Post-Sketchbook Project Tour 2013: Chicago

“For me, pointing and clicking my phone is absolutely fine. People say that isn’t the art of photography but I don’t agree.”~Annie Lennox, British singer

Yes, we did have a fabulous night’s sleep.

The second day of The Sketchbook Project Tour was a new experience for me. Since I had run out of friends whose books I needed to check out, I jumped into the world that many people do: looking at surprise sketchbooks. With so many search options–local, theme, mood, interactive and more–I searched for “random” books alternating with “Zentangle” keyword. Some of the books were beyond impressive. Some were unfinished but submitted anyway. Kudos to those people for their dedication and acceptance of their accomplishments!

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Chicago Water Tower

After talking with other participants, we checked out each other’s books. Again, what a thrill to see others’ reaction to my art. Did they gasp and drool over each page? No, and thank goodness for that.Once again, my friend and I were the last ones to leave, closing out the Chicago leg of the tour. In fact, my parking talent gave me a spot in the gallery parking lot again, so we pulled out just behind the Sketchbook trailer. In fact, we followed it briefly on the highway as we went to dinner in downtown Chicago.  We were not about to waste this opportunity to wander the big city when you’re in town.  How can you resist?

After a tasty dinner at Asian-inspired Big Bowl restaurant. It was a scenic walk through high-class shops and sites along The Magnificent Mile. We stumbled on a pop-country music festival and listened to the music from the bridge above the stage. Oh, and Deb let me hit up a Starbucks or two. Sure, getting a City Mug was the excuse, but I could not miss the experience of the two-story shop that not only had a Clover brewing system but offered wine and cheese selections on the second floor. The view from the balcony’s table-bar overlooked the city, and I would choose that site over the plush leather chairs any day. It’s all about the adventure.

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Wandering Sandmeyer’s Bookstore

We continued the adventure Monday morning roaming more of the city. We discovered Printers Row and a Monday Here talk about Sandmeyer’s and Printers Row Book selections, more. Cool books and what one Looking through the book Drawing Your Life by Michael Nobbs made me happy, so didn’t even pass my Three-Touch Rule before I took it up to the register. Not only did they have that, but there were two copies of The Sketchbook Project Journal which offers creative drawing and writing prompts. That’s one delight of independent bookstores: finding uncommon and unexpected books.

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Selections in Sandmeyer’s Bookstore

In an attempt to escape the noontime sun, we entered the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Another unexpected delight! Not only was the A/C kickin’ but there was the most eclectic educational store right as you walk in. Everything from a personal pepper grinder to keychain puzzles to an alphabet-shaped ice cube tray. We could have spent all day wandering the walls of buttons and kitchen supplies and toys and felt very enlightened doing so, but there was a free exhibit just outside we wanted to look at.

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See the Bean?

What was once a temporary exhibit is now a permanent part of the museum: the city of Chicago in 3D model. The details are amazing, perfectly scaled in white resin right down to the silver Bean. We could have spent all afternoon looking at that and reading the historical tidbits placed around the edge, but that four-hour drive loomed in front of us.

It was for the best; the store takes American Express credit cards.

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