The Art Institute of Chicago

My weekend has been crazy busy. My sister came over from New York and of course, I had to make sure everything about her Chicago trip was perfect. That meant, cleaning the apartment, organizing my room and planning the places we were going to visit. Since my sister has always appreciated art, The Art Institute (which is my favorite museum in the entire city) was first on the itinerary.

The Art Institute of Chicago

The iconic Greek columns are indicative of European influences in the architecture. You will notice the continuation of this when walking up the grand staircase.

The Art Institute of Chicago

One of the things that I admire about this museum is their wide collection of impressionist paintings. If you can see in the photo below, they have a whole wing dedicated to the works of Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, Seurat and others.

The Art Institute of Chicago

Probably one of my most favorite paintings besides Van Gogh’s Starry Night, is At the Moulin Rouge by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. One amazing fact about this painting is that May Milton, an English singer seen as the disturbing green lady on the right, was originally cut off from the canvas since it made the painting harder to sell. Seen in the photo below are a couple of people trying to discern where the cut is located.

Chicago Spring Ate's Visit 2013 - 9

Another favorite part of the museum is the Modern Wing, designed as a bright open space with clean lines.

The Art Institute of Chicago

This is where Jeff Koon’s sculpture called Woman in Tub can be found. This is a memorable piece of art, not only because of its strong missive but also as a result of the vibrant comic-like composition. What I found most interesting is the abrupt sliced head which left only the woman’s open mouth delivering a message of shocked violation.

Jeff Koons

Jackson Pollock

Of course, we cannot forget Jackson Pollock, one of the pioneers of Abstract art. The one I’m standing next to is his work, Greyed Rainbow, which shows a distinct technique he introduced during the 1940s called Abstract Expressionism. An interesting fact to note is that Pollock rarely used brushes instead he veers toward unconventional tools such as sticks or palette knives.

If you are interested in seeing these art works in person and exploring the museum (which you should), look at the information provided below. Hope to see you there soon!

Contact Information:
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60603-6404
+1 (312) 443-3600


UMF Survival 101

The one thing that fueled me during my finals week was the thought that after all the hard work, I get to go to Ultra Music Festival and see all my favorite DJs! It did not disappoint. I had so much fun with my Filipino friends. Though I do love my foreign buddies, it’s still a different atmosphere hanging out with your fellow countrymen.

Ultra2013-6 Our three-day adventure started with just me, Annie, Frank and Clarence. Unfortunately, Gavin and Justine were still stuck in reality so they missed half of the awesome first day experience. Preparing for UMF (Ultra Music Festival) was a struggle. As a girl, I always tend to bring more items than needed. Just in case, you know?

Anyways, my guy friends brought Camelbaks which was a saving grace for everyone. It’s a backpack that holds about 80 ounces of water with a long straw coming out from the side. Perfect for long hours in crowds and better than carrying a water bottle. On the other hand, I brought..

UMF13bagcontents(Thanks to my friend, Camie, for the layout inspiration.)

  1. UMF ticket – This is the most important item in your bag. Do not lose it!
  2. Wet wipes and hand sanitizer – These will be your best friends when you want to visit the portable potties. I do not need to tell you how disgusting and dirty that human sized green box is.
  3. Diffraction glasses – You don’t really need these but they give out such a cool effect with the lights that may enhance your Ultra experience.
  4. Gum – For that uncontrollable urge to chew something when hanging out with Molly. *wink*
  5. ID that says you’re over 21 – If you want to buy drinks.. But honestly, their alcohol choices are limited and so expensive, you’re better off without it.
  6. Vaporub – Rub a little on your nose when you go to the restroom and it will mask the bad odor. Also, this will help clear your airway when you feel suffocated around the crowd.
  7. Cash – To buy food, drinks or other stuff you might want.
  8. Lighter and smokes – For friends.. (As a girl, you tend to hold all your guy friends’ stuff. It’s part of the description.)

Before, I used to think that girls in EDM festivals were too scantily dressed. I never understood the concept of wearing bikinis and short shorts. But oh boy, did I find out why. Being in that place was like being in a sauna. Shorts, bikini top or a loose tank with sneakers is the best way to go. Preferably in light colors but not white.

Ultra2013-20Ultra2013-5Don’t forget to bring your flag! We brought our own because we’re so proud to be pinoy. Haha! Filipinos represent!

Ultra2013-22 I realized UMF attendees are some of the most friendliest and interesting people you’ll ever meet. Please go and show some love if you do attend.

Ultra2013-4 Ultra2013-23 Ultra2013-11 Ultra2013-17 Be adventurous but most especially savor the music! That was truly the best thing out of Ultra Music Festival! Cannot wait for next year!

Life, as shown in trains and stations.

Life in the train may seem boring yet if you look closely, each individual presents a certain story. The young man texting his girl friend, “I love you.” A couple of school girls giggling, on their way to Disneyland. The old man tired from work and is catching up on some needed sleep. Everyday, simple occurrences happen in the train that seems ordinary but presents a huge inspiration for someone like myself.

I have always been fascinated with the railway system in Tokyo. Everyday, thousands upon thousand upon people use this type of public transportation. A train in Tokyo is always on time. If there is such a time where a train will be late, there will always be a late slip given to the passengers upon exiting the station. Convenient and ingenious.

The Lantau Island Adventure

It was a gloomy day when I arrived in Hong Kong for the HK Art Fair 2012. Dread filled me when I realized I might not be able to go around the city since it kept on raining. Thankfully, on the third day,the sun finally came out! Deciding to make the most out of the good weather, I opted to go to Lantau island.

It’s the largest island in Hong Kong. Here you’ll find the giant Buddha, reminiscent of the Buddha in Kamakura, Japan. You’ll also be able to enjoy the Ngong Ping Cable Car with its glass bottom as well as visit the Po Lin Monastery.

Personally, I’m a big pussy so I didn’t try the glass bottomed cable car and just went with the regular one.  On the way, I managed to see some hikers going through a walking trail to the monastery. Maybe next time I go there, I’ll try to hike instead. The hiking trail seems worth it seeing as there were a lot of small waterfalls and floras from my view at the top.

Around the area, you’ll be able to shop for a few souvenirs. I bought some postcards so I can send them to my friends at Postcrossing. If you happen to be a big foodie, don’t worry! This place has a lot of restaurants. From what I can remember, they even have Starbucks (which a was a very good thing for a coffee addict like me)!

If you want to visit, it’s fairly easy to get to this place. You can take the metro to Tung Chung station using the Disney Resort line. From the station, you have a choice of using the cable car or the bus (Ngong Ping no. 23). The bus takes about 50 minutes while the cable car takes around 25 minutes (though you have to wait in line so more or less, they take the same time). This is definitely one of my favorite tourist places in Hong Kong.