The Run Down
We’re spending the day getting cultured on a museum crawl on the South Side. We’ll be visiting a fine arts museum on the University of Chicago’s campus, then over to an independent museum dedicated to African American culture and history. Afterwards, we’re walking up a tower to get a birds-eye view of Hyde Park, and finally we do what we do best — eat some soul food. Here are the details.
1. Fine Art @ Smart Museum
2. History Lessons @ Dusable
3. The View @ Logan
4. Soul Food @ Daley’s
1. Smart Museum
Our first stop is on the North side of the University of Chicago’s campus. We’re starting at the Smart Museum of Art which houses a collection of over 15,000 works of art. When you walk in there is a cafe lounge where people are doing studying or doing a bit of work. Around the lounge are four different galleries dedicated to contemporary, Asian, European, and modern Art.
The museum has a rotating set of exhibits, and when we visited, they were showcasing an interactive art exhibit called Welcome Blanket. This comes from the mind of Jayna Zweiman, an artist that’s leading a crowd sourced art piece that “invites participants to knit, crochet, or sew the blankets for new immigrants as well as for refugees seeking resettlement and send them with personal notes of welcome and stories of immigration to the Smart Museum of Art.” The blankets are being sewn from 3,500,640 yards of yarn which just happens to be equal to the length of the proposed border wall.
Here are some other notes to get you going.
– Open Tues – Sunday from 10am – 5pm
– Free tours are available if you schedule ahead of time
– Museum is free and open to the public
As we make our way to the next stop, take the long way through campus and take in the ivy covered buildings, green space, and Gothic architecture.
2. DuSable Museum of African American History
Our second stop is the DuSable Museum of African-American History located in Washington Park, adjacent to the University campus. This is actually the second largest museum in the U.S. dedicated to black American history and culture — the largest being the National Museum of African American History and Culture located in Washington D.C.
Here are some helpful notes.
– Admission is $10 for adults; $7 for students; $3 for children 6 – 11; free for 5 and under
– Take $2 off the prices above if you’re a Chicago resident
– Free on Tuesdays
– Open Tuesday – Saturday from 10am – 5pm; Suday from noon – 5pm
The first floor includes works from Dr. Maya Angelou, exhibits featuring the role of black Americans in our military, and an exhibit on the life and work of Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor who left a lasting legacy on the city.
As you walk through the museum, you’ll be led downstairs where you’ll find the “Freedom, Resistance, and the Journey Toward Equality” exhibit. This powerful exhibit takes visitors through a history of the black American experience starting with slavery and through the civil rights era.
3. Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
Now that we’ve been able to stroll the campus and see the surrounding area from street view, our next stop is to the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts where we’ll take in the area from a birds-eye view.
The building itself houses performance and practice spaces for creative art students, but there are a few notable public spaces in the building to check out.
As you walk in to the building you’ll find yourself on the first floor lounge where you’ll find class room and performance spaces. Take the stairs to the third floor to their outdoor mezzanine.
This is a long walkway taking you to an outdoor mezzanine where you can rest your feet. If you’re in the area and need space to study or do some work, this makes for a great quiet area to post up.
After you’ve rested, make the journey to the 10th floor of the building where you’ll find the DelGiorno Deck. This observation has views to the North and overlooks the campus and surrounding area. An excellent spot for all you photography enthusiasts.
4. Daley’s Restaurant
After a long day of getting cultured, we’re on our way to feast at the oldest restaurant in Chicago. Just a few blocks South of the Reva and David Logan Center of the Arts is Daley’s Restaurant which has been serving this Woodlawn neighborhood since 1892 (despite what the sign says). We came on a Sunday just after the big breakfast rush. It was full of families, and judging by the waitresses who were on a first name basis with nearly everyone, there were plenty of regulars too.
As you walk into the place, you’ll most likely be greeted with a “hey babies” or “hey sweeties” by one of the nice ladies behind the cashier counter. I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Now onto the food.
The menu is massive and has your normal breakfast fare and some soul food lunch and dinner options. Pictured above is the chicken wing lunch (6 fried chicken wings, 2 corn muffins, mashed potatoes, and chicken noodle soup). We also gave their breakfast corned beef skillet a try.
As far as the chicken wing lunch goes, their wings are crispy, wonderfully seasoned, and if I was given a bucket of 20 wings, I would easily go through that in one sitting because that’s how good they were. Also, corn muffins and potatoes are a great 1 – 2 combination. I assure you that every bit of the corn muffin and mashed potatoes were consumed.
Lastly, here are just some thoughts about some of the cool developments we noticed around Daley’s restaurant.
– The restaurant itself is right under the Cottage Grove Green Line stop. Across the street they are building a multi-million dollar mixed-use live/retail space and new green line station. The restaurant is planning to move into the new space when it opens up. For neighborhood that has been hit with some rough times, these are welcomed investments.
– Daley’s is just a short bus ride from what will be the future Obama Presidential Library in Jackson Park. Another win for the neighborhood. Only bad thing is that we have to wait until 2021 for the Library to open.