March 20, 2007

Yes, the Chicago River is dyed green.

Once I thought it was a myth that the Chicago River was dyed green on St. Patrick's Day. But I have seen it several times and still find it rather amazing, odd, funny, and weirdly patriotic that Chicagoans dump some kind of coloring into the major river through downtown to make it a bright emerald green to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. (This is also the river that's engineered to flow backward.) The darkness in the photo is from the shadows of the buildings nearby. You can also see the people (even the most jaded) on the Michigan Avenue bridge looking at the color.

We went to Chicago for a spring outing and thankfully the weather was sunny, not six inches of snow like in Washington, D.C. a
gain. We tried taking photos of the food we ate, like the great Swedish food at Ann Sather's. But we are finding these close up photos more difficult than we thought. Still, the food is great at Ann Sather's and we enjoyed the Swedish American Museum nearby. We are trying to get our son acclimated to the museum atmosphere, and he seems to like them! The Swedish Museum has a great play area on the third floor with a Viking ship, a steamboat, and cabins. Good for children from 2 to about 10.

Here's a high tech parent tip: We have learned to purchase the headphones and recorded messages at museum exhibits. We rented one of the headsets for our son when we saw the fabulous show at the Art Institute on Cezanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard Patron of the Avant Garde. Just seeing a roomful of beautiful Van Goghs is worth the ticket. Our son loved punching in the buttons on the machine and listening to each recorded message. He seemed as intrigued as the older patrons. Yes, he has been to many art exhibits, but I think even inexperienced kids would enjoy their own headsets and would help them behave. They would also learn something in the exhibit. And they stay quiet. More on our trip later.


chris miller said...

I can't speak as a parent -- but as a pre-school kid (sometime in the last millenium) I remember being taken to the (Cincinnati) museum on a quiet morning, and just left to daydream in a gallery by myself - without authoritative voices whispering the truth in my ear.

I think I had fun -- but I liked the collection of antique musical instruments more than anything else.

I think the headphones are a bad idea -- unless maybe they'd be stepped up to internet technology -- so the listener could choose from a variety of whispering voices.

Patti said...

We love museums. When we go to Boston, we visit the art museum and the aquarium every single time. My kids, (21 and 14), love it. They've been going to museums since they were born. We read about the green river in my 2nd grade class!