A morning in the Windy City

Hopefully, when this post goes up, I’ll be right around the Colorado-New Mexico border. So, I was in Chicago yesterday, with a layover that gave me the morning and just a bit of the afternoon to do something—maybe one thing in the windy city. What in the world would I do? I decided to take my own advice for a change. I went back to Michigan and Wacker for the Architectural Foundation’s river cruise. Now, I’ve done this when I was here six years ago, but I do not feel the least bit cheated. First of all, there are several new buildings right on the riverfront. Second, here’s what kind of day it was:

And not only was it clear, but in the mid-eighties, with just the hint of a breeze coming off the lake (Our tourguide was complaining about how windy it was, but compared to an April day in Albuquerque, I’d call it a hint of a breeze, and it’s my blog, not hers.)

I walked from the station to the dock, expecting that since it’s a Sunday, a morning, and a time when many of the nation’s schoolchildren have been re-incarserated, it would be a fairly empty boat. I got to the ticket window and asked if there were any tickets left.
     “How many do you want?” the guy asked.
     A look of relief came over his face. “I can do one.”

I really got the last, final ticket. Actually, I was lucky to have gotten in the correct boat at all, lining up at Dock 1 was the Architectural Foundation cruise, and at Gate 2 was a dog cruise, and the lines were mixing towards the back. No exaggeration, every person or couple getting on the other boat had a pooch.

Here are some tidbits I picked up that I don’t remember from last time. First of all, this building that is currently lofts was “essentially a giant refrigerator.” To convert it to lofts required knocking the windows out of the side of the building, which is quite a feat—those walls are 4 feet thick. “The good thing about that, if your neighbors have a party, you won’t be hearing it.” Also, “Chicago” is the anglicization of a native word for a wild onion that grew along the Chicago River. “New York’s the Big Apple, we’re the big onion.”

And I’ve only started to peel the surface…

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