With the rising cost of airplane tickets and gas prices, travel is an increasingly expensive proposition. So why not a staycation powered by the CTA? Such an adventure is certainly low-cost and it's fun to explore the city via the Red, Blue, Orange, Pink, Green, or Purple Lines. And you don't have to worry about parking, tickets, or any of those other possible pitfalls that come with traveling around via combustion engine.
I've always enjoyed exploring the city by train and this guide will help you explore a corner of Lincoln Park just by stepping off at the Fullerton Red Line stop for a bit of informed wandering.
Surrounded by Public Art
After you let everyone hurry off the train to catch a bus, get to work and so on, you'll want to wander down the south side of the station platform to take a close look at Michael Dinge's lovely mosaic "Doors Open Everywhere at Fullerton." Inspired by the prairie landscape his vision brings together thousands of pieces of Venetian glass and stones in a way that begs the visitor to consider it from different angles.
Walking across Fullerton, you can give close consideration to the massive bronze work "Landslide" by Derick Malkemus. You can find many visions in the piece (Do you spy a spaceship, for example?) and children will find it quite compelling as well.
A Home For Art, Next to the Tracks
Back on the other side of Fullerton, visitors can explore one of the newer additions to the DePaul campus: the DePaul Art Museum, a 15,000-plus-square-foot three-story building offering exhibits that address the political relevancy of artistic expression and meditations on architectural models. The museum is completely free and visitors can consult their calendar to look for information about upcoming exhibits and talks. The diversity of their works and programming is impressive and it's a great place to spend a few hours. Consult their homepage for information on their hours and it's worth noting that they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
A Memory of a Seminary
After your time at the museum, wander east on Fullerton and tuck into the DePaul campus to see a most wonderful remainder from the McCormick Theological Seminary. You'll find a well-landscaped green space surrounded by row houses in the Queen Anne style, originally built as rental properties by the Seminary. When the Seminary decamped for Hyde Park in the early 1970s, the homes were sold and shortly thereafter the city designated them as an official historic landmark. Today you can look at this bucolic assemblage of buildings and imagine what it might have been like when the homes were first built.
A Home for Sandwiches and a Moment of Rest
You're probably hungry by now, so walk a block to the east to the six way intersection of Fullerton, Halsted, and Lincoln. Cross carefully here to the Bourgeois Pig which is located in a fine two-story home that now serves as a place for DePaul students, locals, and weary travelers to sit down for liquid refreshment and a range of sandwiches. My personal favorites here are the veggie panini and "The Sun Also Rises," which features hummus, turkey and tomatoes on sundered tomato bread. It's also a fine place to sit outside and watch the world go by while drinking an iced latte.
Photos Courtesy of: Max Grinnell; DePaul Art Museum; Dylan T. Moore via flickr (CC BY 2.0)