A Brief Glimpse of Chicago, Illinois
Back in May I found myself in Chicago, which just goes to show you how far behind I am in posting. I've never really spent any time at all in the middle of the U.S. This is the U.S.'s third largest city. The famous Chicago fire, in the late 1800s, took out a huge swath of the city and led to building of the world's first skyscraper.
|I'm there in the center with some friends.|
I was there to attend the How Design Live Conference. This conference was so inspiring and energizing. It took me back to my roots as an artist. It reminded me why I chose to be a creative in the first place.
I was supposed to spend the weekend before the conference in the city but I picked up a wretched respiratory infection in Basel or France and was sick as a dog. I managed to fly in Sunday morning. I had made reservations for an 11:00 am architecture cruise with some of my co-workers. The powers that be were working for me. My plane landed early! My bag was the fifth one to appear at luggage claim! I managed to get the second taxi in line! I managed to check into the hotel by 10:40! The dock was right across the street from my hotel! So I ran down the street to where Chicago's First Lady cruises are located. I made it with 10 minutes to spare.
|Draw Bridge. The iron work of the many bridges is pretty impressive.|
|Marina City. Designed by Bertrand Goldberg, its the first building in the US to be built using tower cranes.|
|I don't think I'd like parking in Marina City.|
It's a great tour. Chicago is the first modern city I can say I love from an architectural point of view. Yes, I love Boston, New York, San Francisco and London, but for very different reasons. Chicago was the first city full of skyscrapers that I found beautiful as a whole. It is a man-made mountain range of steel and glass and I shouldn't have liked it as much as I did. But I could see the architects' thoughts behind the construction, how the buildings' designs hold a dialogue with each other, and it had hidden levels under its amazing heights. It was amazing and deliberate and the designer in me could feel it, see it, and touch it.
I spent most of my time inside in the conference. I did discover one good thing about having a horrid respiratory infection at a conference. If you cough a lot no one wants to sit next to you. This creates adequate personal space. Ahem.
|Moon in Scorpio.|
But we did get out at night and oh what good food we had. We ate at Volare (the kale salad is really good), Greek Islands (it was all good), and Bohemian House (Czech-Polish-Hungarian-Baltic yumminess). You could just eat your way through Chicago and do nothing else and be incredibly happy I think.
I had an afternoon free after the conference. I was going to explore! I was going to see the lake! I was going...to cough up a lung. It was almost 90 degrees Fahrenheit out. I managed to make it to the Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. Then because it looked like storms were coming in I went the other way and went to the John Hancock Tower and sat at the top feeling the building sway as it was buffeted by winds and watched storms obscure parts of the city and Lake Michigan as they passed by.
Some day I'll come back to Chicago and do it right. I need the Chicago of the Blues fame. I want the Chicago that gave birth to infamous gangsters. I want to explore the often-times troubled and amazing soul of this city.
|Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millenium Park|
|Many layers of the city.|
|View from Millennium Park|
|Rain obscuring the south part of the city. On right: Trump Tower and Willis Tower. As seen from the Hancock Observatory.|