It seemed essential and yet difficult to keep twisting and turning when wandering the streets of Chicago. Each building was more impressive and shiny than the last, so it was a relief when my wonderful hosts suggested an architectural boat tour.
The Chicago skyline glints and glitters up close and is even better seen from the water.
I also went to the Art Institute on their recommendation. Although I could easily have spent a whole day and night in there, the authorities didn’t relish the suggestion and shut up shop at 17h. It really is the kind of place where you go from room to room exclaiming “That’s here?!”.
I restrained myself to the Impressionists and a special exhibition on America in the 1930s, but even then I was going at double time to squeeze as much in as possible.
The whole collection is magnificent and I fully intend to go back at some point in the future.
The Art Institute and other buildings of Chicago were prominent in the last night feature of my stay. Every Tuesday for the summer, a film is screened at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, it was the first film shown this summer. Between the good weather and the popularity of the film, the place was packed, but we were lucky to get a good vantage point.
What a perfect way to gather everything I’d seen into one place! It was already full an hour before the film started. People draped their blankets everywhere, even on the cement. We all cheered when the camera panned over the Chicago rooftops and we marvelled at the buildings that still loomed over our heads and at how many new ones had since been built.
It felt so special to know that the day before I had been looking at this painting in real life while the next day, I was seeing it through a completely different lens.
When Ferris climbed on the float and mimed to Twist and Shout, the whole crowd jumped to their feet and danced, an impromptu celebration. I’ve seen that film so many times, but I never appreciated that Chicago is really another important character. I’ll remember it next time.