Monday, May 3, 2010

Days. Weeks maybe. Anyone suggesting months would not be accused of crazy talk. - Willow

364 Days to go: 358 Things to do: Day 2 in Chicago

7. Artropolis in the Merchandise Mart
8. Wine and cheese at Bin 36
9. Garrett's popcorn

As promised, first thing this morning we headed to the Merchandise Mart and went to Artropolis. Artropolis is an annual event with three large exhibitions - Art Chicago, NEXT, and the International Antiques Fair. It's $20 for a one day pass or $25 for a multiple day pass. I had never attended before although have definitely wanted to, so this was a very exciting excursion for me.

First, it was huge. The entire 12th floor is full of galleries from around the world showcasing their artists. We were there for five hours and only made it through half the room. So, in the future I would highly recommend getting the multi-day pass and making a weekend of it. There were far too many galleries and artists I loved to list them all, so once again I'll run through the highlights (and in the spirit of remaining as true to the blog's mission as possible, I'll only list my favorites from Chicago not other cities):

David Weinberg Gallery - 300 W Superior
Douglas Dawson Gallery - 400 N Morgan
Judy A Saslow Gallery - 300 W Superior

We did save some time to visit the 8th floor and NEXT, which highlights emerging artists. This had a totally different feel - the floor as a whole was much noisier and young, there were performance artists, the staff were dressed more funky than professional. It was fun, energetic, vibrant. At this point we were a little too tired to spend the time the artists deserved but here were the galleries that stood out to me in our quick pass through:

The Suburban - Oak Park
Heaven Gallery - 1550 N Milwaukee
Lloyd Dobler - 1545 W Division
I know, right? LLOYD DOBLER - as in Say Anything. Lloyd "I'm looking for a dare to be great situation" Dobler! I'll be heading over to Division Street fairly quickly, I think.

After leaving Artropolis we headed to Bin 36, 339 N Dearborn. Just a couple short blocks away and one of my favorite places. I convinced my mom and grandma to try one of Bin's wine flights - tastes of four different wines grouped by theme. I tried the 'Argentina with a Little Chile Thrown' in - I think the 2007 Malbec, Maipe from Mendoza, Argentina (This is what purple tastes like!) was my favorite. At my suggestion, Grandma ordered the 'Sexy Reds' flight - which I thought was awesome, (go Grandma!), and is my usual order. The 2006 Petire Sirah, Windmill is delicious. Bin 36 also has cheese flights - which, as a former Wisconsin resident, I fully endorse. I'm also a HUGE fan of So You Think You Can Dance, so obviously we ordered the So You Think You Know Cheddar cheese flight. This was not the first time I've ordered this either - the Barely Buzzed Cheddar, from Beehive Cheese Co in Utah is AH-mazing. Lavendar and coffee beans.

But here's my question, now my understanding is that wine is classified based mainly on the type of grape used and the region it's from. But what makes a cheddar cheese cheddar as opposed to some other kind of cheese? Anyone? Bueller?

Oh! And we got olives. Yum!

So, my mom is quite a popcorn fiend and some of her co-workers had told her to stop by Garrett Popcorn Shops while she was in town. So we did. Garrett's has several locations but we went to the one at Michigan and Ontario. I gotta say, the Chicago Mix (cheddar and carmel) is far better than it sounds. Unless you think it sounds great. Then you'd be right.

363 Days to go: 356 Things to Do: 2 Days in Chicago = 7 new Chicago experiences

And some more spring flowers - just because :)

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