[Dear Roger Ebert Fans: If you are coming here in response to his kind recommendation, he was referring to this earlier post.]
Chicago, Chicago that toddlin’ town.
Chicago, Chicago I will show you around.
I’m not quite sure what toddlin’ is, but I’m sure I did a lot of it this past weekend. Which is great, because Chicago is one city I’ve always passed by for some reason. Except for a wedding I was in and the time I was snowed in at O’Hare for 7 hours waiting for a connecting flight. I loved the Blogher Conference, but one of the best things I did was get out of it and get into Chicago’s streets with real Chicagoans (Chicagoites?) One of the highlights was walking and clicking around the South Loop with a photography group buddy who shall be known by his nom de flickr: Kingdufus. He and I both belong to the Flickr group Project 365, where members commit to taking and posting a picture a day for a year. If many of us know the West through John Ford’s movies, well, I can be said to know Chicago through Kingdufus’s pictures.
So here are some of the highlights with the complete set here (where you might even see a picture of the elusive Kingdufus.) Unfortunately, coming from low-profile San Francisco and Sonoma (where we might have a two story feed barn somewhere), most of my pictures tended to be looking up at all the tall, tall buildings. Luckily The King was there to point out all the details of doors, grates and windows that I would otherwise have missed. I also got his Chicago Curmudgeon’s take on everything from Mayor Daley to cafes taking over sidewalks to Donald Trump.
My conclusion? Well after travelling all over the world, I’m now going to have to firmly declare that Chicago is a WORLD CLASS CITY (with all the caps). Besides the sights, there is a wonderful energy here. But not the sometimes scary, edgy energy of New York. Rather a friendly Midwestern energy (even if nobody in Chicago knows their way around, a theory I tested when I got lost on Thursday night.) In the words of our Governator: I’ll be baaaaack.
At this point, I could do the expected thing and paste in a Frank Sinatra video from YouTube. But I’m going to treat you to Valdemar, the Russian Frank Sinatra: