a small big city with heart and bright lights

chicago under overcastSo many has asked me why I like Chicago …. it’s because it’s big heart and generous smile!

I have talked to people that lives in Chicago and they say it’s a difficult city to make friends in, which doesn’t make much sense to me – because I find it so friendly and chatty. People talk to you everywhere.

I also love Chicago because it gives so much away for free … like the Millennium Park with it’s free concerts duirng the summer months, all the interactive art that is placed all over the city and Lincoln Park Zoo, an oasis for everybody.  Chicago is very green, has beautiful flower displays and it’s very airy – because it’s not allowed to build skyscrapers along the lake shore. And of course the food …. one of the best food cities I been to.

Our second day Chicago wasn’t really in a good mood – no blue sky … very heavy overcast. We decided to make our way down to Navy Pier along the Chicago River Walk. But first breakfast and we really enjoyed ours “al fresco” at “Corner Bakery Cafe”, just next door to our hotel. Excellent value and greatly prepared. There we was sitting beside Wacker’s Drive under big umbrellas when the rain softly came over us and some sparrows was watching us very closely …. waiting for their share.

A rain couldn’t stop us .. so we walked over to Union Sq and walked the left bank of the river walk. We didn’t come very fare – the last bit was closed for new development under the overpass.

Just before entering the “Navy Pier” is my favorite piece of all the amazing public art that Chicago is showing off – “Crack the Whip” by J.Seward Johnson Jr. A bronze sculpture of children playing.

Navy Pier was a bit empty, we where early and also the weather wasn’t that inviting. Also loads of construction working was going on for the piers new look.

“Navy Pier is a 3,300-foot-long (1,010 m) pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan. Construction began in 1914 under the leadership of Charles Sumner Frost and took two years, at a total cost of $4.5 million. When it opened to the public in 1916, it was the largest pier in the world. The Pier was built both to handle shipping and as an entertainment site. In 1917-18, during World War I (WWI), the Pier housed many Navy and some Army personnel, the Red Cross, and Home Defense units. It even had a jail for draft dodgers.” (text: wikipedia.org)

Today is all down to entertainment and fun with the Shakespeare Theater, rides and great restaurants but also Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows – a wonderful free exhibition of stain glass windows all collected from Chicago, my biggest motivation to visit Navy Pier time after time. Such beautiful exhibition of a magnificent art, even if it’s the same windows …. I never get tired of admiring them.

Before leaving the pier we suffered us through a massive ice cream creation at Häagen-Dazs Cafe. We took a taxi back to the hotel. So even if our day had been grey and wet Chicago offered loads of colors.

In the evening was it time for us to meet up with Bebs@Takin a Deep Breath, also a blogging sister and dinner at “Devon Seafood Grill”. The evening was pleasantly warm and dry.

We had a fantastic evening together … with good food and fancy cocktails. The restaurant was packed. AL said that their “Seafood Mix Grill” is one of the best seafood she ever had. I had the same and it was excellent.

Both Beb’s and me tried very hard to get good images of our fancy cocktails, but it was so dark around our table.

Bebs took a taxi to catch her train home and we walked back to the hotel along the posh part of Michigan Ave. also called the Magnificent Mile, which is the northern part of the Avenue.  Where all the serious designers and exclusive hotels has their zip code.

There was some real drama going on … loads of emergency service was on the go and the next morning we saw on the news that a young woman, mother of 2, walking with her fiance had been killed by a stone falling from a church. How terrible.

We made it back safely in the tropical warm evening – there was bands playing along … the Mile – and especially one female singer was outstanding. What a voice she had.

Oscar had a great evening too, so many beautiful night views to focus on.  Chicago’s night lights are just liked the Swarovski crystals.

“I adore Chicago. It is the pulse of America.”
Sarah Bernhardtbright lights

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26 thoughts on “a small big city with heart and bright lights

    • I like the idea .. with a wedding on a boat in Chicago .. with it’s fantastic skyline as background. I understand that’s a memory for life time in more than one way.

  1. Thanks for the beautiful crystal. For sure I will treasure it for life. I really enjoyed the evening with you and Anna Liise. I hope to meet you again, soon!

    • We hope to meet up with you too … hopefully in Chicago one more time before you leave … and of course here in Sweden.
      I will treasure our short time together very dearly. *smile
      AL says .. hello. She want to go back to Chicago tomorrow too. *smile

  2. I love Chicago, I think after NYC is the only city I could live in the US.
    My brother lives there, I just love walking around the city and by the lake. A smaller, quieter, cleaner version of NYC, but I still like better NYC lol

    • In NYC I wouldn’t like to live … too much of a melting pot. To visit great … but not to live there.
      Chicago with all it’s open space is my kind of town.
      Lucky you that have a brother living in Chicago … I will be visiting so often as possible.
      And we can’t all live in NYC!!! *laughing.

  3. Oh sweet home, sweet home, how I miss thee. I never had problems making friends when I grew up there. We talk to everyone when we’re in line at the grocery store, the bank, talking a walk … everywhere. One of the reasons I don’t like Florida (besides the heat) is because people are not friendly. Even just saying “hello” when I walk the dog and people don’t respond. Sigh.

    Lovely photos. Thank you for taking me home.

  4. Viveka – you’re having such a good time! Chicago sounds just as great as you find it. Love your comparison with Swarowski…
    And thank you for sending me REAL cards! Surely you know how much I appreciate that!

    • A-C, glad that the cards has arrived … I love to send and receive postcards myself. Most of all does I love to pick them. *smile
      That crystal display at Swarowski store … was just so amazing and just like Chicago in that warm evening. Chicago is a city that you will enjoy too. And the direct flight was full … so I think Chicago has become a trendy and hot destination. NYC something very special, but Chicago has the smile and heart.

    • Yes, we ate very well … and great coffee too. Chicago is a very exciting food city. We had a best dining experience during this trip in Chicago at a restaurant by name “BEATRIX” and it didn’t cost an arm or leg neither.
      That stained glass exhibition is just magical beautiful … it never stops amaze me. My pleasure, Frank.

  5. Truly stunning post! You have excelled yourself, Vivi- you and Oscar! 🙂
    The stained glass is fabulous, as are the fountain shots, the tipsy shot of my lovely lighthouse and that city nightscape is pure bliss. I want to go! 🙂
    Poor lady! Tragedy is everywhere, isn’t it? Hope you’re doing well now you’re back.

    • Yes, I must say the Oscar was preforming excellent, because it was such grey and heavy day and still he provided us with so much fantastic colors.
      The lighthouse is one of my favorites too and I have to take it tipsy otherwise I wouldn’t get the beautiful boat in the foreground, but I like to take tipsy images. I learned that from the photos at Hyatt Hotel during my visit before in Chicago. The stain glass exhibition is so fantastic and it’s all for free to watch.
      Still sleeping more or less, don’t know what has happening, but doing okay otherwise, thanks. Going up to Gothenburg for 2 days .. meeting up with my old boss and friend who lives in Thailand those day and friends from Canada. The accident was so horrifying; read online that the family is suing the church now. That’s it … we never know what is going to happen to us during the day ahead.
      Have a lovely week.
      A Big Sunday morning hug.

    • Karen, you are such a fantastic support to me and my blog Thank you so much for being here for me.
      There is more to come. *smile Loads to come is more the truth. *smile
      Have a great week.

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