My weekend trip to Chicago was quite wonderful, overall. It was my first time visiting a city larger than Lansing, so I was able to experience quite a bit that was out of the ordinary for me. My boyfriend, Michael, and I arrived in Illinois on Friday morning (10/22/10). We parked just outside of the city and caught the L train into Chicago.
I’ve never ridden a train, let alone a subway. We got off at a stop near Millennium Park. I cannot describe the excitement I was feeling as we quickly walked up the stairs from the subway. I remember seeing the daylight peeking at me from the top of the stairs…and then there I was. I found myself standing in the heart of Chicago. I was overwhelmed for several minutes. It was a bizarre, surreal feeling to be completely surrounded by pavement, skyscrapers, and train tracks on stilts over my head. I could only see a thin strip of sky, and no grass or clouds. I felt how Dorothy must have felt when she said, “Todo, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”
We stopped at a Starbucks to get a coffee, then off to Millennium Park we went. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the Cloud Gate. It was so large and foreign looking. Its so much different standing next to it, than looking at it in a photo. I really felt as though I was on another planet. This city, its buildings, artwork, people, transportation, and vibes were so different from anything I was familiar with.
For the rest of that day and the next, I got to explore and experience the city. Thank goodness Michael was there to guide me along, or I might have been overwhelmed the whole time. Besides Millennium Park (which we visited once during the day, and once at night), we saw the Art Institute of Chicago, the River North Gallery District (Steven Daiter, Gruen, Schneider, Perimeter, and Andrew Bae Galleries), the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Utrecht Quality Art Supplies, the Willis Tower, a Jazz combo at a Andy’s Jazz Club, and the Navy Pier.