Nobody Puts Chicago in the Corner
Okay, well maybe I did. Initially.
Chicago has never been on my radar and I haven’t thought about visiting in the past. But my mom wanted to make it there this year and take us on the Architectural River Tour. She was ecstatic. On our way there she said she was suppressing her excitement just on the off chance I didn’t share the same experience.
I’m always game for exploring big cities but I feel like, as we’ve traveled the country, there have been cities that are beautiful but feel desolate and abandoned. They aren’t alive and well anymore. Nashville felt that way to me in some ways but I think it’s turning around now that there has been a lot of growth.
Anyway, we took a quick trip to downtown Chicago the day before our tour to find a garage that would take big Louise. Her height makes it hard to pick just any parking space. Even in the strong, pouring rain I couldn’t wait for our tour the next day! It had the allure of a big city but also felt cozy. And it seems that I’m not the only one who loves it. There are quite a few new buildings going up and many of them look like residential buildings.
On tour day it was 55 degrees and a bit breezy (especially on the water). I was jumping for joy. We had a great (and very experienced) tour guide that taught us about a lot of the architecture in downtown Chicago. I spent most of the time taking pictures but the bits and pieces I took in from his talk were fascinating. Like, among all of the male architects, there was one woman that pushed her way through and designed a building and also a river walk (I believe). He told us that two buildings in particular were designed to mimic the river. They were curved and had a similar hue to the color of the water. Maybe even a little more appealing. And lastly, if you pay close attention, architects sometimes include ornaments on the design of their building to indicate what the building will be used for - such as the opera house with dramatic faces on the outside.
And now, we are in love with Chicago. I’m going to have to figure out how to keep both Phoebe and my mom warm during the freezing cold weather but Zillow (my litmus test for whether or not it would be realistic for us to set down roots) told me that we could potentially afford a condo downtown if that is what we are interested in down the road. Here’s a tip though: don’t search for homes outside of your price range. I clicked on one too many and had to shut the operation down because I was falling in love with some gorgeous, modern units that I would only be able to step foot in if I won the lottery. Fortunately, the condos in our price range were beautiful too or just needed a little upgrade.
After our tour we fast walked to Eataly, a stunning two story building dedicated to Italian food. I would have moved in there if possible. I don’t think we would ever need to leave. That post is coming up next.