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The Girl with the Daffodil Tattoo

A Welsh girl let loose in a wild world

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Chicago

National Museum of Mexican Art: Eso si que es!

Address: 1852 W 19th St, Chicago, IL 60608

Free

Sometimes you come across a museum that is so amazing that it could convert people who don’t even like museums. That’s how good the National Mexican Museum of Art is. Not only is it FREE, it has a bit of everything, like history, traditional art, and contemporary art.

Here are some photos of my top art works from the museum:

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This painting dominates a whole wall as soon as you walk into this room, and it holds a quirky secret. The artist (Mario Castillo) uses his very own seminal fluid in the work, so “the painting contains an extraction of his ‘bodily presence'”.  Sometimes it really does pay to read the caption beside a painting.

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This image speaks for itself.

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This is a poster for the Carla Morrison concert in a few weeks. I first came across her music after hearing her on NPR Alt Latino, then I saw her live in La Casa America in Madrid. I don’t often buy music, as I prefer to support artists by buying tickets to their shows, but this is one artist who I buy her music from ITunes as birthday gifts to friends and family. She deserves every penny! If you haven’t listened to this lady’s music before, prepare to fall in love with how she sings about her broken heart.

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Nuevo Leon: YUM!

1515 W 18th St
(between Ashland Ave & Laflin St)
Chicago, IL 60608

Quality 5/5

Price * (of 5)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nuevo-Leon-Restaurant/141812145839662

Have you ever had a dream that you were sat at Mexican mother’s kitchen table, and she was serving you the best comfort food in the world because she’s been honing her skills as a cook for a lifetime? Welcome to Nuevo Leon, where every dish is prepared with love, bringing you excellent home cooked food. This is a great place to grab lunch after visiting the National Museum of Mexican Art.

Frontera: Mexican High Dining

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Address: 445 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654

Experience: 5/5

Price: 5/5

http://www.rickbayless.com/restaurants/grill.html

Sumptuously decorated with vibrant paintings on richly coloured walls that seem to go on forever, Frontera is not your average Mexican restaurant. I love a bargain, but sometimes you really do get what you pay for, and this restaurant is excellent, with a price tag to match. Opened by a TV chef, it could be said that you are paying for dining at a restaurant with his name attached to it, maybe the food quality has suffered, but this isn’t the case. As soon as you open the menu you are given such a dizzying array of options that you are left with no option but to ask the friendly waiter for help. As someone who is environmentally conscious, it was nice to see that they also try to source their ingredients locally.

The drinks are also an delight in innovation. If you like spicy drinks, why not try their Michelada Moderna.

Taking the Amtrak from Milwaukee to Chicago

After various experiences with American public transportation, I booked my Amtrak ticket with trepidation. Would it take me twice the amount of time that it would take me to drive? Would it be dirty and unpleasant? Would I stick out like a sore thumb, being the only white person? (for an explanation of this comment, see my article “Racial segregation and the Midwest)

My fears were unfounded. The Amtrak was cheap (around $50 return), clean, and comfortable. Seeing as I don’t like driving in big cities, it was the perfect way to arrive in Chicago, as the friends I was staying in live in one of the beautiful buildings that make up the Chicago skyline, right next to Navy Pier.

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So, if you’re planning a trip from Milwaukee to Chicago and you’ve had negative experiences on public transport in this region before, then know this: getting the Amtrak isn’t just about being green; it’s an all round better experience than driving yourself.

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