The Field Museum
We went on Tuesday to see the Field Museum. Getting downtown is a hassle by car, and parking is even worse, so we took the train. The train is not for anyone with limited mobility--it doesn't linger at stops, and there is a lot of fast clambering up and down to be done. It is however a 10 dollar round trip from the suburbs to Union Station, much cheaper than parking. It's good to get to the platform early so you can snag a seat by the emergency windows, which you can see out of--otherwise the regular windows give you this view:
It's also a rather rugged urban hike from Union Station to the Field Museum itself, about 2 miles, so you can get museum feet even before you get there. I was wearing crocs and I have to say they were as fabulous as they are ugly because by the end of the day, it was my legs that hurt, not my feet. Next time I think we will snag a cab from in front of one of the hotels on Wacker, or figure out a connecting train. (We did take a cab back, $10.15 for the three of us) The route to the museum is actually quite pretty once you reach Millenium Park. Here is a fountain
The front of the Field
A random skyscraper:
Navy Pier (it's a mall):
Lighthouse at the edge of the breakwater
And this bird, who should hide it's little head in embarassment, as she bonked me on the back of the head with her beak and feet while I was taking these photos.
I think she is a female redwing blackbird. I didn't see the nest anywhere. I just filed it with the pig that peed on my sandals, the deer that ate my dress ribbon, and the cat that smacked me in the face as a child. (The lizard bite and the bee sting were my own fault for petting them.) Anyway, the inside of the Field is quite grand, with Sue the Tyrannosaur front and center. We went because K wanted to see the Viking exhibit and it was splendid--mostly jewelry. My camera was pretty useless in the low light, but K I think documented every single thing in there and how it was displayed. She did take a picture of some textile working tools and I wish I had taken a photo of the natural dye samples for my brother. Anyway, here is the upstairs just outside the gem exhibit:
The gems were pretty, but not much more exciting to me than a Tiffany exhibit, as they were mostly modern and cut rather than being in their matrices. Here's a meteorite, cut open and polished:
I liked the anthropological stuff the best, since there were models (like the one of Tenochtitlan in the first picture) and maps. There was a gorgeous collection of Midwestern First Nation clothing and textile stuff, a lot of wood carvings from the Tlingit and some totem poles as well--I thought this otter guy was incredibly spooky:
They were working on a future Middle Eastern/Mesopotamian exhibit and so just had a few small pieces out--I liked this one:
There was really too much to see--we never did look around the ground floor and missed most of the Asian exhibits, and as it was getting late, we wanted to head back before the real commuter rush began. (The trains get very full). Altogether I would say the Museum deserves maybe a couple of full days and is worth the cost of 30.00 for one-adult-with movie (which we did not bother to see). The food in the cafe is good, if expensive. I also managed to sit by the emergency window on the way back and the view of trainyards and backyards was pretty fun too.