Just south of the 40-story high-rise Silver Tower at 303 W Ohio St in River North is the behemoth Merchandise Mart (the short and long building seen on the right in the panorama above). Most of the goings-on within this building are trade shows and don’t provide much for local residents in the way of spending time in the neighborhood. However, checking out the MM website, I found that there are shows for the public, including an upcoming antiques fair.
In a few months, NEXT, the International Exhibition of Emerging Art, will return to MM as it does annually. I have gone in past years I always appreciate taking in the scene of weekend Chicagoans, from strollers to seniors, enjoying the subtle emergence of spring by milling about within a broad maze of new art.
Always available in the northeast corner of MM is The Chopping Block, a cooking school and store offering a mix of classes from cupcakes to sushi to wine and even knife skills. These evening and weekend classes are a fun and delicious way to spend time with friends in the neighborhood of Silver Tower.