29 June 2010

about Chicago

We left Cleveland yesterday and made our stop in Michigan. It was great to see Kyle and it was a pleasure to finally meet Dr. Ball (Jim) after having heard so much from Stephen. The detour through Michigan only kept us from the road for a couple of hours, though, and we made it to Chicago in the early evening hours.

Many Wednesday nights at our house at Orme have been spent poking fun at a small few students who claim that Chicago is the greatest city in the world. I had never really seen Chicago until last night, so I'd like to take this oppotunity to say a few words on the things that I saw.

Chicago has a unique and beautiful skyline, but that is because it also has a ridiculous number of large buildings stacked neatly beside each other to create the most massive downtown area I have ever seen. Once we got into the downtown area and were really able to see all of these skyscrapers up close (we drove the length of Lakeshore Drive), we saw magnificent mordern architecture nestled in among the grand old stone buildings. It totally blew me away how beautiful these massive buildings were.

Chicago has amazing parks and beaches. Everywhere we went throughout the entire downtown area, there were huge green expanses of park space and lovely sandy beaches all built with easy access and designed for practical use. A person working in one of the busiest skyscrapers could easily spend a lunch hour reading a book under a tree near a pond or out on the beach overlooking Lake Michigan. The views were stunning.

People in Chicago actually do stuff. I don't just mean shopping and restaurants, either. We saw thousands of people out and about on the city streets, in the parks, at the playgrounds, walking their dogs, riding their bikes, rollerblading, jogging, running, socializing, playing volleyball, playing soccer, playing baseball & softball, swimming & boating in Lake Michigan, and all around just being active. Let me reiterate my point: there were THOUSANDS of people OUTDOORS, being active on a MONDAY NIGHT.

I have no regrets for having picked on a certain ginger-haired Orme student from Chicago for as long or as much as we did, but after having spent only half an hour driving through the Windy City, I will concede that I now have a small understanding of why Chicagoans feel as passionately as they do about their hometown.

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  1. sweet. sounds very bostonish...not that i like cities, but it's nice when they are busy with people doing stuff. boston has much green space, but not like this. and, until recently, if you fell in the charles river you needed to get a tetanus shot, among other things.

    gotta love the journey...

  2. They spend the time outdoors whenever the weather's nice because they have to get it when they can!