Seb sees more of the city

Chicago Travel Blog

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Seb on the boat

One of the things you're supposed to do when you go to Chicago is take the Architectural Boat Tour.  Chicago is famous for its architecture, and to really enjoy it to the fullest is to take a guided tour and hear about it from someone who knows what they're talking about. 

Seb and I reserved a spot on the 2pm boat leaving from the River Walk...it was a spectacular tour.  I learned so many things.  Some of the buildings we saw I knew nothing about except that they were pretty...now I know about "contextualization", and how architects drew inspiration from the natural elements surrounding their buildings like the lake, the evening sky, the river, the bridge houses.

More contextual buildings.
..

The tour was an hour and a half, and it was totally worth the $30.  Seb was super jazzed--he was taking pictures like crazy.  Fortunately for me, his camera ran out of batteries and he had to use mine, which meant that I ended up with a lot of great pictures of the city that I definitely wouldn't have had otherwise.  We learned that the Chicago River flows opposite its nature..instead of flowing into the lake, it flows away from it.  This is perpetuated by some pit they dug in Lake Michigan way back when.  It also means that we have an award winning drainage system..or something.  You'll have to double check those details.  Donald Trump is building a building in Chicago that, when it's complete, will be taller than the Sears Tower.

What I like to call "the pancake buildings"
..which means it will be something like 2,000 feet tall.  Another building that will soon be under construction is going to be even taller than that...a spiral building that will be mostly condos.  There's a tall, black, wiggly building on the east side of Lake Shore Drive...supposedly no one knows how it got built.  No buildings are supposed to be on that side because it's preserved National Park land or something like that...but it's there.  There are no records or anything showing who gave permission or anything.  I'm guessing it's dirty money...there was a lot of that going on back in the day. 

After the boat tour, we walked around the city and went suit shopping for Seb who had a wedding to attend in France upon his return.  I took Seb to Navy Pier and despite his fear of heights, we rode the Ferris Wheel for great panoramics of the entire city and the lake.

Flags.
  Navy Pier is a big tourist trap, but it's worth seeing.  It's kinda cool, and really important to Chicago's history...I don't remember how, but it is. :)  For dinner that night we had Mexican food (again!) and went to the Green Dolphin Street for drinks.  I'd never been, and since we'd driven by it so many times on our way into the city, we felt like we had to.  It was fun...extremely large on the inside, with a great dance floor.

The next day was Seb's last, and unfortunately he had to go back to Paris.  It was really hard to see him go...it was like leaving France all over again.  All I can do is plan my next trip back there...or wait for more of my French friends to visit!

marksreynolds says:
Funny how you live somewhere and yet have never really seen all there is to see, or know all of the history of a place you live so close to. I have lived a 30/45 minute drive from Washington D.C. for 35+ years and still haven't seen all of the monuments, museums and buildings there are to see.
I need more TB'rs to come visit me so I can show them around, so I can see the rest of the city! hahahaha :)
Posted on: Oct 01, 2008
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Seb on the boat
Seb on the boat
More contextual buildings.
More contextual buildings.
What I like to call the pancake b…
What I like to call "the pancake …
Flags.
Flags.
Contextual building
Contextual building
I like this one.
I like this one.
River walk.
River walk.
Opera house.
Opera house.
This designer decided to make a bu…
This designer decided to make a b…
Sears tower.
Sears tower.
Again.
Again.
Trumps new building.
Trump's new building.
Wrigley building.
Wrigley building.
The building thats not supposed t…
The building that's not supposed …
Skyline.
Skyline.
Navy Pier.
Navy Pier.
Navy Pier.
Navy Pier.
Ferris Wheel.
Ferris Wheel.
Me and Seb.
Me and Seb.
Chicago
photo by: mahoney