Wednesday, August 10, 2011

MCA Chicago

After 2 weeks of intense classes I have a month off to study for comprehensive exams. The thought of staying in Cali was a little too overwhelming so I figured I'd come back to Chi for a bit. I know, I know, I just left! But I can't help myself- Chicago summers are too good not to miss. So I've been spending days studying and evenings trying to occupy myself on a budget.

One of the best things about Chicago is that a lot of city-wide events are free. The MCA - Contemporary Art Museum  is my absolute favorite free thing to do in the city. Tuesday nights in fact, are free weekly. And during the summer they have Jazz on the terrace in the back. So I got to check it out once more...

 The terrace was lovely, and sitting out on the grass was very relaxing. You have options for food such as dining at the cafe:  off the menu or their themed buffet (this Tuesday it was France). Then you can sit right next to the band. Or you can get hot dogs and burgers and sit on the grass. We opted for the burgers. And man, they were so mediocre I was annoyed I spend 25$ for food. All of the MCA food is Wolfgang Puck catering but it might as well been street food. Bad street food that is. And come to think of it - I don't think I've ever had good food @ MCA events. I've eaten Puck catering at private parties and they were delicious, but never good food @ the MCA.

 I noted others had brought their own food to the grass area, so that might be something to consider, but be discrete I think the website discourages that.

After the food and a little relaxation on the grass we headed inside for some art. I always feel like the best stuff is on the 3rd floor and I always run out of time! It was ok this time around - I miss the Jeff Koons bunny.

All in all it was a nice night, and something to do. I don't love any of the food the MCA has, ever. So don't be going to try to feast. The art is often confusing and rather abstract but I like it (it's not for everyone). But just being in such a lovely space right in the middle of the city is enough to get me coming back.

You can also check out first friday's which is more about the scene than the art (or food for that matter). And I should mention if you like the MCA enough you can always volunteer for these events. Which is something I do from time to time.

And here is a little video of whats now at the MCA. enjoy! 

Mark Handforth: Plaza Project from MCA Chicago on Vimeo.


  1. hi. My name is Reinier Daams, General Manager for Wolfgang Puck at the MCA. I read your blog and was dissapointed to learn that you don't have a favorable opinion about us.

    I would like to invite you and a guest in for lunch and I am confident you will write a positive blog about us.

    To make a reservation please visit the MCA's web site for the contact information;

  2. You're on Mr. Daams. :) See you soon.

  3. So many restaurants are having to raise their prices these days in order to make ends meet, so eating out has become much more expensive that it used to once be.

    Chicago Restaurants