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Showing posts from July, 2017

Chicago, day 5, Northwestern University

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We caught the train back to Michael's apartment and picked up the car to drive to the university campus. Michael is nearly at the end of his PhD thesis in history at Northwestern and needed to go in to the department to attend a lecture. Northwestern University was built in Evanston, beautifully placed next to Lake Michigan, around 12 miles north of Chicago. It was founded in 1851 by John Evans and the oldest building still standing is University Hall (1869).  In 1873 the Evanston College for Ladies merged with the university, although Northwestern first admitted women students in 1869. The medical school and the law school are based in Chicago itself. The campus is an airy place with wide roads, trees and green space. Before he went in for his lecture Mike showed us the Alice Millar Chapel, built in 1962 with the most wonderful stained glass windows, designed by Belgium born Benoit Gilsoul. Their colours depict stories and allegories. The outside of the church is very convention…

Chicago, day 5, a catch up on a few things we had missed

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Day 5 was to be our last full day in Chicago before flying back to Orlando. We checked out of our hotel and made our way back to Michael's area of the city before going with him to North Western university where he needed to be at a lecture in the history department. But we didn't need to be there till the afternoon. The hotel was directly opposite the Carbide and Carbon building. An art deco jewel, clad in green granite and decorated modestly with brass. It is now the home of the Hard Rock Hotel.


We dropped in to the Cultural Centre. This was built in 1897 to serve as Chicago's first public library but is now used to host exhibitions and events. There was a vary varied show from students around the city. Another by an artist who had painted the doors of a school in a deprived area, and then a rather strange collection of ladders and ropes that was outside the galleries in a courtyard area. The rooms are enormous and one of the glass domes is by Tiffany, (he had a house a…

Chicago, day 4, Buddy Guy's Legends

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The essential thing to do when visiting Chicago is to get a dose of the blues. The city considers itself the birthplace of the blues and there is no better place to go than Buddy Guy's legends. This is an intimate venue run by a an epic blues player, now in his 80's. We were there on a Monday night when it is 'open house' and anyone can take the floor. We were lucky that their resident player Jimmy Burns was there and joined by Holli Thee Maxwell, a tremendously powerful singer with more personality than you could throw a stick at. She performed with Ike Turner after he separated from Tina and owned a nightclub in California with Jimmy Smith. She now part owns a nightclub in Paris and has definitely seen something of the world.  She also has two degrees in music, one from the Juillard and is classically trained. There were some others performing as well but I did not get their names, a pity as they were very talented, especially the female trumpeter. I was hoping that…