I’ve always wanted to see Chicago. It’s my birthplace – but we moved away shortly after I was born. For some reason, I never made it back until this year. I spent a few days exploring at the end of September. My daughter had a business trip there and some spare frequent flyer points, so she gave me a ticket. Thanks, MK!!!
Chicago and Lake Michigan from the air – my first photo of the trip. It was wonderfully clear as we approached the city. You can really see how large Lake Michigan is.
Mary was busy, so I booked a hotel downtown and spent the first afternoon and evening wandering around by the lake shore. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a bit of a problem. I wasn’t used to all that walking and ended up with sore feet and blisters. Which didn’t help me to walk around on the following days – but I still managed to get a few photos.
I did some research online and asked a few questions about places to photograph. One of my Flickr contacts (Brian Koprowski) lives in the area and gave me several good hints. Thanks to him, I ended up at the Adler Planetarium on the first evening. The sunset wasn’t that exciting, but I thought the city across the water at twilight was pretty.
City at twilight
I also liked this fisheye view of the Field Museum that I made on my way back to the hotel. It reminded me of the movie “Night at the Museum“, although that wasn’t filmed here.
Night at the museum – Field Museum
The next day I again walked the city (and made my feet worse). My first stop was the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), where there’s a view from the glass balcony observation deck on the 103rd floor. A wonderful place for a fisheye lens!
From the top of Chicago – Another fisheye view. This one is from the Willis Tower observation deck, 1353 feet above the city
There’s a lot to see around the city including a great deal of sculpture and artwork. And glass on the buildings creates many compositional opportunities. In this image, I waited for the photographer on the near right to get into place so I could finish my photo – I had hoped she’d move a bit more to the left, but oh well.
Flamingo – This artwork by Alexander Calder is in the Federal Plaza
Here’s another rather strange piece of street art. I couldn’t resist adding a little “digital makeup” in Photoshop.
Later that evening I ended up in Millennium Park where the Cloud Gate sculpture is located. I liked the scene – with all the people contrasting with the buildings and sculpture.
Cloud Gate (AKA “the bean”)
My son Mike drove down to meet us and we spent the next morning riding the “L” train, bicycling along the lake shore, and visiting Portillo’s Delli for a Chicago Dog. When Mary joined us that afternoon we took a boat tour on the Chicago River and ate some very good Chicago deep dish pizza for dinner. The final morning before our flight back to Orlando we toured the Museum of Science and Technology and drove by Mercy Hospital where I was born. I was only a little disappointed that there was no “Welcome Back Ed!” banner above the hospital entrance.
I enjoyed my short visit and definitely felt a kinship with this wonderful city. I want to go back again and see more. It’s so diverse that no trip as short as this could possible do it justice.
You can see larger versions of these photos and some others from our Chicago trip in this set on Flickr.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2013, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved