Chicago Archives

October 21, 2007

Land Of Lincoln

Well, I see why they call it "the Windy City." When my flight from Hartford was landing at O'Hare this morning, it was being rocked all over the place. Other than that, though, the journey was entirely uneventful. After the air miles I've logged in the last two years, I am at the point where I consider a two-hour flight just a short hop. I did get to watch two more episodes of Friday Night Lightson DVD; I am trying to finish off the first season so I can watch the new episodes I have been recording.

I have always liked the clean, airy feel of the United Airlines terminal at O'Hare; it's what an airport should be like: efficient, comfortable, and architecturally dynamic (if only the air traffic were so efficient at O'Hare!). I've been through this place many times, but today was the first chance I've had to go to baggage claim and leave the airport on the ground.

On another topic, I seem to be incapable of truly traveling light--by that I mean no more than one bag, to be stowed in the overhead compartment--even on a two-night trip. It is my fantasy to travel by air such that I ought to be able to throw a few items into a small duffel bag and not bother with checking in any baggage. But I don't seem to be able to give up the use of my own shampoo, toothpaste, etc, which means the checking luggage, due to TSA rules. Moreover, I like taking the laptop AND the portable DVD player AND at least one book AND a few magazines with me on a flight (even though I will probably use no more than one of those diversions). So while I am not lugging around a lot on this trip, I am not as footloose as I thought I could be.

Easy As 1-2-3


David Nalbandian, whom I photographed from above the Grandstand court at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in August, knocked off the top three players in the world en route to his victory in the Madrid Masters tournament this weekend. He defeated Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer.

My Kind Of Town


I got to explore the city of Chicago today and also catch up with two alums: Dan Schmierer '01 and Emma Ruby-Sachs '00. The weather was windy, but warm. Dan, who is getting his PhD. in economics from the University of Chicago, showed me around Hyde Park and then the Magnificent Mile and we ate on the sidewalk at a nice Italian place in the Loop. (We also had a chance run-in with former Choate faculty member Tim Karpoff, who ran by my rental car while we were stopped at a traffic light on Michigan Avenue--what are the odds of that?!) Later in the evening I connected with Emma in Andersonville--the very cool neighborhood in the north part of the city where she lives--and we went to Hopleaf Bar and sampled the Belgian beers and even some mead (a medieval beverage I've never tried; the fermented honey drink seemed more like a spirit than a cider or ale). A very good day in a city I've quickly become enamored of.

October 22, 2007

Song Of The Day #295

Frank Sinatra teamed with his son Frank Sinatra Jr. to re-record "My Kind Of Town."

Frank Sinatra - Duets II - My Kind of Town

Second Day In The Second City

After a leisurely morning, I set out exploring again. I started in Evanston and checked out the impressive Northwestern campus, and then headed south on Lake Shore Drive and parked in an underground garage by Milennium Park in the heart of town. I took an excellent 90-minute architectural tour of the city on a boat on the Chicago River, then visited the Institute of Art, one the world's great museums.
I was intending to head up to the observation deck of the Sears Tower, but the visibility topped out at about five miles, rather than the 30 miles one can take in on a clear day, and so saved myself $13 by not doing that. I stopped by the Lyric Opera (no performance tonight) and rode the El back to the car. Bruce Springsteen is in town at the United Center, but I knew I had no chance of tickets for that concert. I did have another chance run-in with a Choatie on Michigan Avenue (lightning strikes twice) in the afternoon near the Apple store (the layout of which is almost identical to that of my London office, a.k.a. the Regent Street Apple store).

October 23, 2007

Song Of The Day #296

A Chicago band, Styx, provides today's daily dose with "The Best Of Times."

Styx - Styx: Greatest Hits - The Best of Times

So Long, Chi-Town

Off to O'Hare to get back to Wallingford before afternoon practice. I loved Chicago. I'll be back!

September 26, 2009



Tonight's performance of Tosca at the Lyric Opera of Chicago was the season opener. Apparently this is a high point in the city's social calendar, as people were dressed to the nines for the occasion. Surrounded by men in tuxes and women in gowns, I felt lucky I had thought to pack a jacket and tie so I was at least presentable. The opera itself was an enjoyable production--a traditional staging of his Puccini work, in sharp contrast to the controversial new version just launched at the Met this past week.

September 27, 2009

The New Nanos


I am in the Apple store on N. Michigan Ave.--a.k.a. "the Magnificent Mile"-- playing with the newly refreshed Nanos on display. In my estimation, the coolest innovation on these iPods is not their capacity for video recording, but the built-in FM radio receiver.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater


I just arrived at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater here on the Navy Pier overlooking Lake Michigan. This is a terrific modern facility nestled among the many attractions on the pier, with a spectacular 500 seat main theater--an intimate and gorgeous thrust stage arrangement.

Richard III


Wow. I just watched a matinee performance of Richard III and was blown away both by the play--probably the most famous of the Bard's works that I hadn't yet seen staged--and by the quality of this particular production. The title character was appropriately both charming and Machiavellian, with a seductively oily stage presence and wonderfully sardonic delivery of his lines. The rest of the cast was first rate, too, and the production design was excellent.

Architecture Of The Windy City


Walking through Chicago from the Navy Pier to catch a Blue Line CTA train to O'Hare Airport, I was struck once more by the diversity and beauty of the architecture downtown. This is a fascinating city for anyone interested in building design. I took the architecture tour on a boat up and down the Chicago River during my last visit to the city, and that helped me appreciate a lot of what was around me, half-hour trek across town.

The Kindle Advantage


My Kindle device is at its best when I'm traveling. This short trip to Chicago illustrates the usefulness perfectly, as I have been bouncing back and forth between the latest Dan Brown book, The Lost Symbol, and an analysis of Richard III in Marjorie Garber's Shakespeare After All. I also have yesterday's International Herald Tribune available on the Kindle (though I canceled my subscriptions to Newsweek and The Atlantic, since I subscribe to the hard copies at home). And instead of lugging a small pile of paperbacks around Chicago, I had to drop the Kindle in my bag before I left. This helped me travel with nothing more than a backpack this weekend.

November 23, 2010

City Of The Big Shoulders


Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive. - Carl Sandburg, "Chicago"

About Chicago

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to As Far As You Know in the Chicago category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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