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Shake Shack

Since I’d seen the 60 Minutes feature on Shake Shack, it seemed high time that I visit this high caloric eatery. Ordering was efficient and the man who took our orders was polite. Even though

I soon got my ShakeBurger and chocolate shake. The shake was decadently delicious, while the burger was good, but nothing exceptional. My friend had the same sandwich and a salted caramel shake, which she said was very good.

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I’d say the burger isn’t on par with what we’d get a Hackney’s, a legendary Chicago-area spot, and it’s not as good as what people make themselves at home, but you’d pay a few dollars more at a better spot.

If you look at the calorie count, you’ll see that Shake Shack is an indulgence. I’d have tried a holiday shake, but those were over 800 calories!

The interior was a step up from a Wendy’s or even the nicest McDonalds.

Shake Shack started in New York and is moving across the country.

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American Writers Museum

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Timeline

This year the American Writers Museum in Chicago on Michigan Avenue. It was high time I visited so despite the rain and cold, I took a friend from Milwaukee to explore it.

After showing our tickets, which I bought online and got a 20% discount on, we were directed to start our visit on the right where there is a timeline of American writers.

If you look up on the left and you’ll see a timeline of American history. Under that is the main exhibit showing a chronological series of portraits of significant American writers. When you turn the panel, which has three sides, you’ll find more information and background about each writer. Below is information on a well designed panel about various literary movements or authors. It’s a lot of reading, but its well presented. Also, the curators seem to have made an effort to present authors from all backgrounds. Across from the time line is a wall of squares with author’s quotations. The squares move to reveal an panel with more information or a video.

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Parallel to the gallery with the timeline was a photo exhibit on biographies, written by or on authors or celebrities along with their photos. The black and white photos of 50+ years ago were my favorite. There’s something about the crisp gradations and the styles of bygone eras that we just don’t see much anymore.

The next room I saw was the Readers Room which focuses on reading. It highlights different kinds of reading, such as educational, newspapers, magazines and more. There are two interactive screens where you can submit your favorite authors and see the most popular authors or books other visitors have chosen.

Another gallery had a small exhibit on Laura Ingles Wilder with biographical information, maps of where each of her books was set, depiction of her work in other formats and critical responses to her works.

The museum has a table with different typewriters, from the earliest kind to Selectric to a laptop. People were pounding away at the old typewriters while the laptop wasn’t used while I was there.

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Quotation, Octavia Butler

Then there was an exhibit on the skills of writing with interactive exhibits on specificity, making prose active and such.

Finally, there was an area dedicated to Chicago writers like Saul Bellow, Ida B. Wells, Mike Royko, Ring Larder, Gwendolyn Brooks, Carl Sandburg, Theodore Dreiser, Peter Finley Dunne and many more. Here you could listen to short recordings of their work and see these turnable banners with their portraits and information on their work.

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Each month the museum offers several programs including public readings. The staff was very helpful as we went through the galleries. They’d point out little things like the mural in the children’s room which had squirrels in a tree reading Caldecott award winning books and each squirrel had some element that related to the story it was reading. For example, the squirrel reading Charlotte’s Web, had a wisp of a web hanging over it.

All in all, I give the museum a thumbs up and will be back. I’d say allow an hour to get through the museum. If there’s a program, add more time.

Tickets: Adults $12, Students $8, discounts for children and seniors.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

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Melbourne, Australia

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Hopetoun, Melbourne, Australia

Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects that contain the Letter K, anywhere in the word. Cake came to mind so here you go.

If you want to see more Letter K photos, go here.

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Orange

Browsing Cee’s blog to prepare for her Fun Foto challenge, I saw that Debbie of Travel with Intent has a one word challenge and this week it’s orange. I’m a bit late, but will participate on time in the future.

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Howlin Wolf

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Nat King Cole

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Common

 

Night of 1,000 Jack o’Lanterns

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From Night of 1,000 Jack o’Lanterns

This weekend from Thursday through Sunday the Chicago Botanic Garden is holding the Night of 1,000 Jack o’Lanterns. I got tickets in advance which turned out to be essential since it’s sold out for all days.

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The event is well planned. Our time to enter was 7:45 pm and though we arrived at the gardens on time the line to enter was long, so we should have come earlier. After parking, and we lucked out that they directed traffic so well that we must have hit the period when those who came at 5:30 had all left so we got to park in the lot nearest the visitors’ center. After entering we found long lines, but they moved swiftly.

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Sea Monster

Once inside we were delighted by Halloween music and dozens of jack o’lanterns, large and small. Well, huge and mid-size is more accurate. The “small” jack o’lanterns were the size most families buy and the big ones were perhaps 3 feet high. The jumbo ones were carved by artists and were grouped by themes. Themes included musicians, Chicago sports, Flora of Illinois, Fairy Tales, and Classic Halloween.

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After about an hour we reached a fork in the paths. One side led to the exit and the other to the model train exhibit. Though I’ve seen the model train exhibit, which consists of models of American sites like the French Quarter in New Orleans, the Hollywood sign or Wrigley’s Field, we decided to go again. I’m so glad we did. They’d decked out the buildings made of twigs and the trains with ghosts, goblins, witches, pumpkins and such.

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Then after exiting the model train exhibit we got to see two more themes of jack o’lanterns: Fairy Tales and Classic Halloween.

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Tickets are sold out. For members they were $12 and for non-members $14.

Parking for members is free and it costs $25 for non-members.

 

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

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Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects that contain the Letter J and have at least 6 letters.

Well, how fantastic that we reach letter J as we approach Halloween with all its jack o’lanterns! Last night I saw at least 1,000 at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Night of 1,000 Jack o’Lanterns. Since CEO’s known for her floral fotos, I’m posting the pumpkins carved with Illinois flora.

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If you want to see more Letter J photos, go here.

More from the Gold Coast at Halloween

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Halloween on Chicago’s Gold Coast

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Here are some photos from a walk around the Gold Coast of Chicago as Halloween approaches.

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People are really getting into the spirit.

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Open House Chicago: The Arts Club

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I was delighted to explore Chicago this weekend with my former student Melody at Open House Chicago, a two-day free event where you can go inside over 200 buildings, many of which are usually closed to the public. Both Saturday and Sunday it rained like cats and dogs, but that didn’t deter us. In fact, it seemed like lots of people were intrepid enough to venture out.

We started at The Arts Club, simply because it was centrally located and I’d never heard of it. I learned that The Arts Club began after the 1913 Armory show came to Chicago. For the most part, people panned the art show which featured modern art that was quite shocking and outrageous. They didn’t appreciate Duchamp’s upside down urinal, which he entitled Fountain.

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Yet more progressive art lovers did embrace the modern revolutionary art and they banded together to make sure Chicago did not miss out on the avant garde. That’s how the Arts Club began and it’s continued to bring modern art to the city.

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At the Arts Club, Fall 2017

Today the Arts Club is at 210 E. Ontario Street and Tuesday through Friday they welcome the public to their galleries on the first floor. Only members are allowed upstairs, but for the Open House we were allowed up.

So the hoi poloi could wander around the meeting area and dining room where an eclectic mix of art was on display.

Questions:

  1. What is your opinion of the art shown here?
  2. What is your opinion of modern art?
  3. Who is your favorite modern artist?

Travel Theme: Names

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Downtown Chicago

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Not backwards, that’s the name in Jinan, China

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Café, Pekanbaru, Indonesia

In response to Ailsa’s prompt this week, I’m sharing photos with names.

What does Names make you think of? If you fancy exploring the unfamiliar, exotic and unknown for this week’s travel theme (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:

  1. Create your own post and title it Travel Theme: Names
  2. Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  3. Watch out for the next travel theme which will come out next weekend
  4. Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes.
  5. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.
    ❤ Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack?

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