Thursday, February 5, 2009

Garfield Park Conservatory

It's almost too much to take in. There is the structure of it all, the amazing glass houses with their lacey geometric framework and arches and angles. Each room is a little different, inviting compare and contrast and begging you to make your way back around again to see how an element is done in another room. Just the nerve of people to defy the climate and its weather to grow tropical ferns and desert succulents indoors in Chicago is inspiring. It is sort of a celebration of engineering and industry and science and ideas and beauty all wrapped into one destination. And it is warm and humid on a cold day in February. A refuge from the winter and the traffic, a place where the noise is from steam creaking the radiators and hissing through pipes and maybe of children's voices if you are there on the day of a field trip from somewhere. I've been there many times and yet, each visit brings new discoveries and a renewed sense of awe at the diversity and natural beauty of the world we live in, this lovely planet Earth.





6 comments:

Paddle said...

ahhhh... I feel warmer already. Thanks for the great pictures.

Gene Redlin said...

I have never visited. Seems like a rough neighborhood. Isn't it?

goprairie said...

gene. there is no such thing as a rough neighborhood. what's gonna happen? seriously. we took my parents many times, once when the oldest was in a stroller and upon arriving, my parents expressed such sentiment. they had an acquaintance whose car was stolen not one time but twice when he visited his daughter in chicago. what ARE the odds? so we reassured them and toured the greenhouses roundabout a couple times and had a great time. when we arrived back at the gate to the parking lot, we were struck simultaneously with a sense of something being not quite right and it took us a few minutes to notice that every single car in the lot was missing every single one of its hubcaps. (see how long ago it was) i thought we were all gonna die laughing. my parents' car had some fancy wheels that didn't come off, so they suffered no loss. but hey, even at cumulative petty theft, we were not in any danger, as you can bet lookouts were involved to miss the frequent police patrols and park security patrols as well as any pedestrians that might be in a reporting mood. now there is a L train station right there and we all have cell phones. safe as st. charles! if you are still scared, i will take you and peggy along next time. how about next tuesday? i can't go too often!!

Mom Cat said...

We used to go there on a regular basis as children;our parents were from Chicago. We've been there several times in the past few years and really have enjoyed it. Isn't this coming weekend, Chocolate Fest? Wouldn't want to live there but relatively safe during the day. Well worth it.

goprairie said...

Hah! Yeah, it was the big weekend. I went again Saturday with Paddle, not having any idea. We found a parking space only because the 4WD could park on one that was half piled with snow that kept all cars out. We skipped around the crowded spots and enjoyed it anyway. And it is Sweets Saturday now, since they KILLED the big chocolate tree in the 'food house' renovation! Wondered why Sheri and I could not find it last week. It isn't THERE anymore!!! Hey, can we take the grandbabies to those ones in Madison when we are there??? Do you do diapers?

Mom Cat said...

Sure we can go, if you know where it is. Two are out of diapers & the human milk machine would probably go, too (she does diapers!)