Saturday, June 3, 2017

Saturday Evening Post for June 3rd, 2017: The Whatcha' Talkin' 'bout, Willis Tower and Other Thursday Chicago Pics (Plus a Sinatra Tribute)

The Willis Tower and other nearby skyscrapers as seen from the intersection of W. Congress Parkway and S. Plymouth Court, Chicago, Ill., 3:50PM June 1, 2017.

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Back home in D.C. following my 4-night / 4-1/2 day trip to Chicago.

I flew back from Chicago Midway via Detroit to Reagan National Airport (or as one of the Delta flight attendants kept saying, "Reagan Washington International Airport" -- that's a new one to me that is a perfect synthesis of the full names of DCA and IAD).

Come to think of it, if "International" were in the name of the airport, the result would be Ronald Reagan Washington National International Airport -- a weird oxymoronic name, indeed. As it is, I don't know how many international flights there are in and out of DCA, although I'm almost certain that there are flights to Toronto and Montreal.

The exterior of the Harold Washington Library Center, central library of the Chicago Public Library system, Chicago, Ill., 3:48PM June 1, 2017.

This structure, it turns out, was built in the early 1990s -- having been completed in 1991 -- and according to this Wikipedia article, the architectural style is postmodernism because it quotes from so many different styles including those of famous Chicago landmarks.

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This entry contains the remainder of the pictures that I took on Thursday, June 1st in the late afternoon / early evening during which time I made my way to the top of the Willis Tower -- formerly the Sears Tower -- to the 103rd floor Skydeck Chicago observation deck.

Nearing the Willis Tower, specifically,  the intersection of S. Well and W. Van Buren Streets, Chicago, Ill., around 4PM, June 1, 2017.

(I don't have an exact timestamp for this image.)

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It includes reposting of the two pictures I featured in my previous entry from the trek to the top of what was once the tallest building in the world and is still in June 2017 the 16th tallest.

The 103rd floor sign of the Skydeck Chicago express elevator, Willis Tower, Chicago, Ill., 4:12PM June 1, 2017.

The elevator was strange in that the buttons simply were "L," "99," and "103." And it was more than little jarring to be in that elevator racing to the top of this super skyscraper -- although the overhead flat screen TV presentation formed a distraction even as you could feel the air pressure change in your ears.

As I mentioned in my previous entry, I skipped the whole exhibit / movie / get-your-picture-taken-by-a-16-year old (that you then are supposed to eagerly purchase upon your return to ground level while exiting through the gift shop). The whole "experience" is a little too much like a Six Flags amusement ride. Of course, most of the people there were junior and senior high school-aged children.

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Looking south from the Skydeck Chicago observation deck on the 103rd floor of the Willis (Sears) Tower, across the vast spread of Chicago and its "Chicagoland" suburbs, 4:15PM June 1, 2017.

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This followed the end of the two-day workshop that brought me to Chicago in the first place and just before I headed over to Amanda and Bryan's apartment in the 1900 block of S. Michigan Avenue. I had already checked out of the Blackstone Renaissance Hotel but was able to store my duffel bag in the lobby (in the back behind the front desk).

Looking northeast from Skydeck Chicago, Willis Tower, across the central dense cluster of skyscrapers inside the Loop, Chicago, Ill., 4:17PM June 1, 2017.

This is a reposting of the picture that is the lead in my previous entry.

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Of note, I have a final batch of approximately three dozen Chicago pictures that I took yesterday during my extended walk from near Wrigley Field through Boystown and down a portion of the Lakefront Park into the very upscale "Gold Coast" and "Magnificent Mile" sections of the city and culminating in Millennium Park at the Cloud Gate ("the Bean") sculpture -- and to include my visit to the top (well, 94th floor) of the John Hancock Center to what is called the 360 Chicago observation deck. (I actually preferred my visit there to the taller Willis Tower.)

Looking east from Skydeck Chicago, Willis Tower, across the Lakefront and far over Lake Michigan, Chicago, Ill., 4:18PM June 1, 2017.

Again, as I previously mentioned, you can see (on a clear day such as this) across the lake to the Michigan shoreline on the other side since Lake Michigan is sufficiently "narrow" at that point to permit this.

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Another view to the northeast from Skydeck Chicago, Willis Tower, across the Loop and beyond to Lake Michigan, Chicago, Ill., 4:22PM June 1, 2017.

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I just finishing sending all of those pictures (one at a time) to myself (to my Yahoo account) from my little flip phone. It's quick remarkable how durable is that flip phone and how long lasting the battery charge (it only lost one of the four little battery icon during that entire time).

One of the three glass-bottomed Ledge balconies of the Willis Tower Skydeck, Chicago, 4:28PM June 1, 2017.

As I mentioned in my previous entry where I posted this image already, not only did not go out there, but there was just no way I was going to do it.

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I will post those in a subsequent entry next week -- perhaps around Wednesday. (It takes time to prepare those kinds of entries as I have to post and format the pictures and then provide captions that will form the narrative of what was my main sightseeing / walkabout day).

Two people standing by one of the west-facing windows of the Skydeck Chicago observation deck, Willis Tower, across the Loop, Chicago, Ill., 4:28PM June 1, 2017.

You could easily make out O'Hare and Midway Airports, and see the vast sprawl of the Chicagoland area including all those east-west running roads that stretch for mile after mile.

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Leaving the Willis Tower -- street level view, Chicago, Ill., 4:43PM June 1, 2017.

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OK, I think that's about all for now.

For tomorrow, I'm either going to go to the gym -- or just have my usual Sunday free day. I've not been to the gym since last Saturday (a full week) and that's not OK. However, I think I might just restart my usual Monday / Wednesday / Saturday schedule this coming week rather than going tomorrow and not going Monday.

I dunno. I'll see how I feel tomorrow. If I don't, I'll just take a walk (maybe Metrorail-facilitated) and get lunch somewhere.

Plymouth restaurant and bar exterior, Chicago, Ill., 4:53PM June 1, 2017.

I stopped in there and had a couple drinks and chat with the bartender and a person in town on business from Denver.

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For tonight, I'll stop at my usual two spots (No. 9 and Trade). First, though, I really need to get some dinner. I have practically no food here in the apartment and I haven't really eaten today -- just a few snacks. I didn't have time to get anything in Detroit at the airport.

Downtown Chicago as seen from E. Van Buren Street, around 6PM June 1, 2017.

A word about CTA system: in many cases, the train tracks crisscross above streets inside the Loop -- hence the system's older name as the "L," short for "elevated." The tracks and their supporting pillars / pylons are ancient with wooden platforms that don't even try to match that of the train cars when they pull into the stations.

The creaking, rasping, metallic racket that the trains make and the overall look creates a strong impression of some ancient roller coast rider at Coney Island. Someone from Singapore would be astonished, I imagine, at such an ancient infrastructure in such an overwhelming city.

Not to worry, though, because Trump's bullshit infrastructure plan -- a trillion dollar pay-to-play racket to enrich his cronies and other "free market" oligarchs -- will make it all bright, shiny, and new.

Having said that, though, the system did not have nearly as many delays as the D.C. system -- at least in the few days that I was there and rode it.

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One of the skyscrapers associated with something called Roosevelt University, Chicago, Ill., 6:02PM June 1, 2017.

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OK, that's all for now. I'm skipping my usual Jukebox Saturday Night edition this week but I do offer this Frank Sinatra ballad set to an appropriate photomontage.



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--Regulus

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