We arrived in Chicago on Tuesday, July 21st. We got there pretty late so we just hung out that night with Weston’s friend Rachel, with whom we were staying. On Wednesday, we went to brunch with Rachel and her friends to celebrate their friend Ari’s birthday. Rachel then went to work so Weston and I walked to the beaches of Lake Michigan. The best part was when we were holding hands and unknowingly passed through Gay Beach, where one man was smoking a cigarette while his partner clipped his toenails for him. Both in Speedos.
That night, we played a rousing game of LIFE. Rachel’s beginner’s luck led to the downfall of the undefeated champ, Weston. Needless to say, I celebrated this momentous occasion with a bottle of wine, hence, the purple tongue and the bemused expression on my face.
Thursday, Rachel took us to the Baha’i Temple. (One of the seven wonders of Illinois! Now that’s prestige!) Both the temple and the gardens were amazingly beautiful. The visitors center was quite interesting, as well, as it explained about the origins and principles of the Baha’i faith. Apparently, a man named Baha’ullah lived in Persia (Iran) in the late 1800’s. He taught that all religions are of the same God and this God manifests himself in the form of prophets and messengers like Abraham, Krishna, Jesus, and Mohammed. Baha’is are all about unity, and things like political parties, which cause divisiveness, are not allowed. I also found it interesting that the temple is open every day and, while there are certain times of singing or reading from scriptures, most of the time it is simply a place of solitude and meditation. For me, this was definitely one of the highlights of Chicago.
After we visited the Baha’i temple, we went to Evanston, where Northwestern University is located. We visited one of Rachel’s friends, Rose, where she works at a framing gallery. The gallery is located in an alley, and across the way is this amazing bookstore called Bookman’s Alley. It was like being in your grandpa’s attic, with not only thousands of books, but maps, posters, lamps, plants, chairs, stuffed animals, and other treasures. At first it looked chaotic, but then I noticed that the knick knacks related to the section of books in which they were located. Fishing poles and nets surround books about bluemouth bass, and military clothing from the 1800’s hangs between Civil War books. It was awesome.
Other highlights of the Chicago leg include taking Rachel to work and getting lost, trying to find the Museum of Contemporary Art store and getting lost, and going back to Rachel’s house and getting lost. We left on Friday to go to Minneapolis! More on that to come!