One of my favorite places to begin a day of shopping on State Street is at Atwood Cafe. (Yes, a restaurant, because all great shopping trips begin with great eating!)
The Atwood is in the Hotel Burnham on the southwest corner of State and Washington. It was five ’til noon when we popped in looking for a table for two. “An hour-and-a-half wait,” we were told. A city “hour-and-a-half” goes by much faster than any other that I know, so we signed up, and off we went to work up our appetites further. We think about popping into Macy’s but it’s such a fine day, we decided head east, to Millenium Park.
Not sure what my iPhone camera did to this one but I kind of like it:
Here’s a more “normal” view:
After Millenium Park we were getting a bit chilled so we popped into the first building across Michigan Avenue: The Chicago Cultural Center. (Originally was the first central Public Library in Chicago, founded in 1897.)
I could shower you with photos from the inside of this building. It not only has incredible architecture, art exhibits, a cafe and cozy reading nooks, but it’s also so festively decorated!
Here are just a few from my favorite room, Preston Bradley Hall.
The room houses the largest Tiffany Dome and it’s truly staggering. When photographing it, you feel though you’ve stepped into a life-size kaleidoscope.
According to the website:
Approximately 38 feet in diameter, the Tiffany dome spans more than 1,000 square feet. It contains approximately 30,000 pieces of glass in 243 sections within an ornate cast iron frame.
I overheard a fellow-Chicagoan giving a tour to his family “there’s concerts in here every Wednesday at noon.” I didn’t know that but I know where I’ll be next Wednesday at noon. (Also concerts on Mondays.)
The ballroom sized room is decorated elaborately from floor to ceiling in quotes, inscriptions, and mosaic plaques with great thinkers’ name, for instance, Shakespeare:
(Although I took a better-centered shot, I hadn’t used the flash & it’s dull looking without it. I think you can see the essence of the detail better. This is a room definitely worth a visit!)
I recommend at least half-day to a whole day to really enjoy Millenium Park & the Chicago Cultural Center, but this was a wonderful preview and we definitely did pass the hour-and-a-half quickly.
I like to be flexible when out and about: here we’d come out to eat and shop and we’ll get to that…but what a wonderful time we had building up to it!
PS: The website has a helpful “My Trip Planner” in case you a planning a trip to Chicago!