Downtown Chicago, a train runs through it

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC are in downtown Chicago. “Downtown” just means the city centre. Did you know that? This worm did not, until quite recently. I assumed it meant the more grungy areas of the city, even though “the lights are so much brighter there, you can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares…”

Faithful readers of my blog will notice that this is the second post in a row in which this humble worm admits to a mistake. Is the end of the world nigh?

Chicago is lovely, and quite different from any other city I’ve been in. Clean, tranquil, packed full of architectural splendour. And through it runs a bizarre railway line on a no-nonsense iron and wooden track, elevated some few metres above the ground.

My impressions? Magnificent architecture, with a train running through it.

The book I’m in

The Serbian Dane, by Leif Davidsen. I’ve just started this one. It’s promising, so far. Good fast action.

Recommended restaurants

Drop into one of the Chipotle Mexican Grills for good quality, delicious food, and fast service.

The photos

Me at a Chipotle restaurant, with a Mexican meal in front of me and the elevated Chicago railway track visible through the window behind me:

Press the play button to see and hear a train rumbling over the track:

The track is made of very solid and utilitarian iron and wood. Just like any other railway track, really, except that it’s above ground. They’re normal trains, and it’s not a monorail.

The TC and I walked around under the railway struts, feeling as if murder and mayhem should be breaking out all round us. The locals just take it in their stride.

The track winds its way through the gorgeous buildings, and even between people’s houses, at rooftop level, almost scraping the verandah rails. This worm found it very very odd. Here is the view from our hotel window, looking down on the railway as it disappears into a station amongst the skyscrapers:

The Wrigley Building, white with clock tower, and the Gothic-style Tribune Tower with its flying buttresses:

Reflections wriggling in the blue glass of a Chicago building:

A train crossing the Chicago river:

The gold-capped Carbide and Carbon building, surrounded by other blocks:

Zooming in close to the Carbide and Carbon building:

The designer of this tower took pains to make the roof the same colour as the Chicago sky. It makes for an interesting effect, even more noticeable in real life than in the picture:

A water taxi and one of the bridges over the Chicago river:

Underneath a Chicago bridge, showing the typical brown iron colouring, also reflected in the window of the building next door:

The John Hancock building:

A view of the city from the top of the John Hancock tower:

The shores of Lake Michigan, seen from the top of the John Hancock tower:

That’s all for today, dudes.

Published in: on 28 May 2012 at 12:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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