Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ten Thousand Ripples in the Back of the Yards

Pipkin's favorite activity in Chicago, paws down, was the afternoon he spent hopping around the Back of the Yards, a neighborhood near the Union Stock Yards, which employed European immigrants in the 1900s. Pipkin was interested in looking for artist Indira Freitas Johnson's installation Ten Thousand Ripples. The project involved the installation of 100 fibreglass Buddha sculptures around the city of Chicago, with the purpose of impacting public spaces in a positive way. Of the hundred sculptures, only a few are scattered throughout the Back of the Yards, so Pipkin wandered around looking for them. Here are some of his photos of the neighborhood.

Bold, colorful murals and flags anticipated the energy of spring. (These photos were taken in early May.)

Pipkin spotted his first two Buddha sculptures in the gardens of the Hedges Fine and Performing Arts School.

This Buddha co-existed peacefully across from St. Joseph's Church.

This one resided in a small green space in a residential section.

In his search for Buddhas, Pipkin also came across several neighborhood cats. They told him there was one more to be found along a busy street. Pipkin found it, outside of a bank on West 47th St.

Sadly, this one had been vandalized.

But it didn't tarnish his day in the Back of the Yards. This was a neighborhood with a vibrant community feel. Pipkin felt a sense of peace and contemplation while visiting the Buddha statues. He carried that feeling with him as he rode the L back into downtown Chicago.

QOTSA at Aragon Ballroom

And now, some old, fuzzy photos of Pipkin at the Queens of the Stone Age concert at the Aragon Ballroom, back in May, 2014.

Aragon Ballroom is a beautiful venue with a large stage and main floor, and a large balcony to provide shorties like Pipkin with a great view and less of a chance of being trampled at a lively show such as QOTSA.

This photo captures the feel of a QOTSA show: awesome, powerful, explosive, fiery, and such a f'n BLAST.

Pizza Poll: Chicago vs. New York Pizza

Domo's always telling Pipkin, "Go big, or go home". After all the supersized chocolate at Chicago's Hershey's Chocolate World, Domo was on a roll. How do you top half pound Reese's Peanut Butter Cups? Apparently, with pounds and pounds of cheese, baked into a classic Chicago deep dish style pizza from Giordano's.

If you're going to have deep dish pizza, you will need patience. It takes about an hour for these pies to come out of the oven, and they smell soooooo good. But deep dish is...a bit much, even for appetites and mouths as big as Domo's. It's basically like eating a brick of melted cheese. Which is fine, if that's your thing. Domo thought it was his thing. But there was no way he was going to get through this pizza. It's just too much. But when in nom nom nom nom. You kind of have to do it, once.

When it comes to the great Chicago vs. New York pizza debate, Pipkin definitely prefers New York pizza! The thin crust and tangy sauce...oh yes. There's just nothing like a simple slice of cheese pizza, and it doesn't take an hour to come out of the oven! Pip enjoyed this slice at Joe's Pizza in Greenwich Village, a month after his trip to Chicago. More posts from NYC to come, but first, we'll wrap up his visit to Chicago.

Which city's pizza do you prefer? Chicago or New York? As for Domo's, "Go big, or go home" statement...Domo ended up going home with a bit of a brick-of-cheese belly ache.

Oversize Overload! Hershey's Chocolate World - Chicago

You can't miss the aroma of pure sugar next door to the Loyola University Museum of Art. After Pipkin and Domo checked out the Edward Gorey exhibit, they followed the sweet scent of diabetic coma at Chicago's Hershey's Chocolate World.

Everything is oversized at Herhey's Chocolate World. 1 lb packages of peanut butter cups! That's a half pound of peanutty chocolate each! Domo's tempted to pick up a 3 lb jug of chocolate syrup just to bathe in.

These extra long, 12" Twizzlers would be a great workout for Domo's lockjaw.

You'll also find the world's largest Hershey's milk chocolate bar (5 lbs!) and the world's largest Hershey's kiss. This place is insanity! Definitely fun to go into the store to take a look around, but it takes serious dedication - or a lot of friends - to commit to finishing one of these treats.