I am trying to break your heart(breakers)

Today we decided to mostly keep it local and hang out in Wicker Park during the day as we were heading out in the evening to see Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers at Wrigley Field.

We wandered down Milwaukee Street towards Damen Station to go to Doves Luncheonette for breakfast. Steve had Huevos Rancheros for his breakfast.

Blainie had Smashed avocado on toast with arugula, pumpkin seed oil, feta, and toasted quinoa. It was really delicious.

Doves Luncheonette gets two thumbs up from us.

Then we had a bit more of a wander around the Wicker Park area. Some really cool old shop signs and street art around here.

Another quick coffee and some blogging at Wormhole Cafe.

Before heading back to our hostel for a bit of packing (leaving for Nashville tomorrow) and a couple of empanadas for lunch.

Then we headed off to Wrigley Field.

We were a bit early, so we stopped in at a bar for a couple of beers in the warm Chicago sun.

Then, in to the stadium we went. It was pretty cool in there. 

It was dinner time by now, so we couldn’t resist a Chicago hotdog. The best part of it was the condiment station – complete with delicious pickles. Love a good condiment station. This could never happen in Perth, people would just fill their handbags with the pickles. The hotdog was actually really good too.

Hanging out in our seats eating hotdogs.

It did start to rain just before Tom Petty played (as was forecast) but we had our ponchos and we were kind of under cover so it was ok. The rain hung around for a while, but didn’t get too heavy, so luckily the show didn’t get cancelled or anything. We’ve had that happen to us before in America. 

We were really far away, and it was kind of really bright up where we were sitting which was a bit weird, but it was still really awesome, and probabaly the only chance we will ever get to see Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. The crowd loved it and sang along a lot. 

Then we caught the train back home with everyone else at the show but it was surprisingly quick and efficient. Good times. 

Bean there

We headed in to downtown this morning with the plan to check out Millennium Park. We got close, but then the rain began to fall. We took shelter in the nearby Art Institute of Chicago, still undecided if we should pay to go in and check out the arts. In the end, we decided against it, and just looked at all the cool books in their shop instead. Then caught the train up to the Museum of Contemporary Art instead to check out an exhibition by Japanese artist Murakami. We are quite the fans of Murakami.

The exhibition was really great – some old favourites and some of his new work too. We liked it a lot.

After looking at the exhibition it was time for lunch, where once again we ordered far too much food. 

Must remember: 

1)only order one thing and share

2) Just because something is only $10 doesn’t mean it’s not huge.

Anyway, the rain had eased a tad, so we thought we had better go check out Millennium Park and see the shiny bean. When we found the bean and all the tourists, we were a little surprised that it was actually really cool and the photo opportunities were plenty. We liked the bean.

We also saw these water fountain things with people’s faces on them.

We headed back to Wicker Park (our home base) and then went to Emporium Arcade Bar and enjoyed a beer/whisky and played a whole lot of pinball and arcade games. Blainie did manage to get the high score on the Galaga machine, but it wasn’t a very high score to beat. Also the all time high score that was up on a board behind the bar was something ridiculous like 5 million or something. We liked this place. 

Later in the evening people were drawing pirates. From real life models dressed as pirates, because, well that’s just what you do around here. We were both disappointed we didn’t know about this earlier and thus didn’t bring any drawing equipment so we could not partake in the drawing of pirates.

We had a pretty average late dinner after all that fun, then back to our hostel for a quick game of foosball.

Sky Blue Sky

After an early night last time, we headed out for our first full day in Chicago. Luckily for us, the sun was shining and the sky was blue. A disappointing free breakfast at the hostel led us to seek out some good coffee. Wormhole Coffee was a place that we had on our list of places to visit – as we were promised ’80’s kitsch and a Delorean from Back to the Future. Just by chance it was also located less than a ten minute walk from our hostel. They had good coffee and there was indeed a Delorean.

Then we headed into downtown in search of large buildings. They have them. We found them.

We also found the Marina Bay towers aka the Wilco towers as seen on the cover of their album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Then we had some burgers at Shake Shack for lunch. They were pretty good.

After much umming and ahhing we finally decided to go on an Architecture Boat cruise on the river and lake. After all, the architecture in this city is pretty impressive.

After cruising on the river we headed out on to Lake Michigan. Have I mentioned how freaking big that river is? Actually I think I have, but it bears repeating. IT IS HUGE. We even had to go through a lock to get out there.

River cruise done (it was really good btw) it was time for icecream. A really large icecream, because that’s just the way it’s done over here.

Obviously we needed to walk off that icecream so we headed down to the lake. I think someone is lying about it being a lake – it has a freaking massive beach. A beach, on a lake! 

It was starting to get late but we quickly headed up to Lincoln Park zoo and got there for the last half and hour before they closed. Lincoln Park zoo is free, so we did a whirlwind trip around it and looked at some of the animals.

Our feet were getting a bit tired by this stage so we got on the train back to Wicker Park and had some delicious tacos for dinner at Big Star Tacos and a good chat with a lovely Chicagoen couple that sat opposite us. 

Good night. 

Via Chicago

And so it was with heavy hearts, we said goodbye to North Adams. But not before one last coffee at MASS MOCA.

Then we got in the car and headed back to Boston. Along the way we saw several things. This large moose statue was one of the things.

We stopped briefly in a small town called Shellburne Falls. They had a bridge of flowers and glacier rocks. The falls were however a little disappointing. Cute little town though.

We also stopped for lunch in a small town called Gill at a place called The Wagon Wheel. We ate fish tacos and fried pickles. Oh yes we did. (Note: the chips were disappointing and should’ve been left off the meal)

Another quick stop at Turners Falls.

Then we got stuck in Boston traffic on our way to the airport and nearly missed our flight. 

Phew! We made it. Lake Michigan is HUUUUUUUGE by the way.

Music is my saviour part 2

Day 2 of Solid Sound. We were up early to eat breakfast in our room and enjoy a not very good at all coffee from a cafe in town. So, first stop when we got to the festival around midday was for coffee. Seems everyone else at the festival has the same idea as there was quite the long queue.

Coffee done, it was time for some art and music. First up was The Shaggs. I’m not really sure how to explain this band. If you would like more information follow the link, or simply google them. They were entertaining.

More bands, more art, pop up shows around the gallery. This is the best festival ever.

In the mid afternoon we went to see Peter Wolf. Back in the ’80’s he was part of the J Geils Band who you may remember had quite a few hits that you may know. Then he went solo, and he had a song called Come As You Are which I loved as a 12 year old, especially because the clip was really cool and featured him jumping along streets for the entire song. (Watch it if you don’t remember) anyway, these days he’s a lot more rock n roll with a bit of country thrown in, and his set was damn awesome.

The afternoon saw us wandering around, watching some more bands, have a quiet ale or two and enjoying the North Adams sunshine. 

Then as the sun set, Wilco took to the stage. They had their awesome forest stage set up. So, so cool. They played for hours and were amazing.

Then back to our dorm to rest up for the next day. Good times.

PS – I am updating this blog at the Chicago public library because the wi fi in our accommodation kind of sucks.