Now that I've been back on the East Coast for 36 hours, I feel I can more appropriately reflect on my trip. Rather than just explaining my trip through words, I will lean on my photographic evidence to tell my tale of travel to the great frozen midwest. (Click on any picture to get a closer look)
I landed at Midway on Tuesday night, and was confronted with single digit temps, and windchills of as low as 20 below.
While many people were wearing what looked like the caracas of a dead moose, I opted for heat retention and minimizing skin exposure. It seamed to work well enough, as I kept all my fingers and toes. I looked a tad ridiculous, however.
You know it's cold out when the water in the river is warm by comparison. Here, the Chicago River steams it's way through the fridigity of downtown and under the North Clark St Bridge.
As many men are, I am totaly obsessed with big ships, bridges, tits and buildings. I was completely enamored of the Sears tower, and captured it from a few different angles. Sadly, however, I chose to take the view from the top at night, and those pictures kind of suck balls, so I'll omit them.
I had to take a picture of the Smurfit-Stone Building, since: A) It is fun to say Smurfit-Stone, B) It is cool as hell and C) There is a Smurfit-Stone property behind my alma mater. I don't put any stock into the idea that this building was designed to look like a vagina, to counteract all the other phalic looking skyscrapers in the world, but it's a good tale.
Officially called "Cloud Gate" but colloquially referred to as "the bean" I was more than transfixed by Anish Kapoor's sculpture, which is one of the focal points of Millennium Park. Completed in 2004, they boldly chose to still call it Millennium Park, rather than Millennium plus four park. No matter the name it is very nice, even on this frigid day.
Millennium Park also sports another accessory which is a must for any big city these days. A Frank Gehry design, like the Pritzker Pavilion seen here, is to Chicago what a pair of Jimmy Choo's or a Coach Bag would be to trendy woman these days. I mean no offense, either to fashion conscious women or to the Pritzker. I found the Pavilion to be perfectly situated, and quite striking.
I didn't make it to the John Hancock Building, but I had a great view of it over the Rock 'n Roll McDonalds when I left my Hotel every day. That is, when It wasn't snowing it's fat ass off out.
By my second night in town, it was up to a balmy 15. I took this picture on Jackson Street, about a block from Giordano's and looking west toward the Sears Tower, which is somewhat visible in the background.
With the 11 degree increase in temperature from Tuesday night to Wednesday night I felt as if I could go sans hood and just stick with the stocking cap. I was still sporting some red cheeks, however.
Who in their right mind goes an hour, round trip, out of their way to see a shuttered baseball stadium during a winter snowstorm? I do, of course. Sports is a big part of travel for me, and I also caught a Ho League Game while in town, but I enjoyed Wrigley more than should be allowed in January.
It really was beautiful when it was snowing in the city. Sadly, and somewhat predictably, I took a bit of a tumble on the steps to the Red Line Subway during that snowy night, and I wrenched up my ankles pretty well...
After some frozen aqua therapy in the hotel's non-working pool, I opted for a few redneck icepacks to further treat my aching stubs.
My siblings, friends and I have had a somewhat juvenile obsession with that fecal hitchhiker: the corn niblett for years. Once finished with the corn as an icepack, I decided to amuse myself by leaving an appallingly funny gift for the maid. I laughed about this for, well... I'm still laughing about this.
I may have been about as surprised as the maid, when I saw the massive dump on Friday morning. Rather than corn laced shit, I had to deal with 10 inches of fresh powder on Chitown's streets. I will say this though, the plows in the windy city do their jobs quickly and quietly. I never heard them that night, and the streets were clear in the morning.
I also awoke Friday morning to find that the temperature was on the rise. By the time my work was done in the afternoon it was all the way up to 30. I, naturally, spent the whole day singing "We're having a heat wave. A tropical heat wave" in my best Walter Matthau from Grumpy Old Men voice. Sadly, there was no one to call dickhead, as I couldn't raise XL on the phone.
Also on Friday, my work took me to the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, once the home of Frank Lloyd Wright. I took in a number of his works, including Unity Temple pictured here. I was not only was quite impressed with Wright's work, but I was finally able to stop singing "heat wave" because upon seeing Unity Temple, I was then stuck on Dave Chappelle as Rick James saying "Unityyyyyy"