Chicago Trip, Entry 1

29 Apr

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I recently went to visit my good friend David (who has a wonderful blog you should all read http://cleanplatter.wordpress.com/) in Chicago. I met David in Mexico one Christmas when I hit him in the head with a volleyball and asked if that was the Necronomicon he was reading (it was the Crytonomicon which you should all also read)  and a friendship was born. Now that we’re adults and both have the sort of jobs where we can travel without great disruption, we’ve averaged about a visit a year. This time it was my turn to visit him in Chicago and I seem to have timed it perfectly. Los Angeles has recently gotten uncomfortably warm for my anti-desert sensibility so it was nice to break out the real jacket and spend some time in the 50s.

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Chicago is a beautiful city, I have a total crush on it and have ever since my college class on pre-1900 public architecture and learning about the World’s Columbian Exposition. In more recent years, it’s been fueled by reading (and re-reading) The Devil in the White City (which I recommend even to people who don’t squee over buildings like me).  Anyway, all this builds up to me being determined to  get my touristing in with an architecture boat tour so boat tour we me with these people.  Great fun.

On the way there,we stopped at the Tribune Tower. Did I mention I just got a new camera? I do love me some Neo-Gothic detailing.

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Wikipedia says, “Prior to the building of the Tribune Tower, correspondents for the Chicago Tribune brought back rocks and bricks from a variety of historically important sites throughout the world at the request of Colonel McCormick. Many of these reliefs have been incorporated into the lowest levels of the building and are labeled with their location of origin.”  So yeah, I touched a bit of Scotland. Such an interesting idea for a journalism building, sort of a global theft feel to it.

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The Wrigley Building is across the street from the Tribune Tower. My snazzy piece of trivia from the tour guide was that Wrigley used to make soap which wasn’t very popular, so they put gum in as a bonus. People still hated the soap but a gum empire (and a bad bass clock tower inspired by this) were born.

 

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Marina City along the river is probably were I would live if I had all of the money. It’s basically a self contained city, complete with marina and bowling alley.

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River City, further down the river, is by the same architect and is equally sort of Gaudi-esque in it’s lack of straight lines. The usefulness of having a city with a real working river is kind of driven home when you keep going past sky scrapers with vast railroad tracks underground underneath them, next to picturesque self contained cities were you can ostensibly go downstairs and take your boat to work.

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Our boat wasn’t so tall but bridges in Chicago aren’t so tall either. I got this great (well, I think so) shot of sparks coming off one of the bridges as a traffic rolled by on top.

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The Carbide & Carbon Building has this wonderful factoid “According to popular legend, architects Daniel and Hubert Burnham designed the building to resemble a dark green champagne bottle with gold foil.[citation needed]”

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