Monday, July 25, 2011

Hearts of Darkness

Friday the 8th of July brought beautiful weather to KC, as well as a free show by the fantastic Afrofunk band Hearts of Darnkess on the lawn of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, out in the suburbs. We enjoyed a Thai take-out picnic, and had a great time lounging on the lawn, but perhaps the best part was when little man was dancing and then received a spontaneous hug from another dancing toddler. Too funny!

Daylilies in the garden


Wednesday the 6th was Joe's birthday (I won't say how many he has now celebrated...). We enjoyed an evening out in KC, starting at the fantastic bar at Pierpont's at Union Station. The station itself is a holdover from a more elegant era- the gorgeous interior space of the station is inspiring, and rouses a longing for a time when travel was elegant and when the U.S. had a real transportation system. I never get this feeling from the cramped and plain airports that we use today, and car travel on our crumbling infrastructure is simply ridiculous (see my post from four days prior). One can still take the train from Union Station, but it is slow, expensive, and inefficient. For example, to travel to Chicago via train is more costly than flying, takes longer than driving, and travelers only have the option to leave two times a day. That and the Amtrak trains that I see pulling out of the station appear to be of the same era as the station itself- pre-World War II. As a result of the decreased use of the station for transportation the city has tried to place a variety of tourist attractions in the station building, some with more success than others. While I'm not excited about the type of exhibits they bring in (Princess Diana's stuff, Motorcycles, etc.), I do love Pierpont's, which is located in a corner of the station. I haven't eaten in the restaurant itself, but the bar is beautiful, and the service on Joe's birthday was fantastic.

Back to KC

A distant view of Kansas City as we passed over the Missouri River on our way home from a great holiday weekend in Chicago.

4th of July

What else to do but go watch some fireworks?

Holiday weekend continued...

On July 3rd, we enjoyed so many things, it was hard to select a single photo. We ventured to Mitsuwa, the huge Japanese market in the Chicago suburbs, where we picked up some hard to find Japanese groceries and had lunch, we had a fabulous afternoon garden party with friends and family, some of whom we hadn't seen in years, and we saw Mark Farina (with a few other great djs) late night in the city (below). A perfect day! :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Taste of Chicago

I took this photo waiting for our friend Shana on the steps of the Art Institute, and before we all indulged in a sampling of food at the Taste of Chicago for lunch. We enjoyed everything from vegetarian "chicken" wings to frozen cheesecake dipped in chocolate and served on a stick to mango dusted fries with chutney dipping sauce.

Transportation fail

We spent the afternoon, evening, and into the night on July 1 driving from Kansas City to Chicago. What would be a 4 hour bullet train ride in Europe, Japan, or China, became a 10+ hour drive through America's crumbling infrastructure. We hit traffic, construction, and even a 12 minute wait at a tollbooth (at midnight!) on our drive. I will never understand why Americans are so car-obsessed; if we had a real train system we could have relaxed on our trip, moved around at our leisure, and had a much safer journey. Instead we were subject to the poor driving of others, stuck in a seat, and forced to pollute at a much higher rate.