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Best macrocosmic El stop

Category, City Life, East Garfield Park No Comments »

Garfield Red Line
This is where you’ll see the toughest no-bullshit South Siders, the most animated arguments and the most persistent tube-sock salesmen, along with the spindly geeks of U of C, usually fiddling with Droids or clutching Dave Eggers hardbacks. This is where one side of the tracks meets the other. Twenty-four hours here beats a Masters in Sociology any day, any hour.

220 West Garfield
(888)968-7282
transitchicago.com

Best of Chicago 2010

Best first date

Culture & Nightlife, East Garfield Park No Comments »

Garfield Park Conservatory

In Chicago, nature is a precious luxury and much of the best of it is heated and watered here, in this hundred-degree-plus refuge that feels like a little vacation. Most people can be fun while drinking, dancing or Cosmic Bowling. If you can keep up the charm while admiring the Double Coconut Palm and grabbing a bench to do the crossword, you’re the sort of person we’d like to know for a while.

300 North Central Park
(312)746-5100
garfield-conservatory.org

Best of Chicago 2010

Best art show (in the last year or so)

Audience Choice, Culture & Nightlife, East Garfield Park, Loop No Comments »

Gerhard Richter at the Art Institute of Chicago
One of the most moving paintings to grace the walls of the Art Institute could be found at the end of this comprehensive flood of artifacts from the 70-year-old German artist. “Reading,” from 1994, is a smallish canvas, oil on linen. If you stand close, the painting seems hardly there, implausible that such illumination could come from such minimal matter. The texture of the fine fabric soaks up the numinous, blatant homage to Vermeer, shimmering with technical fastidiousness. It has a photo-realist edge yet it is incandescent with mystery. Light falls onto the neck, hair and hands of his wife, the woman he loves, as she reads a newspaper while standing in profile. Simple mastery, as if mastery is ever simple. Simple sentiment: the wisdom of age.

111 South Michigan (312)443-3600

Audience choice: (Tie)Chihuly in the Park: A Garden of Glass at Garfield Park Conservatory through November 4/Van Gogh and Gaugin: The Studio of the South at the Art Institute of Chicago
Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 North Central Park Avenue
(312)746-5100

Best of Chicago 2002

Best reason why we don’t deserve anything nice

Culture & Nightlife, East Garfield Park No Comments »

Broken Chihuly artwork at Garfield Park Conservatory
God only knows how it was decided that we could be trusted with them, but somehow we ended up with the colorful explosions of Tacoma artist Dale Chihuly’s glasswork. Not only did the works prove so popular that their stay has been extended again and again, but they single-handedly revived the use and popularity of Garfield Park. And then, of course, somebody had to go and break one of the sculptures at a private party this summer. $70,000 worth, no less. You wonder why we get stuck with things like fiberglass furniture and cows on parade?

Garfield Park Conservatory
300 North Central Park Avenue (312)746-5100

Best of Chicago 2002

Best of the Best: Garfield Park Conservatory

Culture & Nightlife, East Garfield Park No Comments »

Garfield Park Conservatory
Thanks to its location in the less-than-media-friendly West Side, Garfield Park Conservatory was always one of Chicago’s underused gems. But all that changed this year with the blockbuster Dale Chihuly glass-sculpture exhibit. It’s worth returning after Chihuly’s gone, especially in the winter, when its warm, vegetated character on a subzero February day is conducive to tropical fantasies. Garfield Park Conservatory, opened in 1907 as a “work of landscape art under glass” by its creator Jens Jensen, is nothing less than a horticultural marvel, where 300,000 plants are grown annually.

300 North Central Park Boulevard (773)746-5100

Best of Chicago 2002