Sunday, July 22, 2012


We had a nice family trip to Chicago where Alesia and I lived for a short time some years ago. It's a city with fond memories that I've enjoyed visting several times in recent years. During our visit this month we stayed at a fabulous Westin Hotel downtown on Chicago River, right in the middle of everything!  Here are some favorite photos of one of my favorite cities.
A water taxi on the Chicago River. We stayed on the 18th floor of the Westin Hotel seen at the top left. Below is a view out our window. That's the N. Clark St. bridge.
Staying downtown like this, there are many fine restaurants, stores and other attractions within walking distance, as are some of the train stations that will get you around the metro area.
We didn't do one of the water tours this time. I'd really like to do the architecture tour that's available via the river. Next time in the Windy City!
A fisheye lens perspective!
When it opened in 1930 the massive Merchandise Mart was the world's largest building. Montgomery Ward built the 25 story 4.25 million square foot structure as a warehouse for his growing stores. Today it has a variety of businesses within.
The old bridges add to the rugged ambience of this muscular city. Not just for show, they are still very much in use today.
There's a nice balance of the old and new in Chicago's bustling downtown.
The reflection of the Merchandise Mart from a glass building across the river.
The Wrigley Building, left, and the Tribue Tower, right, were both completed in 1925 and are among the city's most famous skyscrapers.
 These unusual twin towers, next to our hotel, we got to calling the corn-on-the cob buildings. Their real name is Marina City, apartments built from 1959-1964.
The round towers frame an impressive George Washington statue a few blocks away.
The shiny Trump Tower Chicago is the new kid on the downtown high rise block, opening in 2009.
Alesia at an intersection near the Trump Tower (left) and the Wrigley and Tribune towers in the background.
During the summer the river stays busy with tours, water taxis, personal yachts and smaller boats.. The Wrigley Building has a neat blue light above its clock.
The majestic NBC Tower opened in 1989.  I remember our class visiting there in 1990 when I was at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.
A monochrome (or black and white) perspective.
Michigan Avenue's Magnificent Mile was busy with cars and people. This is truly one of America's glitziest shopping districts.
I had to include one of the city's iconic signs.  Barry Manilow was performing at the Chicago Theatre at this time. The theater is on N. State Street.
Chicago's elevated trains or Ls are the best way to get around. The fee of $2.25 will get you to a multitude of destinations around the city and suburbs.
We got to a Cubs day game at Wrigley Field by train-- and it was packed with fellow fans. Crowded but a neat atmosphere.
Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate and there was a 3:45 rain delay. We stayed for three innings. When we left the Cubs were tied 1-1 with Arizona.  Chicago went on to win 8-1.
Harry Caray would have been happy with that result. We enjoyed a fine meal at the legendary broadcaster's namesake restaurant one night.
Carson's Famous Ribs on North Wells was another culinary destination that did not disappoint, especially those stylish bibs! (With brother-in-law Greg, left)
Of course we couldn't come to Chicago without having some of the famous deep dish pizza. We enjoyed a delicious meal at Lou Malnati's Pizzeria. The deep dish pizza places are very popular downtown.  We couldn't get into one the night's before so on this day we made an early dinner call at Lou's (and still had to wait, but only about 20 minutes). Definitely worth the wait, it was so good!
Sunday breakfast at the counter of Yolks was pretty darn good too!
Saturday we had an really good outing at the amazing Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.
Th Wright brothers were on hand but soon had to take off.
The human intestine exhibit was NOT my favorite.
Then we took the train back to the hotel, though not this one.
The seven floor (plus basement bargains) Sports Authority on LaSalle Drive is worth a visit just to see the handprints of notable Chicago sports figures like Michael Jordan, Mike Singletary and Mike Ditka.
Another fun and fond visit to Chicago. Summer is a nice time to visit the Windy City.
Chicago's a huge city but still very inviting in many ways, especially if you don't mind walking and some public transportation.