Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Chicago Journals: End of the Line

While waiting for the opening of the Museum of Art, we took pictures of an old man on a Segway and one abstract art picture on the outside of the museum. I'll leave it up to you to determine what the picture is about but it was taken by Mrs. Abbey. The museum finally opened, we paid our dues and wandered the halls. Several exhibits including the American Gothic were closed for renovations so we couldn't see that one but there was a lot to see. For me, art is art and can be seen by walking by at a slow pace without reading who did it or learn more about the specific piece. I appreciate it but not as much as most of the people there. So it took me perhaps a little over an hour to see the entire museum until I got to the miniature exhibit.

The miniature exhibit was a room consisting of dozens of scale model houses built in exquisite detail right down to the crown molding and chandeliers. Each model house was behind an opaque wall with a glass window allowing you to see into just one room. I passed several of these windows thinking they were scale model rooms until I happened to look out of a doorway in one of these rooms and see another room with a grand staircase going up to a second floor out of view. In the second room which I could only see through a scale model doorway I could see yet another door and yet another room beyond. There was an entire house and yet I could see only a small portion through the tiny viewing window.

As I went through the display, every house was like this with only one room immediately visible and a hole other world that could be seen through doors and windows. The detail was breath taking and I was awed. My wife and I probably spent half of our time at the museum touring this one room of miniature houses. For the life of me, I don't know why I never took a picture of one of these models but when I got home and downloaded all of the pictures from the trip, that portion was without record. But thanks to Google and the internet, the three pictures posted below can be found along with many more if you go to the Thorne Collection online.

When we left the Art Museum, we had a couple hours left before our scheduled departure time so we decided to walk back to Union Station and stop for some lunch at a café that we could surely find along the way. However since it was officially lunchtime in Chicago, this proved more difficult than imagined but we eventually succeeded. I got my standard Patty Melt sandwich that I use as my personal taste gauge on all new restaurants. It ranked about a 4 or 5 on the ten-point scale. However, my wife got some ravioli cooked in a red sauce that was absolutely horrible. Fortunately they had plenty of bread to fill up on.

Deciding our luck in Chicago had run out, we hoofed it back to Union Station, got our bags from the locker and headed down to the train level. Unlike the stop near where we live that was at an old time depot, Union Station looked more like an airport. Like an airport, we were treated as cattle and herded around and stopped frequently to allow those in first class to board first. But we finally boarded and pulled out of the station on schedule. The ride home went smoothly thanks to the entertainment provided by the Train Talkers and Train Walkers and we pulled into our station only a few minutes late. As we waited for the train to pull away so we could cross the tracks to our waiting car, I couldn't help but wish the trip would have lasted a little longer

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