Ok, here’s what to do next time you visit Chicago’s Art Institute to scintillate the constellation of your synapses. Enter through the original portal between the lions on Michigan Avenue, negotiate admission, and go down and right to room 109 – The Ando Gallery.

As I’ve mentioned before (4/4/08) this particular confluence of space, cirumstance, and spirit engenders the sort of roundedness for which pilgrims yearn. Experience with the objects in this serene room is one of communion not idolatry. you leave imbued with far more than didactics alone could possibly convey.

Make your way down the hall that used to be lined with swords, armor, and coats of mail, but now Buddha, Hinduism, and the way of the Tao. At its end (decorative arts to the right) go left and be overwhelmed by the cavernous great hall of the new wing. Whoa.

Continue north to its end and climb the stairs (!) to the Terzo Piano* – the restaurant on three. It is neutral but well fenestrated inside and breathtakingly open on the outside deck. maintain composure, walk around, and choose a perch.


From any point of vantage you will join the ebullience of this big shouldered city breaking bread head to head with the work of Burnham, Gehry, et al. Enjoy the fine repast, your friends, and the skyline. It’s astonishingly fine to be human. There may yet be hope for us all.


*Terzo Piano – A play on words. It means third floor in italian, but also refers to the architect of the new wing – Italian Renzo Piano.

**Sorry about last week.

Been on a whorl wind road trip. On train now. About all that later. Photos for this post too.

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