Ya gotta love Chicago, even if you’re a New York boy. It’s as broad as the clichés about it, working hard and stretching flat mile after flat mile to the west. Standing on the lakeshore looking out over the expanse of Lake Michigan is almost like looking at the ocean, the water sometimes sitting as tranquil in the sunlight as a Long Island bay, sometimes raging with chop and wind. Just like the songs about wrecked freighters tell, the gale does indeed come up suddenly and with enormous force, just like the city’s energy.
Theater abounds on the street where the panorama is constant. It’s no surprise that Chicago theater abounds as well and, like the streets it occupies, is dynamic, enthusiastic and full of life both graceful and rough. Chicago architecture spans more than a century of icons and vividly exemplifies the history of the art. Ten blocks or so from the lake, Chicago becomes villages of self-defined, albeit shifting ethnicity. Colors, tastes, fashions segue in and out of Chicago’s industrial landscape. Most of all, Chicago is people moving, working, living together at a pace slower than NY in a city more easily accessible for anyone not living downtown ( and not minding time-travel on some of the el lines.) And last, it is a visual city of art works, fine food, waterscapes, skylines, and the ornamentations of history. There may not be hills, but the buildings soar, the water draws people elementally, and brief acquaintances talk to one another easily. The trick to taking pictures here is to not get immersed in all that flow, or at least to stay a bit detached some of the time, and that’s no easy task.