Daily Archives: September 5, 2016

Random Chicago musings

The streets of the Loop are much emptier at 10 a.m. on Labor Day than they are at 10 a.m. on a weekday.

Ann Sather’s cinnamon rolls are works of art.  Jackie Voris-worthy works of art.

The Chicago homeless appear, at least visually, to live much harder lives than those who are homeless in Saint Louis.

I shan’t forget the sight of an Indian groom and his wedding party, the groom on horseback, making their way down the sidewalk on Michigan Avenue.

Having reserved seats at a movie theatre, while a European thing, is something we should adopt more in the USA.  I loved seeing Florence Foster Jenkins from my reclining, reserved seat.

What do Chicago restaurants do to green beans that make them so tasty and yummy?  I’ve had, for two nights running, some of the best green beans I’ve ever eaten.

I loved talking Episcopal Church stuff with Richard last evening.

Oh for a Saint Louis public transport system that is world-class, as Chicago’s is.  We are just too western a city, and too in love with our cars, for public transport to be worth the investment . . . unless we want to spend beaucoup tax dollars on it.  The City would probably say yes, but the County would balk, and then the whole system collapses.

What is it about skyscrapers and wide streets that takes my breath away?

Catching up with former students is one of life’s great joys.


A trip to Chicago

My blog this week will be themed as I publish some photos from my trip to Chicago this past weekend.

I take a couple of rest-&-relaxation trips to Chicago each year.  Chicago always takes my breath away, and is one of my favorite places in the world to visit.

Here are some views of the Chicago River from my hotel room:

And speaking of my hotel, the Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown North Loop Michigan Avenue (a mouthful of a name!) is in the old skyscraper home of the Chicago Motor Club.

cmc - 1

I’m in love with this building, and with the mural in the lobby, saved from demolition by wise redevelopment.

More links:

The rooms are small by Hampton standards, but the location is a winner, and the lobby a stunner.  This is also one of the few Hampton Hotels in the USA to have a bar in the lobby.

Sadly, the engineering did not meet up with expectations on Sunday morning.  I came back from breakfast to find that my door would not work.  After going back downstairs and getting a new key, the door still would not work.  I suspected a dead battery in the keyless entry system, and the hotel staff worked with a crowbar! for nearly 90 minutes to open the door.

Meanwhile I sat downstairs becoming increasingly frustrated.

Here are my Facebook updates from this morning:

“I am now entering Hour Two of being locked out of my room. This hotel is lovely, but their engineering stinks. Unhappy am I. What kind of hotel does not have some bypass around the electronic lock?”

An hour later, after a brushing of the teeth, a collecting of the camera, and a quick Morning Prayer: “The fix took an hour and a half, and included a crowbar. The hotel said something about comping a night. But they can’t comp the hour and a half late I am this morning.”

From 1.30 p.m.: “Soothed my soul at the Garfield Botanic Garden. The hotel has comped me one night. They have apologized profusely. And I have continued to press the question, “what would you do if somebody were having a heart attack and the door would not open?” I think they have agreed that they have an engineering problem. A crowbar and 1.5 hours to get in? Criminal.”

Now back at the hotel, I have signed something indicating they’ve comped a room night.  I’ll be sending a link to this blog entry to the hotel’s general manager, though, as I think this door business is a lawsuit waiting to happen.  I was just inconvenienced, out 90 minutes of my day, grumpy, and in the midst of it all cognizant of how kind the hotel staff was in dealing with a very unhappy guest.  (I mean, I don’t spend $1000 for three nights hotel plus transportation from/to STL, all to be locked out of my room.)  Inconvenience to me aside, What happens when there is a real emergency and the door has jammed?