I moved to Chicago when I was a young fledgling all of 22 years old with stars in my eyes and dreams to touch the sky. Well in Chicago thats not a very hard thing to do. All you have to do is take the elevator up to the 103rd floor of the Sears (now called Willis) Tower. I lived in Chicago for almost 9 years. It would be a cliche to say I knew every alley and every corner but it is true I did. I made the city my home, I was an expert on its neighborhoods, its architecture, its art and museums. I taught for 6 years and the best part of that job was to expose my students to the myriad cultures that make up this city.I fell in love, I broke my heart, I made the best of friends and carried back with me a life time of memories when I moved back to India. There was not a day that went by when I reminded myself that I was lucky to live in the most beautiful city in the world.
I was really excited to share this city with my parents who were not able to visit me whilst I lived there. We rented a place off Airbnb in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago for a few days. I took the opportunity to share with them what my life had been when I lived there. My friend Justin who has just had a baby took a day off and hung out with my parents and me. We did what we always do- Wander.
Wandered through the Art Institute of Chicago, wandered through Millenium Park, wandered under the giant bean by Anish Kapoor, discovered a lovely installation in the park by Jun Kaneko, lunched at one of my favourite haunts- Le Creperie and wandered through the beautiful Bahai Temple in Evanston. And finally had dinner with his lovely wife Julie and baby Wyatt at their home in Evanston.
This post is also a tribute to the French cafe Le Creperie. It is part of Chicago's European heritage and adds to the diversity of that city. Located on Clark off Diversey, it was one of the first few restaurants that I ever ate at. There is a lovely movie theater across the street and I would catch a movie at the Landmark and then dinner or lunch at Le Creperie. It was one of those places I could safely go on a first date, meet friends or just spend an afternoon with a book and a cup of coffee and some crepes. Le Creperie has a lovely outdoor verandah that is an absolute delight to sit in late spring to early fall. Its walls are adorned with famous posters of the French Art Nouveau, maps of the lovely cities of France. In my mind it was a perfect French cafe, inviting, warm and laid back. Back in the day, it was also my first experience with savoury crepes and I was delighted by the various lovely combinations on their menu- spinach and cheddar, mushrooms in white sauce, ratatouille, curried chicken with mango chutney, beef bourguignon which can be followed by dessert crepes of lemon and sugar, nutella and bananas, dark chocolate and many more.
Well sadly, this Chicago establishment is soon going to shut its doors by the end of this month. So if you are in Chicago in the next week or so- do go to this beautiful little cafe and enjoy a crepe. Another tragic piece of news I read recently, the owner who ran this place for over 30 years just lost his son. We met his beautiful wife Yasmina who waited on us that afternoon. She was so sweet and friendly and by the end of the meal she gave my mom a hug.
There will be a bit of the European charm that will be lost with the closing of Le Creperie.
The Hancock Tower and Lake Michigan- on top of the world
Braving the glass ledge
The bravest of them all
Cantilevered on the 103rd floor. The lovely Calder at night
My favourite- A Sunday in the afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat
Detail of the Water Lilies by Monet
The Art Institute of Chicago- My home for 9 years. The finest collection of Impressionists in the world.
The bridge by Piano connects to Millenium Park by Frank Gehry
It never gets old- the wonderful Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor.
A surprise discovery- Jun Kaneko in the park
Delicious detail 2
The most fun place to be in the summer
The Crown Water Fountains
A modern take on old European Fountains
Le Creperie and its quaint gingham tablecloth
The outdoor patio and the beautiful warm interiors
My friend Justin and the lovely Yasmina
A mix of crepes- my all time favourite- curried chicken and mango chutney, a broccoli and cheddar
At beautiful Bahai Temple in Evanston
Wedding Photography session on the grounds of The Bahai Temple
The incomplete with the transcendental
My mom and Yasmina
Our prayers and condolences are with you Yasmina. Do take care.
This opening song from the season of OITNB 2 is perfect for this post dont you think?