- Chicago Botanic Garden
- It really is this idyllic!
I don't know about you, but I have had a lousy fucking spring—too much drama
, not enough money
, the usual banal tragedies. "Hearts being broken, people being used," as the poet Jewel once wrote. But here's a glimmer of sunshine to illumine what remains of this wretched season: the Chicago Botanic Garden’s model railroad garden opens for the season on Saturday. It's one of the loveliest spots around, a little area carved out of the larger campus that's shot through with train tracks (1,600 feet of 'em in all) and 18 trains and tiny little replicas of national landmarks—Wrigley Field, a regularly erupting Old Faithful, the Golden Gate Bridge. This year the Garden's added a Cape Cod-style fisherman's shack, some buildings from the French Quarter, and a White House vegetable garden. I learned last year
that the trains are on what's called G scale—1/29th the size of the real thing. Being in the model railroad will make you feel like a kid again, and I swear to god that's the most sincere thing I'll say all week, or maybe ever. Do it! More info here.