Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Road Trip! - Chicago

In March, I traveled to Chicago for a convention. It was called GlobalShop and it was about store fixtures and Point-of-Purchase advertising. Woo-hoo! But I did do a little sight seeing, and ate a lot of pizza while I was there.

First I had to get there though. I flew Northwest into St. Paul. Which is an odd airport in that all of the terminals you can easily get to are operated by Northwest or an affiliate airline. As Airports go it is a very busy closed shop. Oh sure, they have one international terminal. But even that is used primarily by KLM, an affiliate.

Apparently, it is also the home of the Mall of America. Honestly, I thought it would be, well, bigger.

It rained while I was in Chicago, but it wasn't very windy. My hotel was in an area of the city called North Loop. The original Pizzaria Uno was just a few blocks away (very yummy) and I was also just a block or two from the Miracle Mile (high end shops and an Apple Store) and about six blocks away from this view of the river. The tower under construction is the Trump Tower and Hotel. My hotel, a Courtyard Marriott, was a 12-story place hiding behind the Trump.

I was also fairly close to Millennium Park which is home to the big silver bean, some giant video walls and a great outdoor concert facility. Parking? under your feet. The bean is a lot more impressive than I believed from just looking at pictures.

Under your feet. If I have any lasting impression of Chicago, it is layers upon layers of city. Many of the roadways are stacked two to three deep in places. On one bus, we came out of a tunnel to a busy intersection, took a ramp up to another covered area with a busy intersection and then came up again into a covered intersection (many stories of parking above) before heading out into the light. Its like, every time Chicago reinvented itself, it covered up the layer before but left the systems in place.

I had a fun three days in Chicago. But am happy to be back in Spokane.

1 comment:

Meg Kribble said...

I have fond memories associated with the (under your feet) Grant Park Parking Garage! (Lots of CSO concerts with my Dad over the years.)

And funny, for all the time I've spent exploring that city, I never really thought about the layers, nor their being a memorable or defining feature. Always cool to get a visitor's perspective!