If you are into museums and the like, you'll be pleased to know that several of Chicago's must-see attractions have "free days" during which their admission fee is waived. The institutions and their free day/s are:
Field Museum - Mondays and Tuesdays; Sept. 15 - Dec. 23, 2003
Adler Planetarium - Mondays and Tuesdays; Sept. 15 - Dec. 23, 2003
Museum of Science & Industry - Mondays and Tuesdays; Sept. 15 - Nov. 25, 2003; also Thanksgiving Day & Christmas Eve
Shedd Aquarium - Mondays and Tuesdays; Oct. 6 - Dec. 23, 2003
The Art Institute of Chicago - Tuesdays
Lincoln Park Zoo - Free Everyday
I missed the "free days" so I had to buy instead a Chicago CityPass worth $49.
Sears Tower -- it rules :)
Go to the top of the Sears Tower! It's a breathtaking view from the observation floor. I recommend getting there just before dusk--then you can watch the lights come on for miles. Just make sure you pick a day when the clouds aren't low--if you do, all you'll see is fog from the top!
Just walking by, you can get a sense of the immense height involved here--it's really stunning, and I'm not all that easily impressed. :)
In the back of a police car
After arriving at Chicago's Greyhound station I had to take public transportation to get to my youth hostel. Still in the Greyhound station I asked a cop where the next subway stop would be. He asked me where I wanted to go and then told me that I would even have to change lines. I never expected what happened next, but the police officer offered me a ride through town to the hostel. Wow, that was friendly. It was fun to take a ride in the back of a police car through Chicago. Luckily without any handcuffs on :)
Wanna know more about the Chicago Police Department (CPD)? Visit their website:
Don't miss life imitating art!
I dropped by the famous George Seraut painting "La Grande Jatte" [made into a musical if you can believe it -- as well as a cover for a Land's End catalog.] But I digress -- or maybe not -- where does the line between life and art get drawn? Hard to tell in this picture!
Lake Point Tower
For many years (since the 70's), I've admired Lake Point Tower apartment building near Navy Pier. Believe it or not, although it was built about 1967-1968, the concept began about 50 years earlier.
How? Well, famed architect, Mies van der Rohe in about 1921 made plans for a glass-clad tower for offices made of free, curving forms. That building was never built because he could not find financing for it.
However, the actual architects associated with Lake Point Tower were former students of Mies at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Some of them actually worked in his practice.
This is a sleek, very sophisticated tower that, at one time, was a lone sentinel in Navy Pier Park. At the time that it was built, Navy Pier was at its low and in disrepair, horribly neglected. Of course today after a $200-million investment of public funds, Navy Pier, is now one of Chicago's most popular attractions. Lake Point Tower Apartments is really tall (645-feet high). There are 900 very expensive apartments here. Atop the building is the exclusive Citi Restaurant (We ate dessert with coffee there once, and the bill was over $40.00!)
The building really has only one wall, and it is a completely smooth curtain of glass that literally flows around "a 3-lobed, clover-leaf plan with a central, triangular core."
I remember the the 1970's going there to see one of our neighbor's grandparents, and I was awe-struck...I still am today!