Several weeks ago I asked a friend of mine to accompany me on a photographic safari to begin capturing Chicago’s fascinating and varied Street and Lobby Art.  This will, of course, be an on going project since we have so much ground to cover (no pun intended!).  We began our journey at Roosevelt Road and South Michigan Avenue, actually wanting to capture the new wooden Buddha (which we couldn’t find) in the skating park…I’ll go back in the near future to find it.  Being a native Chicagoan I thought I knew most of our wonderful Street Art history, boy was I wrong! We had a perfect day, my goal was to go from Michigan Avenue to the Metra/South Shore train tracks and photograph all that we found and what a glorious variety it is!  I had projected we would stop at Congress but there were street crews working on sidewalks so a detour was in order, actually crossing Michigan Avenue for a couple of blocks and returning to the East side of the Avenue at Jackson.  We ended at the Art Institute and the North Garden which is filled with goodies.  The photograph below is one of my favorites so far and one I just happened to notice while taking multiple shots of the Henry Moore Large Interior Form, The Art Institute of Chicago gift of the artist 1982. I was looking East on the North East side of the Garden and it drew me toward it.  It is mounted on the wall of the building at the far East of the Garden.  It is simple, elegant and finely detailed.  To me, it is thought provoking and beautiful just what art should be.



Isn’t it beautiful and notice how the polished background of the wall of the buidling frames the raw stone which has been chiseled in a subtle graph pattern and it is sitting on dusty pink gravel…perfection!


A strange place to begin my Chicago art story but it actually ties in with my weekly recipe because of the color…you will see what I mean when you continue reading….I will be giving you recipes from my recipe box and will also be sharing some personal favorites from my friends who are kindly sharing them with me to pass on to you!  Enjoy….

Today’s recipe comes from my friend Elenor Hawley’s collection of yummy recipes.  She is a master at creating wonderful nibbles for events and is a superb baker as well.  Here is one of her favorite cocktail party recipes…Shrimp Pizza Appetizer…why does this fit my art piece, I think the gravel is actually the color of shrimp….too far a stretch, you be the judge.  You will definitely judge the dish as delicious….


From Elenor Hawley

16 ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 heaping Tablespoons Mayonnaise

Small amount of grated onion (she uses dry onion)

Dash of garlic salt

Ingredients continued in text below

Beat above well, until smooth, with hand mixer and spread evenly on a 13″ round glass platter (Anchor Hocking works well – the sides help keep the pizza intact.)

Combine one bottle chili sauce and one bottle Hoffman House Shrimp Cocktail sauce and return to bottles.  Use 1/2 of one bottle and spread on cheese mixture.  Mark the remaining bottles “sauce for shrimp pizza” and refrigerate for later use.

At least an hour before using or the pizza will be wet… rinse and drain well 2 cans of tiny shrimp.  Crumble evenly over pizza. Sprinkle with dried parsley.  Cover and refrigerate until serving.  Elenor always makes the day before.  Refrigerate  leftovers (Nena’s note…no need for this step because there won’t be any, but just in case!) Elenor uses aluminum foil and then puts the platter in a large plastic bag, sealed tightly.

Serve with cocktail crackers or (her family’s favorite) Fritos Scoops Corn Chips, they hold more!!  Yum Yum….my comment!

Expect more from Elenor’s collection.

My suggested drink either a dry Martini or a chilled glass or two of champagne or a dry white wine.




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