Meaning Of Loaf

       Taking the easy road through life

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Chicago - The Place

Because there was just way too much to write just one post about the Chicago trip, I'm breaking it up into three separate posts; the place, the food, and the people. So, after some delay, here goes the first!

First there was getting to Chicago. Now I'd been told many horror stories by people about the ordeal I would go through at Customs and Immigration, especially since it's my first trip to the states. But unless I was just incredibly lucky, I had no problems whatsoever! Fill in a couple of forms, which get a quick look over, and I'm though! So much for the horror stories.

After a quick ride on the blue line into the centre of Chicago, I met up with Cherry and was taken back to his place, which would be my home for the week. Although I'm doing a separate post about the people of Chicago, I must give special mention to Cherry and One Lil Aussie for both putting me up for the week, and for putting up with me for the week!

On my first day out in Chicago, I decided to take a walk alongside the lake since it looked bright and sunny out. Unfortunately, I chose probably one of the coldest days of my visit to do this on, and by the time I reached the city centre, bits were ready to drop off. Even the earmuffs that I mocked on people I saw along the way had now become essential clothing, and quickly picked up a pair.

Most of my time in the city centre was spend on or around Michigan Avenue, where I did manage to part with a fair share of my spending money, both in the many clothes shops, and the lure of the Apple store, where I gave in to a new video iPod. But while not in the shops, I did visit the usual tourist sights:

The Two Towers
The two great towers of Chicago are the John Hancock building and the Sears Tower, and fortunately I was able to go up both of them, with some pretty amazing views from the top of both. I'd also go with what most people say; although the Sears Tower is slightly taller, there does seem to be a better view from the John Hancock building. My one piece of advice to anyway going there though; try and pick a quiet time, or you'll be queueing for ages!

Millennium Park
So many things to see here, it's hard to know where to start! Probably the biggest feature is the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, which is a Frank Gehry designed outdoor concert venue, which is pretty impressive, and if you're familiar with anything by Frank Gehry, you'll recognise it as one of his instantly. Then there's also the Chicago Bean, or the Cloud Gate to give it it's official title, which is basically a giant bean made of polished and mirror-like stainless silver, which makes for something that looks almost alien in it's design. Last of all (I say last, there's a lot more, but you can look that up yourselves!) is the Crown Fountain, which is two 50ft towers made of glass bricks facing each other, and on the opposing faces of the two towers, the bricks have LED's to create slow motion pictures of peoples faces. I have to say, I was a little freaked out when I first saw it, as I didn't realise they were going to be moving, but thought it was simply a large poster! Although I didn't get to see it at this time of year, in the summer the towers will shoot jets of water out of the centre, aligned to the mouths of the people on display, which sounds impressive, and would probably be welcome in the hot Chicago summer.

The Art Institute of Chicago
Now for me, art has a slightly limited appeal; I like to see it, but there's only so long I can look at picture after picture! Still, that said, the art of display here was top quality and I did spend a fair share of my time here. In particular, I was attracted to the display of artifacts from China and Japan, which I spent a good hour wandering round.

So how did I spend the rest of my time in Chicago? Mainly eating and meeting the Chicago bloggers, to be covered over the next two posts. Watch this space!

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  • Chicago almost made your bits fall off! Ha! You should visit when it's bit melting time.

    By Blogger classyandfancy, at 3:37 am  

  • Can't wait for my trip out there in May! Thanks for sharing.

    By Blogger I'm Not Carrie Bradshaw, at 5:20 am  

  • Did you make it to the Buckingham Fountain?

    By Blogger 5 of 9er, at 3:09 pm  

  • Good times. Glad you had fun. Interested to read your thoughts on the food and the drinking!

    By Blogger The [Cherry] Ride, at 8:11 pm  

  • I used to live on State & Polk, right near the South Loop Club. I would love to live in Chicago again now that I am an 'adult'. It's a great city! I hope you caught some jazz.

    By Blogger Kadonkadonk, at 4:17 am  

  • Will definately come back in the summer next time, can't take that cold again!

    Carrie, I think you've picked a better time of year to visit than I did! Hope you enjoy.

    I did make it to Buckingham Fountain, but it was turned off, and it was a late night drive by courtesy of Classy.

    Cherry, good times indeed, and I will be a bit more prepared next time! More posts to come shortly.

    Unfortunatly didn't get to hear much jazz, as most of the bars we ended up in were Irish bars, or the 'experimental' bars chosen by 9er ;)

    By Blogger Loaf, at 2:34 pm  

  • Come on where is the food and people posts? You're killing me!

    By Blogger Julie_Gong, at 9:10 pm  

  • I'm glad you enjoyed yourself, player!

    By Blogger NAME: Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, at 10:54 pm  

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