Saturday, June 4, 2011

That Toddling Town

Yes, I've been on the road again. I just retuned, late last night, from a 4 day trip to Chicago with five woman friends. I've been to my share of big cites all over the world, but Chicago has its own special charm. We just loved it! We were so lucky to have good weather and that certainly helped the trip, even though the first day was very hot and humid. We walked to the Navy Pier and managed to dodge the rain drops. My camera was still in the suitcase, so no pictures there.

The next day, Wednesday, was brilliantly sunny with no humidity, a perfect day for our Architectural Boat tour on the Chicago River. What can be wrong with a city that has a river running through it and is on a major lake? Not much, in my opinion. We boarded our boat here on the River Walk and took a two hour tour. Our guide was incredible. I don't know how he could remember all that information about the many, many buildings he pointed out.

Here's a bad partial shot of the Tribune Tower (not taken on the boat tour, but while walking around). It was splendid, looking more like a gothic cathedral than an office building.

Back to the boat tour. There are many glass, mirrored building that give wonderful distorted views of their neighboring buildings. I once did a quilt on similar buildings in Houston and called it "Houston Reflections". Should there be a "Chicago Reflections" in my future? Click on these and all the pictures to see the intricacies.

More cool reflections.

This was one of my favorite buildings, Aqua, designed by a woman and winner of several awards. You can see much better pictures and read about it here.

This was one of a pair of buildings, nicknamed the Corncob Buildings. The lower levels are parking.

Trump Tower, one of Chicago's newest and the second tallest building in the United States, is visible from many places in the city.

We had cocktails one evening in the Hancock Building on the 96th floor. Impressive views to say to least.
I loved the shadows that the building threw on the lake shore.

We had to make a rest room stop before we left and I was amazed to see floor to ceiling windows when we went in and this amazing view.

When I asked a friend, who is a former resident of Chicago, what I shouldn't miss, she said Millennium Park. Well, it was hard to miss, the entrance being right on Michigan Ave. on the Miracle Mile where we were staying. The park was enormous, with so much to see, but one of the most fun things was "Cloud Gate", a fabulous polished stainless steel sculpture. It is considered an "interactive" sculpture where visitors are encouraged to walk around and beneath it. It is affectionately called "the bean" by the natives.

Here we are inside the bean with all those distorted reflections. I'm wearing a pink and orange shirt and am standing next to Claire with white pants and a pink top. If you look carefully you can see us over and over and over and......... Be sure to click on the picture for a bigger view.

Lest you think that Chicago is all glass and steel and concrete, it a a city full of parks and green spaces. This was just one small section of Millennium Park.

I should mention the food, which was fabulous. Of course we had to try the famous Chicago pizza and a steak house, where I had one of the best steak dinners of my life.

We managed to squeeze so much into those four days..... double-decker sight seeing bus tours, the Art Institute, a terrific outdoor art fair where I bought a gorgeous necklace, the theater one night where we saw "Million Dollar Quartet", a little shopping, and lots and lots of walking and sight-seeing.

All in all it was a super trip and one that I would recommend to anyone.

That's it for now. I should be around for the rest of the summer. Hopefully I'll get some work done in my studio, which has been sadly neglected.

1 comment:

Vivien Zepf said...

I grew up in a Chicago suburb and your pictures make me long for it! I, too, love the city!