From the air the other day.
I love Chicago.
On this business trip, I took an extra day to catch up with alumni and go the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Prokofiev, Poulenc, and Gounod, with the magnificent Chicago Symphony Chorus).
The Chicago visit (Amtrak both directions) included a huge meal at Berghoff’s, a college fair at Northwestern University, a late dinner with my voice studio alum Charlie Ingram, brunch with Ball State alum Josh Stierley, the symphony concert, drinks with my dear friend Adam Hendrickson, and dinner around the corner at an Irish pub.
And my new favorite Hampton Inn, just off Michigan Avenue, a block south of the Chicago River.
As I write on Saturday morning, I’ve spent some time in the Metropolitan Lounge at Chicago Union Station. I’m so pleased to see some Amtrak operations moved back into the splendor of the old terminal, and to find a dedicated & comfortable business class lounge at the station as well.
I do love Chicago.
But I don’t love walking with a cane, in Chicago.
So I left home this morning and walked to the CWE Metrolink station. That was a mistake.
I saw worn out by the time I got to the train. At the airport, I asked for a wheelchair assist in Chicago, which saved me a great deal of walking at Midway.
Here in Chicago, I’m taking public transit everywhere. This afternoon’s visit was the to the Newberry Library to see their exhibits and do a bit of book shopping.
Now, at 4.15 p.m., I am at my hotel on Printer’s Row just south of Congress Parkway, and resting until time for dinner with a friend.
Chicago is filled with characters. The stories I could tell, just from the last three hours…..
I’ve just made my plans to go to Chicago next month. I’ll see Adam and others. And I’ll attend two concerts at Symphony Center on the same day: their holiday extravaganza, and an evening Bruckner concert with Eschenbach conducting!
Christmas will then be right around the corner.
Few things speak CHICAGO more clearly than a ride from Midway to the Loop on the Orange Line.
The scenery is right out of a movie.
The smells are right out of ‘Homeless Central.’
And the views crossing State and Wabash on the way to the Library station, especially when everything is dusted with snow, are absolutely classic.
I’m now at the Palmer House Hilton, having eaten a salad for dinner, and happily in one of my favorite cities in the world.