Thursday, September 16, 2010

top 40 buildings in chicago

chicago magazine recently released their list of the top 40 buildings in chicago. i was happy to see some of my favorites on the list. a few of them being:

the reliance building by daniel burnham, john root and charles atwood (#13)

crown hall by mies van der rohe(#6)

the rookery by daniel burnham and john root, atrium by frank lloyd wright (#2)

the farnsworth house by mies van der rohe (#9)
Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House
(although, can it still be considered a building in chicago if it's technically in plano, il??)

and a most recent favorite, aqua by studio gang architects (#22).
Aqua Tower by karla kaulfuss

when i moved to chicago the summer of 2005, a mere two months after graduating high school, i fell head over heels for this city's architecture. it probably helped that i was taking a class called chicago architecture. i loved that class. it consisted mostly of classroom lecture (which might be boring for some people, but being an architecture nerd, i was totally fine with it). however, most days we ended class with a walk to one of the buildings we had just learned about (this was easily done since my school and most of the prominent chicago buildings are located in the loop). i quickly discovered how important it is to actually experience these great works of architecture instead of just looking at slides of them on an overhead projector. after all, these buildings are meant to be used. they are meant to be lived in. they have function (or at least they are supposed to). i cannot tell you how amazing it is to listen to a lecture about the monadnock building while standing across the street from the monadnock building.

and just like every other art and design history class i have taken, learning about each piece allowed me to respect the "ugly" pieces. for example, most people look at 330 n. wabash and see a boring "black box" building with no character and no personality.

most people walk past and completely ignore it. they would rather look at the beautiful trump tower across the street (don't get me wrong, the trump tower is a beautiful structure, designed by the great architecture firm SOM). but once you realize that 330 n. wabash was designed by mies van der rohe, i would hope that you would think twice. once you understand his design aesthetic (ever heard of form follows function?) you understand now why there is no real ornamentation (technically, there is still some ornamentation, but that's a whooole 'nother discussion for a different time..). you understand why you can see all of the structural i-beams of the building. you just get it.

i'm still amazed that i get to live in this beautiful city. i'm greeted every morning by its gorgeous skyline. when the brown line curves between the armitage and sedgwick stops, and the city opens itself before me, my heart skips a beat and i can't help but smile while thinking to myself, "damn, i love this city."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

out of no where.

i had so many grand food plans for this week. to prepare, i went to the farmer's market with my friend hannah on saturday. it was rainy and wonderful. i got tomatoes and swiss chard and peaches and apples and basil and onions and shallots. i was going to make roasted garbanzo beans with swiss chard. i was going to make a fresh caprese salad. i was going to bread some tilapia and sauté some peppers. i was going to make another spinach salad with feta and oranges. i was going to make linguine with tomato-almond pesto.

i was going to wow my taste buds and try some new things.

but sunday night, my allergies hit me. out of no where. i should have known, though. this always happens to me the second week of september. this week i haven't been able to smell or taste. i can hardly concentrate at work. i have no appetite. for lunch every day i've had pb&j. for dinner i've had ramen noodles. i don't eat breakfast. i have my coffee and just work until around 1:30pm i think to myself, "oh, i should probably eat something.."

needless to say, i haven't used any of my wonderful produce or come up with anything creative in the kitchen. my peaches are starting to get mushy. my chard is starting to go brown. my tomatoes aren't going to last much longer. so far my basil has held up, so at least i have that going for me.

i'm frustrated. i hate letting perfectly good produce go to waste. i absolutely hate it! i'm hoping that tomorrow i'll feel better so i can at least make something. even if i just make the pesto and save it for the weekend, i'll be happy.

as for now, i'm ignoring my own kitchen in favor of the kitchen featured on the top chef finale. bring on the chefs!

Friday, September 10, 2010

best instructional video ever

this morning i was thinking about the breadcrumbs i'm going to make this weekend. it occurred to me that the next time i have left over bread i should make croutons.

i did a google search for "how to make croutons" and found this video:

not only was it instructive, but it was also pretty funny.

by the way, chef john has a blog. check him out!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

grocery shopping finally happened

yesterday i finally went grocery shopping. my pantry was looking very sad. how sad, you ask? tuesday night for dinner i had boiled potatoes seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil, a bowl of peas and 1/3 of a partially stale bagette. it was so depressing. filling, but depressing.

now that my kitchen is (semi) stocked again, i'm excited to try some new things. i plan on making my own bread crumbs with the stale bagette sometime this weekend. there will also be some banana bread action going on. i might have to make some cocoa cookies too. and i'm planning on hitting the green city market on saturday and coming home with some early fall lovelies.

and next week i will make this pasta dish. i'm hungry just thinking about it. i can't wait to get back into the kitchen.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

welcome september!

i love september. it's the beginning of my favorite season. it's my birthday month (24th year here i come!). but more importantly, it's the beginning of boots, blazers and scarves. bring it on, september.

this past weekend i had a nice long 4 day mini-vacation at home. it was wonderful. i got to see the fam, i got to share a bed with a certain great dane, i got a couple mosquito bites, i got my caramel apples fix from del's popcorn shop, watched a few episodes of ghost adventures with my sister and i ate a ton of food. my contributions to our mound of food included strawberry scones, a peach and raspberry crumble and strawberry pancakes. it was wonderful. although, my scones weren't as good as i was expecting, but no matter, the weekend was a success.

these pictures are from my train ride from chicago to bloomington. i found it slightly ironic that i happened to be listening to the arcade fire's "the suburbs" album while passing through the suburbs. it wasn't the worst way to spend 2 1/2 hours.

my weekend went by way too fast. can't wait until i see those cornfields again.
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