Friday, June 17, 2016

Chicago- an American city that keeps on giving

Chicago- a week is not enough!  This wonderful city was our home for a mere 7 days, but we are both sure we will return....soon!!!
tiles in the subway

sunset from atop the Hancock Building

Corny hats- gotta love them:-)

Every corner has the laziest homeless!  They sit with a sign asking for money, and grunt when you put the money in their cup.  The only movement they show is taking the money out of the cup and putting it in their pocket after each "gift"

We first heard about Chicago as a tourist destination a few years ago when several friends went, and came back raving about this city.  While putting together our "Cure" groupie fix, we found one of their concerts in Chicago, and decided to book it.  Then we put together a weeks vacation around their concert.  What we found amazed us!  The architecture of Chicago is amazing, the food delicious, wonderful public spaces, very walkable streets, and tons of things to do.  We also found out that Chicago is home to some of the tallest buildings in the US- many of them record heights in their time.  The skyscrapper was born here!

The Architecture Boat Tour- on the Chicago river is a definite must-do.  The Chicago river flows through the city from Lake Michigan.  Weirdly, the river used to flow into the lake:-)  But they decided to change the flow from the lake by installing locks.

Hancock Building, looking up (and up and up!)

River cruise- the buildings lining the river are incredible!

The Water Tower- one of the oldest buildings in the city

residential high-rises affectionately called the corn cob

Trump Tower (4th tallest building in the US) and the Wrigley Building
Vistas!!  Chicago is wonderful at street level, but to really enjoy it, go high!  With the Hancock Tower and its bar, restaurant, and observation deck, this is the way to see Chicago- do it during the day and at night- both views are incredible- but honestly, I loved the night views the best.



looking at Navy Pier

Lake Michigan- the second largest of the Great Lakes, but the deepest, has so many opportunities for fun!  There are walking trails, parks, beaches, bars/restaurants, and a giant pier (Navy Pier).  During the summer, twice per week they shoot fireworks off the pier.  Best way to see them- from a boat:-)

Our last night- having one of our last drinks at the Oak Street Bar

Music is everywhere!  There are so many opportunites to listen to music- often for free.  The city has space for music everywhere!

(   designed by Frank Gehry, this amphitheater is awesome!

The great public squares of Chicago really provide wonderful space to just enjoy being outdoors!

The River Walk is just awesome!  A walking trail along the
river with shops and restaurants and little parks- so great!

The "L"- elevated train that loops through downtown. 
Excellent public transportation

Navy Pier- has a giant Ferris Wheel, this metallic reflective thing for photos,
and lots of restaurants and music

Millenium Park- this is the Bean, a giant reflective bean shaped sculpture (different from the one on Navy Pier).  Our tour guide on the city tour said this is the most expensive "selfie" site in the world:-)

A fountain with projected faces

cool buskers!

From a bar, you can see the Bean and the Pritzker Pavillion


(  The "Married, With Children" fountain!!!!!

Wonderful buildings!  We couldn't believe the number of cool buildings we ran across!  The public library was amazing, and the Chicago Cultural Center has a tiffany domed ceiling that is so very beautiful.

Public Library

The city of Chicago has extensive art collections in beautiful buildings.  It would take a very long time to see them all, and to see them thoroughly.  We focused this trip on the Museum of Art:  Great masters at work!

American Gothic meets American Gothic- LOL!

Modern Art is so deep and spiritual:-)

A Chagal window

David Hockney

The food of Chicago was always delicious!  From deep-dish pizza that are works of art to desserts, to mid-west inspired common foods, to sausages, we loved their food.  And,  many of the restaurants were works of art themselves.  cindy's with its amazing views and duck quesadillas, Yolk restaurants with their pot roast eggs benedict and fried shicken and gravy bacon waffles, to Portillos sandwiches and sausages.

Fried chicken and gravy on bacon waffle

pot roast egg-benedict!

Best hot dogs ever!

Cindy's bar- patio!  The flower type things are heaters.  The view is spectacular!
 And the duck Quesadilla and garlic truffle fries are to die for!  Strong drinks too!

Iberico Spanish restaurant: plantain with ice cream and Spanish Tiramisu

Hershey's store!

Our trip to Chicago was marred by the tragedy of Orlando:-(.  We attended a Chicago-style vigil for the victims and survivors.  We would be remiss if we did not include at least a tribute to this event.  It was during the vigil that we actually met, and became friends with two young Chicagoans.  They are the future- with their passion, intelligence, diligence, and optimism.  They are proof young people will make a better world, and that there is cause for optimism for our Country.  Nathan and Nathan were a pleasure to meet!  When we return to Chicago, we will arrange another meeting.

In the end, we LOVED Chicago and cannot wait to return!!!!  Until then, we have our memories!

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