Chicago, the lovely and windy city
Have you ever had the need to get away during a specific time in your life and wish you had the best company you could get? For me this trip was to Chicago!
After living four months with me in LA, Re had returned to BH on that week. I took her to the airport, crying like crazy. After that I needed a busy and fun weekend to cheer me up.
We went on Friday and return on Monday night. The excuse fro the trip was the SLS – Street League Skateboarding, skating championship that would happen that Sunday in Chicago. Rafa and André – our friend from São Paulo who also came to study in LA and took these amazing photos posted here – had been to the SLS in LA and the Brazilian skateboarder Luan Oliveira had great chances of winning the finals.
We rented an Airbnb – it was cheaper than a hotel – and it came along with a furry roommate called Giacometti. I have to open a parenthesis to say that this is a cat with a dog spirit, super needy and dependent! I wanted to take him home with me at the end. Anyway, the championship was on Sunday afternoon, so on Saturday we went sight seeing. like tourists do.
We took the subway towards Lincoln Park – the subway there works great, well-branched and it offers you different pass options that also include the city buses. On the way between our stop and Lincoln Park, we found a super cute place called Oz Park. Decorated with the characters of The Wizard of Oz, the park has an interactive theme. Every statue has a QR code. When using the mobile phone to read the code, you receive a phone call from that character, that tells you a little bit about the history of the park and why he/she ended up there.
From there, we continued to Lincoln Park. They have a free of charge zoo and a very nice view of the city. Then we went to Hancock Building – here’s a very good tip: instead of paying to go up and see the view, one option is to make a reservation at the Signature Room, which is a bar located on the second to last floor of the building. This way, you can spend the ticket money on a glass of wine while enjoying the view. The reservation guarantees you no line. If you don’t make it, you will have to wait on the huge line they have on the first floor. We walked around the area, went to the campus of Northwestern University and stopped by the Chicago River – the landscape reminded me of Gotham City, with subterranean streets and an architectural style mixing gothic and modern. We ended the day in a jazz bar nearby.
On Sunday, we took the morning to check out Millennium Park, which is famous by the silver giant bean. Since the SLS would begin in the afternoon and was nearby, we had time to walk around the area before the guys went to the competition. And while they were at the SLS I went to visit a few places: Grant Park, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium and Buckingham Fountain – which had no water at that day.
We decided to go to Willis Tower – former Sears Tower – on Monday, because of the lousy weather – the other days it was really cloudy and foggy. One more tip: buy the tickets there, DON’T buy online beforehand! We returned to LA at the end of the day, sad to leave Chicago, a super cool city, full of contrasts and wind corridors. No wonder its nickname: The Windy City.
As for our flights, we used two different airlines. The way there was via United Airlines, where the seats are good, but they only had one free option of on-board entertainment. The rest was all on demand. The flight back to LA was by Frontier. OMG, what a crappy plane! ZERO entertainment, ZERO comfort, ZERO space! I will NEVER recommend traveling for this company – only if you don’t care at all about this sort of thing. But you have to REALLY NOT CARE!
Only one thing struck me negatively in Chicago: we saw many young people begging for money on the streets. We were thinking about it, is it a choice or a lack of it. Anyway, we have not answered that yet.
Photos: André Sene