January 7, 2014 Here's a late post on a recent trip to one of my favourite cities, Chicago. Nothing beats a weekend in Chicago for the ultimate dose of inspiration. The profusion of Art Deco architecture makes my eyes sing, the food makes my mouth water and the public green/art spaces makes me feel optimistic abut the future of urban living (if only with the hope that more cities follow Chicago's lead) .
Incredible meals at Longmann & Eagle, The Publican and The Purple Pig (I have Chef Bas of Porzia to thank for the list of recommendations). Not only were the food, drinks and service excellent, the branding for all 3 restaurants were also top notch. All felt thought out, well-executed and perfectly complementary to the physical space and overall ambience. Most people probably don't think twice about a restaurant's branding, but I firmly believe that a carefully crafted and consistent aesthetic when it comes to the graphic design contribute wholly to the experience. Going back to the food, though...I'm still dreaming about the Turkey Leg Confit at The Purple Pig. YUM.
So much at the Art Institute of Chicago: the collection of exquisite architectural details from Chicago buildings (I died and woke up in Art Deco heaven), the Monika Baer exhibit ( I especially loved the cut-out canvases), the juxtaposition of the old wing with the new wing...
...and last but not least, getting herded into the old wing's basement to hide out from an approaching tornado (thankfully, it never came) and discovering the Thorne Miniature Room in the process. My love of dollhouses from when I was a kid has never dissipated. We never had the kind of money needed to purchase and maintain a fancy dollhouse (my Barbie dreamhouse with the interiors printed on the walls doesn't count) but I've just never lost my fascination for things in miniature. The detail and accuracy in the Thorne miniatures blew my mind. I could have stayed in there for hours. One of my favourites was of a super luxe, all white apartment from the 1930s (pictured above) but in truth, every single room was more incredible than the next.
Looking forward to another opportunity to visit Chicago...hopefully in the summer when it's not so cold!