This past weekend the family and I went to Chicago. Unfortunately, we had to drive. It was hell a rather interesting journey. None of us had ever been to Chicago other than the airport (well, other than the time I was flying with Thor, alone, to my parents house when he was 2, and we got stuck overnight, but that’s a whole other story). So this was kind of exciting.
In case you didn’t know, I love big cities. Like love love big cities. If I had my way, we’d live in New York city and my kids would be those city urchin kids who navigate the streets like its second nature.
We stayed at The James Chicago, a fantastic boutique type hotel on Rush Street. Modern, contemporary, cute. The staff was very friendly, the room a pretty decent size for a city and the beds were nice and plush. This would have been a great bonus if I hadn’t been sleeping in the same bed with Chick who kicks and grinds her teeth at night *shudder. Anyway, I fell a smidge in love with Chicago last weekend. In all actuality, I fell head over heels in love with Chicago. Here are a few reasons why:
I know, it’s just a bunch of buildings (sorry if the pictures aren’t excellent, I took them from a trolley tour bus. It was effing cold in Chicago last weekend! But I still loved it.) I love architecture. I love buildings. Chicago is full of rich blends of architecture, old and new right next to each other. Mies van der Rohe, one of my very favorite architects, designed several residential bulidings on Lake Shore Drive. The buildings were very forward thinking for the time, made of glass and steel. To be right there next to them…well, for me that was pretty gosh dang fantastic.
The other thing I loved, besides enormous, fantastic breakfasts at both Yolk in Streeterville and Eggsperience; I highly recommend both places, we even went to Yolk twice. Their coffee was so good, I didn’t even add sugar and the food…sigh, yum. I literally distracted myself from what I was saying by thinking about the food. What did I love besides the food and the buildings?
The people. I don’t know if it’s a midwest thing, or a Chicago thing, or even what exactly to say that explains it but, the city is just friendly. It’s a very different feel than New York. New York is hectic, frenetic, crazy insane wonderful. There are people clogging every street and it beats a constant thrum all its own that can’t be dupilicated.
Chicago is different. Maybe because we were there when it was 20 degrees (I really get why it’s called the windy city now, really get it.) Maybe that kept people off the streets a bit. But everywhere we went, from the restaurants to the musuems to the bus to the train, people were just friendlier. People were more relaxed. Maybe it was me who was more relaxed, but I felt a big difference from being New York. The difference isn’t good or bad…just different.