It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago — she outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them. She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time.
~ MARK TWAIN
The tour guide for an Architectural River Boat Tour of the Chicago recently shared this quote in his talk. It really hit home. I’ve been going to Chicago for years—day trip here, a day trip there, long weekends, conventions and fun times with family. We even traveled to Chicago by boat once and moored in the harbor near Navy Pier. For more about that experience, go to Chicago by Water.
Chicago is always different. Old sights change. New ones emerge. I see the city in a new way. The architectural boat tour is an example. It’s the third time I’ve taken one and I learned new things and was reminded of facts I had heard before..
Yep, I was reminded that Chicago has been an architectural tourism destination since the 1880s when the city was being rebuilt after the great fire. It was the location of the first skyscraper and in 1889 Chicago boasted the largest building in the world.
New buildings go up all the time, each with a history to make and a story to tell.
Here are a few images from that boat trip. It’s a boat tour really worth doing if you have the time.
For more scenes from another Chicago River Boat tour see blog post: Taking the architectural boat tour of Chicago
See the Murals in the Wabash area of Chicago
Old areas take on new life like the Wabash Big Walls project. This is an area around Columbia College on Michigan Avenue where muralists were invited to paint on the many buildings. It reminded me of Wynwood Walls in Miami DesignDestinations:see blog post:) I didn’t see Wynwood Walls in the early days but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was a bit like project in Chicago. It will be interesting to see how this develops.
Millennium Park, Chicago
Going to a concert at the Millennium Park was especially memorable. I heard the orchestra practice early in the day briefly and then we went back at night for the real deal. I’ve been fascinated with the Gehry designed pavilion for years and always wanted to sit in the audience and see what it “felt and sounded” like. At first I was disappointed. Sitting in my red seat I looked up at the twisting metal swirls as the music started. It felt jumbled and disorganized, but then as the day slid into darkness, the glowing light and reflections captivated me. Stunning.
The music, while really lovely, was secondary as I savored the developing light show.
As usual I enjoy the shops and discovering new places to eat. Two most interesting to me were the windows at P.O.S.H.—a charming little French store not far from Nordstroms and Eataly. (To learn more about P.O.S.H. visit this blog post: P.O.S. H. A little Bit of Paris in Chicago. The new restaurant discovery: a Peruvian eatery in River North called Tanta. We hung out on the roof top terrace for a while enjoying a yummy potato dish called Causitas. I’ll go back for more.
And to end this blog post, some images from the ever changing water towers in Millennium Park. Always something new to see. I enjoyed seeing the children playing in the water.