Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Chicago, the Windy City with a Better Downtown

Chicago, the Windy City with a Better Downtown

20160602_163434

So I recently visited Chicago for work, and it blew all my expectations out of the water. Chicago natives, don’t hate me for this, but I thought all your city had was cold streets and abandoned basketballs hoops. Don’t ask me where I got that idea, but Chicago had really just never been on my radar. When my work offered me an extra assignment that would send me there for a few days, I figured why not. Might as well see what was there.

20160602_093245

Even the wing of the plane looked nice flying in.

First of all, let me apologize for underestimating the beauty of Chicago for all those years. Cause holy shit, downtown Chicago is beautiful. Not just in that “ugly but charming” kind of way, either, but just absolutely beautiful. It was 72 and sunny when I arrived, with a nice breeze. You don’t find nice breezes in DC—just that heavy, sticky “will it or will it not rain” kind of atmosphere. The lack of humidity even tricked me into thinking I was cold when I first arrived.

20160602_142447

On the way back to my hotel.

Chicago had one thing I missed about living by Pittsburgh—old architecture. Mixed in with the angular modern buildings were cream-colored arches, swirling details, and carved columns. Looking up at them told me that Chicago had a vibrant history that hadn’t been entirely erased by modernization! For any of you who have played Bioshock Infinite (any gamers? any?), I was getting Columbia vibes from it. Y’know, minus the white supremacist propaganda. Ahem.

20160602_162322
20160602_162305

DC doesn’t have skyscrapers, so the height of these buildings was dizzying.

20160602_162951

The gorgeous, nearly 360 view of the city I was able to capture. Let’s just pretend the word TRUMP isn’t there.

Let me tell you, Chicago’s downtown area is DIFFERENT from D.C’s downtown. Or at least it was for me! The opportunities to do things—anything—seemed endless. It was an easy walk from my hotel to along the river, taking in the numerous overpriced boat tours, to the Navy Pier. Along the way I encountered plenty of tourists, bike rentals, kayak rentals, a little garden patio, and some teens smoking weed in a stairwell. The last is just a hallmark of city life, and I love the city life.

20160602_164054 20160602_164058 20160602_16474520160602_164758

Friendly graffiti.

And I LOVED the Navy Pier. More than I like Georgetown waterfront, because everything there is staggered on levels so there’s plenty to do while you always have a view of the river. There’s a little park with a ferris wheel, merry go round, a few other festival rides, music, and easily accessible food. Even caught a guy jetskiing while blasting Eminem. Now that made me feel like I was in the Midwest, but he was doing his thing so who am I to judge?

20160602_170118
20160602_170141

The Eminem blasting Jet Skiier. Do your thing, bih.

20160602_170710
20160602_170727
20160602_173150

Finally, I went over to Millennium Park. I was tired, hungry, and a little annoyed by the time I got here, so I didn’t get to take it in quite as much. Still saw plenty of cool sculptures and gardens, but it’s hunger makes it hard to appreciate things. I desperately needed a Snickers, but I at least pulled it together to see Cloud Gate. It’s honestly amazing in person–it’s so reflective that it’s almost invisible, like you’re looking right through it! Ultimate tourist attraction, so I was elbowing through people to get a decent picture.

20160602_174236
20160602_175011
20160602_175320

If you don’t think that’s even a little bit cool, you probably don’t have feelings.

By the end of that, I was so hungry that the only thing that sounded interesting was food. That was my first day in Chicago and basically all the time I had to really explore, as work kept me busy for the rest of the trip. I’ve now added Chicago to my List of Cities to Vacation At and I’m dying for a chance to really see more! I only got to explore one corner of it and there’s so much more I’d like to see. It’s gonna have to wait until next summer at the earliest though because I am not a winter person in the slightest.

recreational3-3

For more on my Recreational look, check out my outfit snaps entry!

What are some of your favorite cities to visit? Have you been to Chicago and loved it, or do you totally disagree with me about DC’s downtown? As always, let me know in the comments below!

Lots of love,
Abigail


Leave a Reply