Chicago Skyscrapers (08/29/03)

Last updated 9/27/03                                                                                                                                    Russian translation here

As Homer (Simpson, not the Greek writer) would say "Woo-hoo". This blog marks the first time in recent history that I'm blogging something that is less than a month old (not by much mind you, but still feels good). After Detroit, the next big stop on our trip was Chicago -- home of the world's tallest building, and birthplace of the deep-dish pizza (Pizzera Uno's is the place where it was born -- they got greasy, but very *yummy* pizzas!). As far as cities go, Chicago is certainly a city in which I could settle down. It's a city known for its amazing architecture, of which the Sears Tower (see pictures below of the tower, and many other skyscrapers in the downtown area below) is perhaps the crown jewel. The city is also very pleasant to just walk around, with a plethora (did I just say plethora? what a faux pas) of parks -- they even gots squirrels in 'em!

We visited the Chicago Cultural Center, thinking that it was a "public library". Instead of books, we found a very nice exhibit on gardens (and different styles of gardens) throughout the world... while at the center we even witnessed a live piano concert, and got to see more beautiful architecture -- the center had a magnificent dome ceiling, which was decorated with murals. You probably guessed some of this by looking at the earlier version of this page. The one point I wanted to drive home was that the fascinating architecture in Chicago didn't simply end with building facades, but instead permeated them (this sounds soooo pretentious, but oh well, I kinda liked the buildings in this town).

Yeah, we ended up eating deep-dish Chicago-style pizza (what did you expect, we were in Chicago for cryin' out loud). Look at the pictures below, and you can see what Daria (yep, that's her commentary, and should really be in blue, but I won't chastise her... she's in Russia right now you see) had to say about Gino's East (thanks to my cousin Turin for tipping us off to this nice local dive -- sorry we couldn't visit due to the complete and total lack of any form of street parking around your place). Anyhow, that's all for Chicago, other than the expected -- check it out, you won't be disappointed (actually this is not a guarantee of any kind and as we all know, YMMV).


Sears Tower in Chicago is, apparently, the world's tallest building measured from street level to the roof, and street to top of antennas. On a clear day one can see four states from the observation deck on 103rd floor... well, I wouldn't know even if I saw them, but the view of downtown, Chicago river, labyrinth of the freeways and tiny little people and toy-sized cars on the streets is amazing! The only other times I enjoyed such a view were during airplane takeoff and landing.


Grant Park along the Chicago River is a nice place for walking, sitting down with a book, taking in Chicago skyline, watching squirrels steal food from trashcans, or partaking of culture and/or junk food whenever some sort of fair is in progress (we happened onto a Jazz festival).


Being in Chicago, one must pay tribute to its culinary creation known as Chicago-style deep dish (or stuffed) pizza, the kind that comes in a deep pan, with delicious soft, puffy pie dough, tons of cheese and thick tomato sauce with tomato chunks in it.... yum. Forget health concerns and indulge -- after all, how often do you find yourself in Chicago, at the famous establishment of Gino's East Pizza?! Gino's is known for great pizzas and unique decor provided by the patrons themselves: you are allowed, no, encouraged to leave your mark (with a crayon, though whiteout works better) on the walls of the restaurant. Viva graffiti!