15-story Lewis Towers and LUMA (Loyola University Museum of Art). The architecture is Gothic-esque and definitely steeped in Old European traditions of building exteriors; the cornerstone located at Pearson and Tower Streets, reads '1925'. I have yet to find out what I.W.A.C. inscription means ... I'm pretty sure it doesn't stand for 'I. Want. A. Cookie.'
The LUMA Collection is impressive, actually; the permanent collection is definitely all religious in subject. Although, they had a nice photo exhibit by Jeffrey Wolin, named 'Pigeon Hill: Then and Now'. Beautiful large-format photos with hand-lettering titles and stories directly on the images. The show runs through October 21, 2017 and I recommend it ... and it is FREE admission. I really LOVED this image, named 'Odalisque', 1999 ... it's relatable, quirky and a beautiful portrait of a teenager; it's definitely my favorite image from this show.
The other cool piece that caught my eye at LUMA was a early 16th century lock. I don't know why I am so fascinated by old locks? It's interesting that people were already protecting their possessions so very long ago ... times haven't changed all that much, I guess. The placard read:
"The central panel, adorned with the image of a bishop, opens to reveal the key hole. The flanking figures are St. Paul, holding a sword, and St. Peter, the keys to Heaven. This lock was an apprentice's final examination piece. He was tested on his precision; no other key should open the lock, nor a drop of oil seep through the mechanism. The key's bow is an 18th-century replacement."
Seriously, this lock is pretty amazing ... it has 4-prong teeth once it's locked. And it's religiously charged with saints to further thwart any thief from stealing your stuff. It's 'guilty conscience' security on a heavenly level.
As I approached the Loyola University complex, the thing that dominates the scene is St. James Cathedral, which runs along Pearson Street. I actually went inside on the Huron Street side and was disappointed to not see a church interior - the security guard said that the building was really just offices for the Chicago Archdiocese. Hmmm, I don't know about that, but I have checked their site online and there ARE worship schedules. I need to go back ... maybe I went in through the wrong door or something? WILL FOLLOW UP.
Walking northbound from Archdiocese building, you encounter two really cute plaza's. One has an Argo Tea, which I WILL come back to, once summer is over. I mean, who wants to drink hot tea on a hot day? And no, I don't like ICED tea! Anyway, Mariano Plaza was full of senior citizens, so there must be a senior home nearby; there was a small sidewalk, but a bunch of old guys set up a table and chairs there, so it forced me to walk down the middle. TURF WAR! I love the condensed 1979 type on the plaque ... it's evident that someone stops by to clean it up from time to time. Actually, for a city plaque, the type & layout was handled nicely; modern plaques are not so elegant.
The rest of the photos are super random ... just things that I saw along the way. I walked up Rush Street, which converts into State Street, down to Lincoln Park, walked through the zoo, went to the Lincoln Park Conservatory, up Belden Avenue and heading northbound on Clark Street. I prefer taking that route and avoiding the dicey stretch between Clark & Division, through the Carl Sandburg Village to North Avenue. Plus, the greystones on State & Dearborn streets are simply AMAZING!