Oh, don't get me wrong. Miracle Mile is lovely, but honestly it is a sort of a 'mini me' to NYC. Ok, ok ... I hear you all out there shouting at me. But seriously, if I wanted to do some high-end shopping, New York will do. I'm not exactly sure why I always thought that this little section of Michigan Ave was the extent of 'downtown' Chicago, but boy was I wrong. Really, really wrong.
Yes, and now I hear you all laughing at me. That's ok. It's justified. How is it that I never made it down the other end of Michigan Ave to what Chicago calls its Culture Mile? As crazy as it might sound, all of my trips to Chicago have been for business, even this last time. And per usual, work booked me a few paces from the office just off of ... yes, Miracle Mile.
|Metra Commuter Rail|
As you walk back toward the university you pass by two huge bronze, equestrian statues that stand as gatekeepers to Congress Plaza called The Bowman and The Spearman. They were made in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia by a local sculptor, Ivan Meštrović. The original one was supposed to be a Cowboy, according to a friend who lives in Chicago. The muscular figures are eye-catching, to the point where you don't realize that their weapons are actually missing. Local stories suggest that they were taken as an elaborate prank; however that really is just lore. Meštrović omitted the weapons intentionally and left them to the imagination. In between the bronze statues is one called Daphne. I didn't realize that typically she is a trellis with flowers growing up her skirt. Since I was in between the next growth, she looked a bit bare, but if you click on the link you'll see her in all her glory.
I think the best part of my quick trip to Chicago was that I was able to slip out for an hour and meet up with a bloggy friend that I have known for years, but never met. Bobbie works at the Symphony, only a block from my conference, so it was just enough time to meet over a quick lunch. She was exactly as I imagined she would be, sweet, funny and very welcoming. She gave me a beautiful gift of earrings and some fun beads to work with. Thank you - I love them! This trip to Chicago was nothing like my previous ones. I will be back, this time on my own dime and hopefully doing some bead shopping with my friend Bobbie.