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Trip Report Chicago trip highlights

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Took a quick trip to Chicago 9/9 to 9/13 from SF, to meet up with my sister from NYC and to see the Art Institute’s new wing. We both used to live in Chicago and have met each other there before, so we were interested in seeing what was new and reliving some memories.

--Stayed at the Marriott Downtown Michigan Avenue, which we got through Priceline. Had a difficult time getting a real bargain because of U2 concerts, conventions and some special events during this period. But Marriot is good for what it is, a large convention hotel and it is in good location for walking to the Art Institute, Millennium Park, Buckingham fountain.

--The Art Institute new wing is gorgeous, modern but not sterile or cold. I thought the restaurant, Terzo Piano, was quite lovely. I suppose some might find it sterile, but I did not think so. Food was very good, especially for someone like me who is used to California fushion-style food, and is not particularly interested in steaks, burgers or deep-dish pizza.

--Millennium Park had not been completed the last time we visited and did not exist when we lived there, so it was a wonderful eye-opener—especially the Gehry concert outdoor concert hall and the BP bridge. What a great public space. Saw a performance of the Stars of the Lyric Opera, what a treat.

--Greektown—was as much fun as I remembered and it was great to get Greek food at a reasonable price, since good Greek restaurants barely exist in SF.

--Nighttime river and Lake tour—we have previously taken the very informative daytime Architect Foundation river trip and we thought it would be fun to see Chicago’s impressive skyline at night, it was. Would highly recommend such a tour.

--Museum of Science and Industry. The last time I was there I was a teenager and this was basically a trip down memory lane. Boy, has it changed. Many new exhibits and unfortunately there was a huge Harry Potter exhibition, which equals lots of kids; but it was still fun to see the great model trains, NASA exhibit, and other old favorites. We had forgotten how far it was from downtown, and thought we were heading for Indiana!!!

--Restaurant discovery. Farmerie 58. I was looking for a non-Italian, non-steakhouse restaurant in the River North/Michigan Ave. area and discovered this place. I guess you would call it contemporary American. It seems to have received mixed reviews, but I thought the food was very good and the service was excellent; only minus was that the plasma screens in bar area.

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