Chicago. One of my favourite cities.
There’s something about Chicago that has a good feel about it. I feel like the stoic attitude of the locals, the love of drink and music, and the intangible grimy edge of the place seem a lot like Glasgow.
The CTA public transport system is another one of my favourite things. Elevated tracks take regular trains all around the city, and it doesn’t have the same sort of claustrophobic feeling as the tube in London, or Paris. I love hearing the trains rumbling overhead, and staring down long streets which are covered by the railway above.
Thanks to Automattic I got the chance to head out to the city again in May with some colleagues to go to a conference. We took the opportunity to stay afterwards and co-work for a few days. Since we all work remotely, we take whatever chances we can to hang out in person if we are in the same place.
Chicago is a city of tall buildings and big names, but also wee bars and cafes. It’s got all the glamour of a city you’d expect of its size, but with plenty of culture as well. Sadly, many US cities have got plenty of skyscrapers, but absolutely nothing in the way of charm or character – at least not like how we are used to in Europe. Chicago is a welcome exception to that.
It also has the world’s only Rock and Roll McDonalds. For whatever reason, this McDonalds has become a tourist attraction, and boasts the dubious honour of being the first one to have a two lane drive through.
I arrived a day early since I was the only one of our crew coming from outside the US, and so got the chance to hang out with my pal Joe, who I had met when couchsurfing in the city a year or two ago. He had since moved into a swanky penthouse apartment, with some rather nice views.
We hung out at his place on the last night as well, with Mexican food and tequila. It’s weird having different parts of your life come together like that, though it seems to happen more frequently when you have colleagues from all over the world.
This was apparently the foundations of a huge skyscraper that never got finished… or really even started properly by the looks of it. Really strange to see such a huge hole just sitting there in the middle of a built up city.
Sitting on the edge of the sprawling Lake Michigan, the city feels like its on the coast when it isn’t really. Down by the water is a cool place to be.
And for some reason, geese seem to just roam about freely down near the harbour.
There is of course, the famous bean.
I’m sure there will be more from Chicago later.
All pictures LOMO LC-A with expired 35mm film.