Put Chicago on the go-to list to experience Immersive Van Gogh.
Yes, the artist is supposed to be spelled Vincent van Gogh with a lower case v but the exhibit doesn’t worry about Van vs van.
After impressing Parisians and folks in Toronto, the exhibit is now the hot ticket in Chicago where it already sold out through March.
Immersive Van Gogh is about color, movement and mood. It is presented in a way so the public will appreciate an artist who died broke and was not valued in his lifetime.
Visitors will hear Mussorgsky’s “Pictures From an Exhibtion.” But they shouldn’t expect to see “Sunflowers,” “The Bedroom in Arles,” “Starry Night” or any self-portrait hung on a wall in its museum frame.
Housed in the Germania Club Building, a just redone landmark at 108 Germania Place on Chicago’s near north side, Immersive Van Gogh totally surrounds visitors with the artist’s famed works.
As scenes change, so does accompanying music ranging from Edith Piaf singing “Non, Je ne regrette rien” (I regret nothing) and choral works to Mussorgsky and a Handel cello suite.
A multi-story, 350 degree art experience, Immersive Van Gogh is in a building refitted by Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago for it and future exhibitions.
Ticket prices start at $39.99 for adults, $24.99 for children 16 or younger. For more information about Immersive Van Gogh visit vangoghchicago.com or call 844-307-4644.
Settle in for an unusual video that takes viewers from the Charleston Museum founded in 1773 to when Chicago’s Field Museum obtained Sue in 1990.
Thanks to “Riches Rivals and Radicals: 100 Years of Museums in America” a part of the Great Museums film series, you can travel from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “live” museum to the 2004 Smithsonian Museum of The American Indian with stopovers at the National Museum of Air and Space, The Isabella Stewart Gardener in Boston, the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio and the Exploratorium in San Francisco.
Add in NYC’s Met and MOMA, Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Boston’s Children’s Museum, Michigan’s Greenfield Village, Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, the US Memorial Holocaust Museum in D.C., New York’s Botanical Garden, the Milwaukee Art Museum and the National Zoo to see the breadth of the definition of museum and how museum architecture has changed.
It’s all on You Tube, so, refill the morning beverage cup, get comfortable, and visit youtube/watch/feature.
Until we can physically travel again, Travel Smart will visit cities where art museums, zoos and other destinations are doing videos through youtube, Facebook and Google arts .
When clicking on the links you may get something else but they are just ads so click on” skip ad” and you will be at the even/place you want
Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, hills and trolley cars. It’s San Francisco, baby. Until you can go back there are also places you can enjoy online that you may not have thought of in the city and down the coast.
San Francisco Symphony
You can watch and hear about Aaron Copeland or listen to Michael Tilson Thomas conduct the symphony and Emanuel Ax in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Also look for other concerts. They are like having a playlist on the computer to listen to while you work.
San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art features different artists and their work on line. See Judy Chicago and others.
Get comfortable. It’s time to visit some of the places that have intrigued you or are on your someday list. Don’t dress for travel.
Lots of destinations have added virtual tours. Some are OK even though they expect you to read French, such as on the 350 degree Louvre exploration or Spanish such as with the Guggenheim in Bilbao videos on Mark Rothko’s “Untitled” and Jeff Koons’ “Puppy.”
Others, like the ones here, have videos and cams that make visitors feel they are there.
So warm-ups or jammies are OK as you visit outer space, a zoo, an amazing garden, a Royal home and an aquarium. Just remember if looking at a cam that the place may be in a different time zone so might have different action at a later or earlier hour.
You get the gist of this escape. It’s a trip back to mid last century architecture and homes of famous people who wanted to be within a director’s calling distance of LA studios or not too far from Las Vegas stages.
A mere 119 miles southeast of Los Angeles and about 230 miles from Las Vegas, Palm Springs, CA sits on the always sunny (more than 350 days) western edge of Coachella Valley in the Colorado Desert. The events just mentions are a few of the dozens of tours and activities taking place in and around Palm Springs during the town’s annual Modernism Week, Feb. 14-24, 2019.
The bonus is two, really good shows in the Palm Springs Convention Center. Feb. 15-18, 2019. One is the high-end, Art Palm Springs. The other is a dealers’ Modernism exhibit. Feb. 15-18.
The week, actually 10 days, celebrates the area’s reputation for having more mid-last century homes than anywhere else in the world. Here, old homes are not torn down but are instead, preserved for people who appreciate mid-1900s designs. Indeed, the National Trust for Historic Preservation put the area on its America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations architecture list in 2006.
Modernism Week happens twice a year, October and February. The fall event is small but the February one runs out of tickets to some of the popular tours and lectures. Check Tickets to see what is left and snap them up before you go.
Do a bus tour
Definitely get tickets for the Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus Tour. Taking about 2.5 hours, the bus drives around Mid-Century Modern neighborhoods, and past Desert Spanish estates.
Knowledgeable guides tell stories about the stars and are likely to explain that the Palm Springs area was chosen because of what was then the studios’ “two-hour rule.” Actors had to be available within a couple of hour’s driving time for film and photo shoot calls..
It’s where tour guides have been known to say, “There is Frank Sinatra’s home, Twin Palms. When he was ready to party he hoisted a Jack Daniels flag between the palms.”
Mid-century architecture is so valued that the much photographed gas station at the foot of the area’s Tram, is on the tour as a re-purposed Visitors Center.
Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Barack Obama have gotten away from cameras here but it is also a resort and golf area for folks who like its year-round summery weather.
Go to the Convention Center shows
At the Modernism Show, wander around the booths of dealers who specialize in 20th century design movements to see furniture and accessories similar to what your parents or grandparents cherished that are now back in style.
At the Art Palm Springs show check out the post war and contemporary art works.
Shop, Visit Galleries, Relax
There is so much to do during Modernism Week, that you should schedule in down-time. Stay awhile to explore the area, shop the boutiques and art galleries. One of the best galleries is Heather James in neighboring Palm Desert. Oh, and get in some golf and spa time. The Greater Palm SpringsVisitors Bureau has lots of ideas.
Picture a Midwestern river town that celebrates a favorite son with a presidential museum, its furniture history with a public museum, its appreciation of sculpture with an amazing garden and appreciation of art with a mega fall fair that awards half a million dollars in prizes.
Grand Rapids, Mi., a former U.S. furniture hub on the Grand River and childhood home of Gerald R. Ford is fun to visit year round. But come in the fall when the colors paint the scenery and ArtPrize paints the town. An art fair where the public gets to votes and thus, choose where some of the prize money goes, ArtPrize attracts artists from across the globe and visitors from across North America.
Unlike fine art exhibits that are confined indoors to one museum or outside to a single city plaza or street, ArtPrize blankets Grand Rapids from banks to bistros and breweries to bridges.
Because works are displayed throughout the city visitors walk through buildings and neighborhoods they may not normally get to on a brief vacation.
For ArtPrize 2018, the numbers as of mid-August were 1,417 artists working on 1,271 entries at 166 venues. The event runs from Sept. 19 through Oct. 7.
Among the places that have been venues in past years but are destinations anyway to put on the must visit list are the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, the Public Museum across the road from it downtown on the river and the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park on the eastern outskirts of town.
At the Ford Presidential Museum learn more about Watergate and Ford’s time in Congress, in the White House and at the University of Michigan. The museum is at 303 Pearl St. NW. Gerald Ford and wife Betty are buried on the grounds.
Cross the road to the Public Museum, 272 Pearl St., NW to browse through rooms of native American artifacts, treasured examples from when the town was the US furniture hub, stroll through some old Grand Rapids streets, sit at consoles as an astronaut and ride a 1928 Spillman Carousel.
Amble through the Sculpture Park and inside the main building to discover more than 200 pieces by well-known artists. Around every curve in the path come across works by Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, Jean Arp, Richard Hunt Anish Kapoor, Claes Oldenburg, Jaume Plensa and other pieces to photograph and put on Facebook or Instagram.
There is also a terrific children’s garden that adults would love and a peaceful Japanese Garden. The Meijer Gardens are at 1000 East Beltline Ave NE.
BTW Grand Rapids is a good stop on the way up to Traverse City or when doing a triangle that includes Holland and Grand Haven, MI.
The best part of vacationing in Door County, WI is the way its delightful harbors make you feel you left work and daily stress miles back at the last stoplight.
The county actually begins back a ways on a thumb shaped peninsula that separates Lake Michigan from Green Bay (the body of water, not the city). There are a smattering of stoplights at its southern end.
But once you cross a drawbridge over Sturgeon Bay, a shipping waterway cut across the peninsula to connect Lake Michigan to Green Bay, you enter a world where a curve in the road reveals yet another scenic view and where villages have a few scattered stop signs, not stop lights.
However, to experience the dangerous waters where Lake Michigan waves bump against those from Green Bay that give the peninsula its name, you should drive north about 40 miles from Sturgeon Bay to Gills Rock and then a short distance to Northport. There you would take a ferry across to Washington Island.
Among the stories floating between the peninsula and the island is a tale of how when one native tribe lured another tribe to cross from Washington Island to the peninsula, those who attempted the crossing died in the stormy waters, thus giving the crossing the name Death’s Door.
Safe? Yes, though sometimes the trip can be rocky. But the Washington Island Ferry is so popular the best plan is to check the season’s schedule and get to its departure ramp at Northport ahead of time so there is room for your car.
While exploring look for Island Stavkirke, a recreated 12th century Norwegian church and the Jacobsen Museum of island artifacts.
OK, you’re here, meaning at the Door County room, condo, guest house or cottage or other lodging you booked ahead of time, and you are already gazing out at the quiet blue expanse of Green Bay or the ever changing colors of Lake Michigan.
Say Memorial Day to some folks and the response is it’s the time to commemorate people who died while in military service. To others it signifies the beginning of summer vacation.
On some town’s websites are parades, ceremonies and even a history note explaining that Memorial Day was originally Decoration Day and started shortly after the Civil War.
On others, it begins the period from the end of May through Labor Day when beaches are open, lifeguards are on duty, several outdoor fests and tourist activities take place and bus routes are added.
Five suggested Memorial Day Weekend activities in the Chicago area range from fireworks and festivals to a parade and party plus there’s a bus route bonus.
The City of Chicago is holding a Wreath Laying ceremony in Daley Plaza at Dearborn and Washington Streets at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 27, 2017. It will be followed by a parade that starts at noon from nearby State and Lake Streets and travels south on State to Van Buren Street. The Grand Marshal is Marine Corps Commanding General Robert S. Walsh. The parade, among the country’s largest, includes veterans’ groups, marching bands and antique military vehicles. Visit Chicago for more info. The national Memorial Day remembrance is 3 p.m. Monday, May 29, 2017. For an excellent government-based web-site with history and other info visit Government.
Chicago House Party – DJs and performers take over Millennium Park,’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion and North Chase Promenade Tent May 27, 2017, from 2 to 9 p.m. Expect a variety of “house music” a style started in Chicago that is danced to throughout the country. The grassy areas are good for picnics or dancing. For performer schedules check City of Chicago. Millennium Park is at Randolph through Monroe Parkways along Michigan Avenue.
ROOF on theWit, a fun space with great cocktails and views of the city is starting its JETSET s series May 26-27, 2017. The party transports guests to Barcelona, Spain minus the airline hassle. ROOF on theWit is 27 stories above the Wit Hotel at 201 N. State St. at Lake Street, Chicago. For reservations visit Roof. JetSet weekends start at 2pm. For more information and reservations, visit Roof or call (312) 239-9502.
The Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest runs from noon to 10 p.m. May 27 and May 28, 2017. A street party that has been going on for more than 20 years, the fest attracts excellent bands, good food, beer and wine booths and also features arts and crafts. A $5 entry donation benefits the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce. Entry is at 3200 N. Sheffield, Chicago. Vist Chicago Events for more information.
Celebrate “Mayfestiversary,” a block party at and around Dovetail Brewery, 1800 W. Belle Plaine Rd. Dovetail is celebrating its first anniversary with Begyle Brewing which is marking the second anniversary of its taproom. There will be food trucks, live music and games. B elle Plaine Avenue will be closed from Ravensood to the CTA line. Part of proceeds benefit Foundations of Music.The festival goes from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. May 27 and 28, 2017. For more information visit at Dovetail or call (773) 683-1414.
Navy Pier is always good for a holiday outing but the Chicago attraction restarts its summer fireworks display Saturday, May 27 at 10:15 p.m. Among the ways to celebrate the weekend is to cruise on the Spirit of Chicago or Odyssey or stop in at the Miller Lite Beer Garden to hear Hot Rocks do Rolling Stones tributes from 2 to 11:30 p.m. BTW the Rolling Stones Exhibitionism upstairs at Navy Pier is worth seeing. Navy Pier is at 600 E. Grand Ave. , Chicago, IL 800 )595-PIER (7437) For more information visit Navy Pier or call (800) 595-PIER (7437).
The CTA’s No 10 Bus that goes to the Museum of Science and Industry starts again Memorial Day weekend. That means it will be easier to get there from downtown Chicago to see the terrific Robots exhibit.
Third in series on bucket-list towns where there is so much to see that that it is easy to miss some really good places. The series, begun with A Day in LA and continued with A Day in DC, highlights two attractions and includes a foodie stop plus an alternative attraction.
Combine art and architecture
Your start and end spots are Michigan Avenue from Monroe to Randolph Streets.
Of course you know that the Art Institute of Chicago has the finest French Impressionist collection outside of Paris.
But you might not know that as of December 2016 with the addition of the ‘New Contemporay’ it also has on exhibit an outstanding collection of contemporary art by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly, Robert Raushenberg and Takahi Murakami and other influential artists plus important photographs by Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince.
Comparable to that at the new Broad Museum in LA, the “New Contemporary” collection is on a long-term loan from philanthropists Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson. See it in the Art Institute’s Modern Wing.
However, the museum doesn’t open until 10:30 a.m. You don’t need to enter with the mass waiting for it to open. So think petit déjeuner at Toni Patisserie at 65 E. Washington Street, a couple of blocks north of the museum.
‘The People’s Palace’
You are now perfectly placed to go across the street to “The People’s Palace” as the Chicago Cultural Center was sometimes called. Its south door at 78 E. Washington Street, is across from the Patisserie and is a perfect place to start the day after your croissant and latte.
Pull out the smart phone. The outside of the building is somewhat ponderous but inside is one amazing sight after another starting with the awesome mosaics that line the entryway’s Carrara marble staircase and walls.
Designed by the renowned architecture firm of Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, Boston in a Beaux Arts style in 1897 it reflected the taste of the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The building housed the Chicago Public Library so look for literary and historical faces and saying in the mosaics.
If you entered from Washington Street you might notice Roman style arches.If you walk through to the Randolph Street entrance you will see Greek influence and Doric columns.
On the National Register of Historic Places, its upstairs is filled with beautiful spaces. Look up when you reach the third floor on the Washington Street side. You are in the gorgeous Preston Bradley Hall capped by reportedly the world’s largest Tiffany Favrile glass dome. Surrounded by fish scales, the dome’s center has the signs of the zodiac.
Walk around the room to your left (west side) to get to the impressive Grand Army of the Republic Rotunda and its stained-glass dome. Go into the decorative GAR Memorial Hall.
Chicagoans come to the building for literary readings, dance and music programs, lectures, expos and concerts and to admire GAR rooms and Preston Bradley Hall.
They also come to see the ever changing art exhibits. So, take time to stroll to see what’s being shown around the building. Featured art shows are typically on the fourth floor and sometimes in the Chicago Room on Level Two. The main floor has exhibition space running along both the east and west sides of the building.
The ‘Modern Wing’
When ready to check out the Art Institute’s Modern Wing cross Michigan Avenue and walk south to the museum’s Monroe Street entrance. Designed by award-winning architect Renzo Piano, the wing opened in 2009 to mainly house modern European painting and sculpture and contemporary art collections. Tip: don’t try to do all of the Art Institute in one trip. The museum has nearly one million square feet.
At the Monroe Street Modern Wing entrance, you walk into the two-story, sky-lit Griffin Court.
The elevator up to Levels Two and Three take you to the museum’s 20th and 21st century collections. To see what’s on exhibit regarding architecture, go up to the café overlooking the Court. The room off the back is devoted to architecture.
When ready for sustenance, take an elevator from the short corridor on the west side off Griffin Court up to Terzo Piano, an upscale Italian restaurant guided by famed Chef Tony Mantuano. Reservations are highly recommended because lunch, from 11 to 3 p.m. fills fast (312-443-8650).
Even if you don’t snag a reservation go out onto the Bluhm Family Terrace outside the restaurant for a spectacular photo op. You can capture Chicago’s skyline, Millennium Park and Lake Michigan in your lens. Plus there usually are some sculptures on the Terrace.
From there take Piano’s unusual Nichols Bridgeway pedestrian walk over Monroe Street down to Millennium Park. About halfway down turn around and take a photo of the Modern Wing.
If you’re still looking for a lunch spot see if a table is available in Millennium Park’sPark Grill. It is street level (behind the ice rink in winter) at 11 N. Michigan Ave.
You’ll want to end near there anyway because “The Bean,” Anish Kapoor’s stainless steel “Cloud Gate,” is directly above the Park Grill. You have to take a selfie at The Bean and a photo of Chicago’s reflected skyline on it. Everyone does.
Sometimes you go to a city to visit relatives or friends. Other times you are passing through on the way to a vacation spot. Then there are those times the city is your vacation destination but there are so many things to do you’re not sure how much to fit into one day.
To help you start out the year on a you-can-do-it note, here is a Day In series for towns that ought to be on your bucket list or when visiting friends and family. Don’t be surprised if the people you visit say they’ve been meaning to go there. People who live in an area often don’t play tourist in their own city.
The Day In series spotlights two main places and a restaurant, however, one or two alternatives are also included. Tip: no matter what the reason for the trip or what you do – plan some down time.
First in the series: A Day in LA
A red building wrapped with a chrome-like grill, rises from one corner. Across the road, another modern art structure seems to beckon you to go over there and see what’s inside. You’re at Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles,
Park the car within the red building’s garage and you are ready to go exploring. You don’t have to try this building first. Both corner buildings are filled with treasures.
Inside the eye-catching striped structure is the newly remodeled Petersen Automotive Museum. You don’t have to be a car buff to fall in love with the beautifully designed Bugatti, silver “gullwing” Corvette, Steve McQueen’s 1956 Jaguar XKSS or the Batmobile, all currently on exhibit.
Start on the third floor and then head down. You might come across a car your parents or grandparents drove such as a red 1956 Bel Air Chevrolet convertible or a black 1922 Chevrolet 490 series coupe that the great grandparents might have driven.
The Petersen Automotive Museum is at 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Across the road is what everyone in LA knows as LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with its 21st century remodeled look and added buildings.
The very contemporary, multi-winged-topped structure on the campus’ western corner includes Renzo Piano’s Workshop-designed Broad (pronounced Brode) Contemporary Art Museum.
Often referred to as BCAM, it opened February 2008. It is adjacent to the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion added in 2010.
But first, pull out the smart phone to take photos of your group wandering through artist Chris Burden’s “Urban Light” outside LACMA. It’s a fun collection of old-looking street lights. Then, stop at the LACMA Will Call window for tickets to “Picasso and Rivera: Conversations across time.”
Tip: Many LA area attractions including this exhibit need tickets so instead of waiting in long lines, purchase or reserve them on line to be picked up at the venue’s Will Call.
The ‘Picasso and Rivera’ show reveals how much the two famed artists were alike as they changed styles ranging from classical to abstract. Opened December 2016, the exhibit is in the BCAM section of LACMA through May 7, 2017.
Anyone who missed the “Moholy-Nagy Future Present” show at the Art Institute of Chicago fall of 2016, can catch it at LACMA Feb. 12 through June 18. It’s a fabulous exhibit of László Moholy-Nagy’s photographs, paintings, graphics and commercial designs.
Moholy, as he usually was called, was an influential Bauhaus teacher, founder of the Chicago Institute of Design and a pioneer of combining art with technology.
LACMA also has fine Asian, Latin American and Islamic collections. So you might want to divide up the time to do more than see a featured exhibit. The museum is at 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90036.
Now about food. It would be a shame to be in the area and not take advantage of lunch at Canter’s Bakery and Deli about a mile east of the two museums on Fairfax Avenue. Since opening in 1931, the famed deli has been the background for the ‘Mad Men’ series and has fed such celebrities as Barack Obama, Wayne Gretzky, Mick Jagger and Larry King. Canter’s is at 419 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036.
An alternative suggestion: The Broad Museum that opened to well deserved hype September, 2015 is worth a stop when in LA.
You will want to snap photos of the building, inside and out, see its exceptional collection of contemporary art and check out Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored Room.”
Museum admission is free but reservations are essential. If going there, get in line once inside for a timed ticket to the Infinity Room. The Broad is at 221 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012.
As to getting to these places, just be patient. Almost anywhere else you would likely time your forays to miss the rush hour. However, it always seems to be rush hour when driving the LA freeways. Since you are likely visiting or traveling with a companion take the car-pool lane.
Tips: Attractions are less crowded when they first open in the morning. Whatever attractions you choose, base your day on location. The places suggested here are near downtown LA.