In awe of Chicago’s architecture

I must have really been stuck in my east coast bubble because I feel like I’m just now realizing how much a midwestern city like Chicago has to offer. The windy city rocks. Granted, I am here during the summer so that changes the game a bit.

Here’s a brief run down of what make this city wonderful…

  • It’s laid-back and friendly.
  • It’s diverse in its people and activities to do/trouble to get into.
  • Cute dogs are bountiful. I dig these little guys in all shapes and sizes…far more than children at this point.
  • It’s by the water, which offers not only its nautical beauty but also helps energize the city with the sea air. I ran along it today and swear everyday should now start with a run by Navy Pier.
  • It’s a very aesthetically pleasing city on many levels. Art is highly appreciated, and plentiful both in public areas and those that are museum- or gallery-based, and even the street banners, pamphlets, and restaurants around town are well-designed. The architecture is to die for.
  • It caters to one of my favorite hobbies…EATING. Great food. Two nights ago I ate at GT Fish and Oyster (even their website design is rad) and seriously considered licking my plate clean. I ate at Big Star last night and it was damn good (their chips are seasoned with lime juice making them uniquely tasty).
  • It caters to my career interests with all of the marketing and advertising companies.

On my travels before school starts, I am doing my very best to live in the moment, be observant, and take in all inspirations around me. As a part of that journey, my boyfriend shared with me that it’s important to be in awe. In fact, it’s good for your well-being. Turns out, I am awestruck by this city’s magnificent buildings which I got a close at during a architectural boat cruise (definitely recommend–I learned a lot and our charming tour guide even ended the trip with a harmonica tune inspired by Chicago).

First, I am in pure amazement of the sheer height and complexity of these structures. Coming from a city like DC where buildings are usually no higher than 10 stories this totally fascinates to me. It’s not like I haven’t seen a skyscraper before with all my visits to New York but since Chicago is more spread out and flat the height appears more extreme. Plus, the Sears building is gigantic (see below)! Additionally, I appreciate the diversity in styles including art deco, art modern, post-modern, and so on, which draw from various movements across the world but mostly Europe. I was blown away by several buildings: Aqua skyscraper for its organically shaped balconies (each is slightly different and it is the tallest building to be built by a female architect), River City which is Gaudi inspired (a brilliant designer and one of my favorite architects), Marina City looks like two honey cones, Lake Point Tower is an amazing circular shape inspired by Bauhaus movement and when the light hits it almost glows, and the NBC Tower is a classic art deco style and really gorgeous.

More to come on my adventures.

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