So it’s come to the end of my travels in Chicago and I’m truly sad to say goodbye to this fab’lous place. As with anywhere there are good and not so good places and bad press, in this instance about gun crime, but my experience is not of a hostile city, as I was lead to believe it would be. It’s not of an unsafe place and unfriendly people. Not a place to feel vulnerable as a young woman travelling on my own but a warm, relaxed and inviting city, with enough to do and see to keep you tripping from one to another all week and still have more to see.
Having never considered myself particularly interested in architecture other than to go “oooh that’s pretty!” I decided to take a river-boat-cruise about architecture during my stay here in Chicago.
I was so glad I chose to go, it was gorgeous, seeing way they call the ‘canyon’ if skyscrapers from a different perspective with an enthusiast’s narration about the development and ebb and low of architecture styles, fads and trends.
Also a lovely story or two about the change in the city’s relationship with the river, how it changed over time, used and abused, misused, loved and now a must-see feature of this booming city.
How ever you look at it the city has many pockets of different characteristics and each nook and cranny appears to have a story to tell.
I had a wonderful day yesterday at the art institute off Michigan Avenue, you really could lose yourself for days in this wonderful place, with rooms and corridors full of wonderful art work, and a whole ‘wing’ dedicated to modern and contemporary American art.
Walking up to the building as I strolled the length of Michigan Avenue was a delight in itself. It holds echos of the grandeur similar to that of the larger London museums, but is grand and delightful in its own right. There are two large lion statues bookending some harsh-cut asymmetrical steps that draw your eyes into the sheer glass and gold doors that invite you in.
Art institute off Michigan Avenue
The flags are triumphantly boasted amongst the crisp arches that advertise a few of their exhibitions …
So today I’m heading to the Art Institute, I’ve been told you need days to fully explore, such is the delight and wonder of the place, so many things to see.
Here are a few photos from my sight seeing so far this week; from my time in Millennium Park, which is a beautiful space with art installations, a beautiful and large free outdoor theatre, some fountains and ‘The Bean’ to name but a few.
Had a great day walking the streets of Chicago enjoying various coffees, cakes and delights as I travelled.
Just sort of spent today getting to grips with the places and sights surrounding where I’m staying, taking some time out to get some slightly more deliberate and thought through photos done of some of the streets and architecture.
I enjoyed really looking at where I was, not just seeing, really watching and looking at what’s surrounding me. Seeing the reaching curves and twists of the more cathedral like spires and turrets boldly standing in contrast to the sharp, blocked, concrete edges of the towering lines of the more modern structures. Some truly juxtaposed beauty to run in to around here.
Here are some photos from today, I quite like the way the over exposure works on these images
Having arrived yesterday at O’Hare airport I’m still getting to grips with the -6hours time difference, but so far jet lag has been bearable, it’s just my confusion over which day I’m actually on which keeps throwing me.
I’ve spent today getting my bearings and exploring this beautiful city, walked miles, jumped on the EL and went round the loop.
Went to several places on a delightful walk back up Michigan Avenue, also went to see ‘The Bean’ in Millennium Park, some lovely art installations including some HUGE fountains with changing faces, some sculptures made from tyres and various other bits and pieces.
Also paid a visit to The Cheesecake Factory, which was a little bit like stepping into Charlie and The Chocolate Factory – and the cheesecakes were immense!!
Finally took a trip up to the 96th floor of the John Hancock tower (360 tower) for a scrummy mojito and beautiful skyline view.
Looking forward to the rest of my time here, will keep you in the loop.
Look out for my photos on instagram and the twittersphere 🤓👍
Having never done it before I decided to try sketchnoting one of my poems, I wasn’t sure how to go about it to start with so, I’ll be completely honest, I just sort of winged it. But I’m really enjoying the process and it’s an interesting way to see these two things coming together.