Tag Archives: Cloud Gate
Aside

The city of music and architecture. Chicago

16 Oct

 

 

Frank Sinatra is worldwide known for his song about New York, but when he sang about “that toddling town, where on state street that great street they do things they don’t do on Broadway” he was clearly referring to the city of blues for excellence: Chicago.

 

The city of renaissance: in 1871, after the great fire caused by a cow that had knocked over a lantern destroying the entire city, it was a good opportunity to rebuild the whole city. Architects from all over the world came to Chicago to transform this city in one of the most beautiful in all Americas, being nowadays proud of its outstanding architecture.

 

Chicago is also knows as the city of corruption, crime and gangsters like Al Capone, the city of the prohibition era. Obama’ s hometown, great proud for the city.

 

As a Dj, Frankie Knuckles developed in Chicago a sound that became known as House Music, a rawer brand of 70′s disco that would spread all over the world making dance entire generations. He is now considered the Godfather of this kind of music, which I personally adore.

 

Mostly considered as the Windy City and not only for its weather peculiarity but also in a metaphoric way. It is said that people in this city change their mind as often as the wind, and New Yorkers often judged its citizens for their endless political conventions.

 

Chicago is also called the City that works for its labour tradition, and for its people who actively participate on civic projects.

 

I loved Chicago, or how a local would say, Shicago. Its architecture is harmonious, it is incredibly clean, tidy and extremely elegant.

 

My friend Tosh lives just downtown Chicago in probably the best intersection, in a modern and cool skyscraper in Delaware and State street (yes, the great street Sinatra was talking about in the above mentioned song) and has amazing views on the city and on lake Michigan.

 

On my first morning in Chicago we walked towards Millennium Park through the beautiful and elegant boutiques on Michigan Avenue, kissed by a stunning sun. I felt really lucky for the sweet weather that was accompanying me.

 

Barney, Saks, Burberry, Nike, Apple, and Victoria Secret are just few of the great labels concentrated on this big avenue called the Magnificent Mile.

 

We went to pick up Natalie at work and we had a nice salad at Panera’s. It is a popular bakery/cafe chain, characterized by its interest towards nutrition and calories even in a fast food environment. Apparently it was the first in the Food industry to voluntarily post calorie information in the menu.

Millennium Park is considered the worlds’ largest rooftop garden since it sits on the top of a parking garage and a station. It is incredible, situated in the middle of the town and it was originally planned to celebrate the millennium. It is home of the famous piece of architecture from Anish kapoor, called The Cloud Gate, also nicknamed “the bean” because of its shape. Looks like it was also inspired by liquid mercury. Its surface is reflective. Tosh and me enjoyed a lot walking by it and seeing reflected both the city skyline and us. Pretty cool.

 

Among all the skyscrapers there is one the rumours say it was built with a feminine shape from an architect who was annoyed by the fact that the skyscrapers normally look like phallic symbols.

 

In the park there is also a marvellous pavilion designed by Jay Pritzker where during summer many concerts happen. As a music lover, I thought in this city I would never get bored.

 

I was so lucky enough to be in that park during this time of the year and enjoy its incredible colours of the foliage!

 

Us three walked through the park and enjoyed to look at different types of architecture, and I bumped into a very tall red chair with legs that might refer to those of a dancer. It was actually called the Red Dancer, designed by Gary Kulak.

 

Music, dance and architecture. Passions all together in this amazing city!

 

We walked to the Navy Pier – full of restaurants and shops and a big Ferris wheel with stunning views on the shoreline of lake Michigan.

 

On the top there is a lovely garden which is free to access and that often hosts banquets, wedding and so on. I only tried to imagine a wedding there and although I see that day so far, I imagined it right there J

 

In the end we realized to have walked for about six miles during that day, walking by the beach of Chicago full of sporty people running and biking on the sand and before getting home I passed by one of the most prestigious universities in USA, the Northwestern.

 

Once back at home, we chilled a little bit before to meet Dino for a cocktail at the Signature Room, an amazing bar situated at the floor 96th of the John Hancock tower, a 1506 feet’s skyscraper that back in 1968 was considered the tallest building in the world outside NYC. Now it is still the tallest in Chicago but sixth in the United states.

 

Dino is a lovely and funny guy originally from Naples; I met him in London while I was living there for the past two years. He is now living in the windy city for a one-year fellowship at a famous Chicago hospital.  I always called him “the coach” for his wise and precious advises.

 

After the signature cocktail, we left that building and walked towards home, but first we bumped into the stunning “HOPE” sculpture from Robert Indiana, a pop artist from Chicago area, famous for his “LOVE” sculpture in New York.

 

Once home, we had Triscuits with Philadelphia cheese before to go to sleep: it was first bizarre to Tosh’s eyes but afterwards we both agreed it was a great discovery, she had never tried this famous American crackers with one of my favourite cream cheese.

 

Staring at the amazing views from my room, I thought I was just living a dream!

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