Welcome to the Urban Culture course at Avila University created by Susan Lawlor and Dotty Hamilton.  We travel with our students to great cities to explore art museums, engage with the architecture, study the local film and music venues, and experience the ethnic enclaves as a way to learn about the culture of urban spaces and the interaction of art and environment.  It's a fun, intense learning environment.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Troy giving chopstick lessons to Garrett

Dim Sung

We all shared these small tasty morsels at a restaurant in Chinatown.

Our Last Morning in Chinatown

Pullman Porter Blues at Goodman Theatre

Chicago theatre is always wonderful.  These performers were fantastic on Saturday night.  The play was a perfect choice as well - since it hit upon a unique historical moment in Chicago history and lives of African-Americans who worked for George Pullman as railroad porters. It gave us a small peak inside that story of work, dignity and struggle.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Historic Palmer house

We all got brownies in the middle of this beautiful room at the Palmer House where the chef invented the brownie for the wife of the Potter Palmer, who built this manificent structure as a wedding gift for his new bride.  The place burnt down in the Great Chicago Fire - 13 days later - but was rebuilt.

Chicago food tour

Here's what a classic Chicago hot dog looks like - at American Hot Dogs.  The Tastebud Food Tour was like eating your way through history - learning about Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, prohibition, Al Capone's soup kitchens, the invention of the brownie, the World's Fair and much more. Our guide Jennifer was entertaining and informative.

Chicago Art Institute

Touring the Chicago Art Institute's Modern wing

Friday, October 18, 2013

Museum of Contemporary art

Tour of the Museum with our docent Kate.  Contemporary art is always challenging for some of our students, especially as it veers away from representation of real objects/places/ people and becomes more about ideas, concepts and emotion.

Grande Luxe Cafe

We all had lunch on Michigan Ave after our morning tour of Millennium Park.  Fabulous food - here's my A'hi Tuna Salad.  The portions were huge.  I saw the students had a few take-home boxes.

Feeding the pigeons - Troy and Garrett got up close and personal