Tuesday, January 7, 2014

"Art and Appetite" and the Polar Vortex

This last Thursday, I met my dear friend J. downtown and together, we made our way over to the Art Institute.  J. and I have known each other since middle school and I consider her to be one of my closest friends.  We've lived in different cities for years now, but always pick up right where we left off.  I am grateful for the time we get to spend together, for the conversations we have via Facebook or text.  Our Chicago adventure was actually our second time hanging out in as many weeks; after Christmas, we got together to go to the mall and out for some of our favorite local fare and it was a lovely time!  Needless to say, I was very excited to see her, and very excited to head to the museum.

I always love visiting the Art Institute.  It's one of my favorite places in the city, and I try to get out there every couple of months (though, I think I'd really like a membership, a reason to go more often).  I definitely have my favorite parts of the museum, and I made sure that we walked through most of those during this visit... we saw the Impressionists, and the Early American Art, and the Modern Wing (though the European galleries are closed until April), and the Thorne Miniature Rooms, which delight me every time.

Frankly, I need to go again soon, just because I know there are still so many things that I haven't seen yet (even though I have visited several times!) and things I haven't checked out in a while.  Plus, they always seem to have some fascinating special exhibition going on... and our adventure was certainly no exception!  When we were talking about visiting the museum, I was particularly interested because of what we would get to see: "Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture, and Cuisine."  As someone who works in the food industry, and who also has a healthy appreciation for all of those aforementioned subjects, I was looking forward to seeing what it had to offer.

"Art and Appetite" did not disappoint.  In fact, I really enjoyed it, and tried my best to savor each gallery.  As always, I loved seeing so many memorable and notable art pieces in person, and really enjoyed learning about the progression of the culinary experience, of dining and drinking and producing and consuming, and the effect it had on the art world.  I learned a lot, too, and found myself wishing I could stay just a little bit longer!  The exhibition runs through January 27th, and it is definitely worth a visit!

After the museum, we got lunch at Chipotle (a favorite of the two of ours, no doubt) and caught up for a while before making the walk back to the train station.  It was such a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, and definitely helped get 2014 off to a great start!

Now, I am embarking on another mid-week weekend... two days off to relax and catch up on sleep and do a little bit of tidying up.  It's been beyond cold the last few days (-15 degrees Fahrenheit, wind chills of -40 to -50) and, needless to say, Chicagoland is still thawing out.  But we're getting there, and it's supposed to start getting warmer again in the coming days.  I'll just keep putting on multiple layers until then... it is the Midwest in January, after all!

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