Chicago Baby! An architecture experience

Having never considered myself particularly interested in architecture other than to go “oooh that’s pretty!” I decided to take a river-boat-cruise about architecture during my stay here in Chicago. 

I was so glad I chose to go, it was gorgeous, seeing way they call the ‘canyon’ if skyscrapers from a different perspective with an enthusiast’s narration about the development and ebb and low of architecture styles, fads and trends. 

Also a lovely story or two about the change in the city’s relationship with the river, how it changed over time, used and abused, misused, loved and now a must-see feature of this booming city. 

How ever you look at it the city has many pockets of different characteristics and each nook and cranny appears to have a story to tell. 

I was so enamored with the new perspective and rich stories not just about the past and the history of Chicago’s buildings but the present; talking about the building we could see being built before us and then looking into the future of what these areas could and should become. 

Overall an insightful and somewhat poetical tip in places. I can highly recommend going on the Chicago’s First Lady boat tour. 

River cruise

Architecture River Cruise – Chicago’s First Lady

A few panoramic shots from the cruise

Pano River Cruise

Architecture River Cruise – Chicago’s First Lady

Pano River Cruise

Architecture River Cruise – Chicago’s First Lady

Navy Pier

A view by Navy Pier – Chicago’s First Lady

The junction river

The Junction on the river – Chicago’s First Lady

Cheers folks,

Josie x

Chicago Baby! An artistic experience

I had a wonderful day yesterday at the art institute off Michigan Avenue, you really could lose yourself for days in this wonderful place, with rooms and corridors full of wonderful art work, and a whole ‘wing’ dedicated to modern and contemporary American art. 

Walking up to the building as I strolled the length of Michigan Avenue was a delight in itself. It holds echos of the grandeur similar to that of the larger London museums, but is grand and delighful in its own right. There are two large lion statues bookending some harsh-cut asymmetrical steps that draw your eyes into the sheer glass and gold doors that invite you in.

The art institute

Art institute off Michigan Avenue

The flags are triumphantly boasted amongst the crisp arches that advertise a few of their exhibitions 

Art institute

Art institute off Michigan Avenue

Walking in you’re greeted by a grand hallway, Some sweeping staircases that make you feel a little like you’ve just stepped into an Escher drawing with a Victorian twist. The high ceiling and windows allow the light to stream in and dance around the images creating Stark contrast to the shadows thrown in and around the corridors and slightly smaller rooms containing more light sensitive artifacts. 

Each room sweeps your eyes up and around drawing you in no particular order to the art work displayed, the natural rhythm of the space makes for a real exploratory experience. People hover and weave around, past and towards the different artists in a lovely ebb and flow, like they’re​ cascading water, leaving pockets of empty space to really drink in the space.

Ground floor art institute

Ground floor of the Art Institute off Michigan Avenue

I highly recommend this as a must-see in Chicago. From Monet to Andy Warhol, hand carved sculptures and armour through-the-ages to immaculate portraits of poetical history. It’s a real walk through time.

Artwork

Sculptures

Armour

Sculpture

Cheers folks,

Josie x

(Just a little disclaimer, I claim no rights for the ownership or creation of the artwork shown in this blog)

Chicago Baby! A sight seeing experience

So today I’m heading to the Art Institute, I’ve been told you need days to fully explore, such is the delight and wonder of the place, so many things to see. 

Here are a few photos from my sight seeing so far this week; from my time in Millennium Park, which is a beautiful space with art installations, a beautiful and large free outdoor theatre, some fountains and ‘The Bean’ to name but a few. 

Millennium Park

Harris Theatre on the edge of Millennium Park

Harris Theatre

Harris Theatre on the edge of Millennium Park

The Bean

‘The Bean’ Cloud Gate at Millennium Park

The Bean

‘The Bean’ Cloud Gate at Millennium Park

Some art installationsArtTyre art work installations at Millennium Park
Artwork

Tyre art work installations at Millennium Park

Fountains on the edge of the park, a panoramic view

Fountains

Digital fountains at the edge of Millennium Park

Fountains digital faces

Digital fountains at the edge of Millennium Park

And my time in the 360 tower, also known as the John Hancock centre, enjoying some delicious cocktails and simply stunning panoramic views of the city.
A panoramic view

Chicago city view

Panoramic view of the city from the John Hancock centre

Cocktails on high

Cocktails on high, on the 96th floor of the John Hancock centre

Chicago view

A view of Chicago from the John Hancock centre

I hope you’ve enjoyed these snippets 😊

Thanks folks,
Josie x

Chicago Baby! A wanderer’s experience

Had a great day walking the streets of Chicago enjoying various coffees, cakes and delights as I travelled. 

Just sort of spent today getting to grips with the places and sights surrounding where I’m staying, taking some time out to get some slightly more deliberate and thought through photos done of some of the streets and architecture. 
I enjoyed really looking at where I was, not just seeing, really watching and looking at what’s surrounding me. Seeing the reaching curves and twists of the more cathedral like spires and turrets boldly standing in contrast to the sharp, blocked, concrete edges of the towering lines of the more modern structures. Some truly juxtaposed beauty to run in to around here.

Here are some photos from today, I quite like the way the over exposure works on these images 🙂 

Churchyard

Churchyard

Spires

Spires on Michigan Avenue

Clocks

Street clocks

Street view

Street view​ on the corner of Michigan Avenue

Cheers folks​
Josie x

Chicago Baby! A real foodie experience

Having just had a lovely breakfast at my hotel consisting of a cream cheese bagel and fresh coffee I started thinking about the food I’ve already had in the short time I’ve been here. 

Not one, normally, for photos of food I’ve found that the food here has been a delight, not only for the tastebuds, but for the eyes!

A real work of art – on the whole – so I’m going to share with you just a couple of the delights I’ve sampled so far… 

Raspberry tart and Kurdish chicken and apricot salad

Raspberry tart

Raspberry and pistachio tart

Chicken and apricot salad

Kurdish chicken and apricot salad – Gundis Kurdish Kitchen

And some delicious cheesecake​s, we all ordered one and then passed round the table… They were immense…

Cookie dough and choc-chip cheesecake

Cookie dough and choc-chip – Cheesecake Factory

Raspberry, lemon and lime cheesecake

Raspberry, lemon and lime – Cheesecake Factory

Raspberry and white chocolate truffle cheesecake

Raspberry and white chocolate truffle – Cheesecake Factory

Cheers folks,

Josie x

Chicago Baby! A time traveling experience 

Having arrived yesterday at O’Hare airport I’m still getting to grips with the -6hours time difference, but so far jet lag has been bearable, it’s just my confusion over which day I’m actually on which keeps throwing me.

I’ve spent today getting my bearings and exploring this beautiful city, walked miles, jumped on the EL and went round the loop.

Went to several places on a delightful walk back up Michigan Avenue, also went to see ‘The Bean’ in Millennium Park, some lovely art installations including some HUGE fountains with changing faces, some sculptures made from tyres and various other bits and pieces. 

Also paid a visit to The Cheesecake Factory, which was a little bit like stepping into Charlie and The Chocolate Factory – and the cheesecakes were immense!! 

Finally took a trip up to the 96th floor of the John Hancock tower (360 tower) for a scrummy mojito and beautiful skyline view.

Looking forward to the rest of my time here, will keep you in the loop. 

Look out for my photos on instagram and the twittersphere 🤓👍

Cheers folks,

Josie 

Dear J Doe

Dear unknown, my John or Jane doe

So it’s been a short while since I wrote, 

Anything.

A poem, a micro poem or even a rhyming couplet. 

I’ve been back under a cloud, sad to say it’s been a dark week or so, 
I want to get back out of the rut. So I’m writing this. 

A letter into the abyss 

Of online semantical depths of a potential echo. 
They say to write what you know, 

What’s true to you, say it as so. 

But sometimes that’s not something anyone would want to read. 

I always try to write for ‘another me’ to pay it forward 

To those who may take comfort that they are not alone,

Or just because I see, feel or hear something poetical. 

Self indulgent really, to a point. 
I hope to be back in my stride soon 

But to write what I know 

Write and feel what I feel 

Can sometimes feel 

More 

More precarious 

Than keeping it bottled up inside. 

So, dear John, the John Doe – or Jane, 

What’s in a name? 
I hope you’ll take my silence as read. 

I want to believe it’s a strength, 

Protecting those to whom some of my demons are tethered, 

In some vein hope I can retain a sense of hope. 
Hope, my current endeavour. 
I’ll be back on scribbles, 

I’ll be drawing and sketching again.
But for now my heart and mind need protection 

From my passionate desire and dark passengers

Who haunt me

Taunt me.
This letter is a declaration of hope. 

A shout to those on the edge of despair, 

Join me on the brink of somethingness, 

A defiant gesture to the ghosts and apprehension 

That haunt. 

And taunt.

So… I –

I thank you for reading, 

Dear John and/or Jane,

And I hope to be with you, 

Be back, 

Living.

Again.

Sincerely,

Doe

Thanks for your ongoing support folks, much appreciated,

Be well and stay strong, 

Josie xx

Mud Run?! Why ever not…

Hey folks, hope you’re all fine and fab’lous 🙂

So I’ve just signed up for a Mud Run in about 6/7weeks time to raise money for charity. (This isn’t a plug 😉 just saying)

Ever done one before? I did one last year for fun with a small team of four, if anyone’s looking for a way to get fit, have fun and (if you so fancy) raise some pennies for a charity you support or want to support, I can highly recommend it as a venture.

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Happy New Year, survival, paying it forward and a hello to 2017

2016; a year of swings and roundabouts, as they say. This is just a post to tell a bit of my story of living with anxiety and depression. It’s not me dwelling (and I hope it doesn’t come across that way) I’ve chosen to do this because I’ve found it so comforting at times to read and/or hear other people’s and have a flicker of hope knowing I’m really not alone in this. I want to repay these people’s kindness in sharing their stories by sharing with my own, as a sort of pay it forward… *deep breath*

Firstly I want to wish you all the very best for the next year and your future in general. I hope 2017 is a beauty for you in whatever form that takes.

So here goes…

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Reflections

A monologue; one of a Grand Guignol style production ‘Cabaret of Confessions’

Imagine this… to begin… Arson. Murder. Destruction. A child. Alone.
The empty shell of her home reflected in the tears in her eyes, we watch as they fall. The smell, the dry smell of the cinders as they dissolve into ash around her. Choking her… as she crouches. Half lit by the remaining flames. Flickering.
She reaches to her mother. Her body barely visible through the half-lit smoke. Motionless. The child fumbles forwards, hugging the corpse. Rocking. Sobbing. Her sister’s body lies near by, her father is no where to be seen.
Suddenly a near by mirror smashes in the heat… sending glass flying towards her. She screams in pain. We see her scream in pain… but her screams are silenced… drowned even, by the remaining flames as they destroy what is left.

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