Recently visited Chicago for the first time (with the mater) and LOVED it. Chicago has now usurped Washington D.C. for my “Top City” spot in the U.S., after a lengthy rule of a couple of decades. Chicago was just a really nice place – friendly people, lovely weather, great views, safe to walk around… I do think I might have to visit the Windy City in winter to get a more well-rounded picture though. :-}
The visit was also enhanced by the kind friends who met us and showed us around and fed us lots of gastronomical treats. (Thank you guys!)
It’s also a book-y city (or at least we made it one on our visit). We visited the old Chicago Public Library (now turned into a cultural center). This was an older building, prior to the Chicago Fire of 1871 (I think) and was packed with literary references from its days as the grand old library.
And then, as we were staying downtown, we seemed to be surrounded by universities on every corner: DePaul University, Robert Morris University, Roosevelt University and University of Chicago down the way. (Didn’t make it down there, but will try next time.)
Roosevelt University had some really good quotations on the exterior of their various buildings, one of my favorites being this one:
If the text is tough to read, it says this:
“They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But what if it reflects not reality but an agenda? In this age of airbrushed magazine covers, computer-generated images, reality TV, and phony viral video, have words lost their meaning? Or have they become more important then ever?”
Then, we popped by the official Chicago Visitor Center which also happened to have a little library inside it. Great utilization of space and a great way to catch a segment of the population who might not otherwise get to a library:
And then, we came across the Chicago Public Library in its most recent building. Wow. This was mind-boggling in its size. It had NINE floors – nine floors of bookish goodness, some of which included exhibitions and displays of various issues and topics. (The ones that we saw on this trip included the de-segregation of the schools in Arkansas and one of fairly recent immigrants to the U.S. . Multi-media experiences and fascinating to watch and hear. Kudos to the library for making this available, although I wonder who makes the trek up to (slightly hidden) top floor to see them?)
There will be a few more select pics to come from my trip as it’s such a beautiful city.