I’m still struggling to digest all the amazing sights I saw during my two weeks in the US. Honestly, it was a lot.
So I’m fighting The Overwhelm and easing in gently by letting you know 5 things I learned about Chicago, where we spent four all-too short days.
I’m leading you in with a picture of the river backed that gorgeous skyscape, because just look. What a place.
Anyway, on with the things I learned about Chicago.
Chicago loves a revolving door
Classic Chicago entryway; two revolving doors, no real doors. For someone who has a fear of people getting into the same revolving compartment as me, this made entering and exiting buildings a nerve wracking process.
What you think is the street level is not actually the street level
So you’d think that on exiting the ground floor (sorry, first floor in American speak) of this office building you’d actually be on the ground.
There’s not one, but two levels of roads beneath you still. This was true of quite a lot of the city near the river, and on our architecture cruise we learned that this is because the ground that Chicago is built on is quite marshy, so it’s much easier to build above ground than to dig basements.
I’m all for hiding roads but it’s strange to think of so much going on beneath your feet.
The street music is above and beyond
We found this band playing on the corner of the street and they were absolutely phenomenal. The drummer didn’t even have real drums! And you’d never know from the amazing sounds he was making. Altogether they absolutely killed it, there was a dance party happening on the street and everything. Definitely not your average street performance.
I’m still not used to a bunch of skyscrapers
This was the incredible view from our hotel room. The whole place felt like a real life Gotham to me. In a good way. I also loved the above-ground subway trains, which were definitely like out of the movies, although made conversation unfortunately difficult whenever they passed nearby.
It’s a surprisingly green city
Yeah so the place is stuffed with skyscrapers, but they still manage to cram in bits of greenery where they can. We stumbled across a number of small parks in the centre that we just weren’t expecting.
Whether that’s true in the non-shiny, non-touristy areas I don’t know but I certainly enjoyed the care with which they’d been set up.
And thus ends your whistlestop tour of Chicago.
So, do you feel like you’ve bean? (See what I did there??!)