A Day Off in Chicago

Yesterday our family played hookie and became tourists for a day in our own backyard.  We visited famous landmarks, cruised along in a double-decker tour bus, took a ride on a giant ferris wheel, and got in everyone’s way while taking a million pictures.

Our first stop was Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower).  We took an ear popping elevator ride up to the 103rd floor and marveled at the views alongside tourists from all over the world.  When you love a city as much as I love Chicago, it gives you great joy to see others appreciate its extraordinary beauty and architectural significance.

Views from the top – North, East, and South.

Marina City, famously depicted on the cover of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Wilco being another Chicago treasure).

Cloud Gate at Millennium Park.

Snapping a picture of my children in the reflection of Cloud Gate (a.k.a. The Bean).  The Bean polishers must have been off over the holiday weekend because it was filthy.Millennium Park’s Crown Fountain, an ultramodern interpretation of traditional gargoyle fountains.

The Frank Gehry designed Pritzker Pavilion.

I really wanted to see the Lichtenstein retrospective at the Art Institute, but I was outvoted.  I promise to get there this summer and report back.

Lunch at The Gage, above and below.

Architectural detail on the surrounding buildings.  I fell head over heels for the stripes.

Last stop – Navy Pier.

In line for the Ferris wheel.  It was modeled after the very first Ferris wheel, which was built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.  (If you haven’t read Devil in the White City which takes place in Chicago during the construction of the 1893 Exposition, I highly recommend it.)

A view of the John Hancock building from the Ferris wheel.

A final view from the Pier.

All photos via the aesthete and the dilettante

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