A study in steps (and more) in Chicago

In September, we spent a weekend in Chicago.  These steps are located in its downtown, along the south side of the Chicago River.  Each rise is about 18.”

It was near here that I tripped on a single step off the sidewalk. My poor little camera took most of the force, but  happily still works.

Remember — all landscape design students say it with me — “a single step is a tripping hazard.” (I’ve personally proved it many times.)

The Chicago River, with its Riverwalk,  is the best landscape in the city.  I think the skyscrapers are thrilling.

Below was the view from our hotel room.  A little dizzying.

I thought I could see back to Madison, Wisconsin, our previous destination.

After a skyscraper walking tour by the Architecture Foundation, I spent an afternoon at the Art Institute of Chicago and Millennium Park on South Michigan Avenue.

I loved these cabbages in the huge planters in front of the Art Institute. I’m so happy to see ornamental cabbages and kale having a moment again — I started gardening in the ’80s.

Millennium Park, which is just north of the museum and includes Lurie Garden, is remarkable.

I loved the “Cloud Gate,”

the way it reflected the surrounding skyscrapers,

and the way people interacted with it — including me, in the background with the yellow bag (below).

Where we ate

During our short visit, we ate twice at the great Purple Pig (their patio below at sunset) at 500 N. Michigan Avenue.  On the second night, our dessert was simply two slices of toasted artisanal bread spread in-between with Nutella, marshmellow cream, and sliced bananas.  Then the “sandwich” was liberally topped with powdered sugar.  It was wonderful.

If you have to be in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport — and we all will eventually — definitely eat at Rick Bayless’s Tortas Frontera.  We discovered it on our last trip in March, and this time we actually made a point of taking flights that would put us in Terminal 1 (go to gate B11) about lunchtime.

8 thoughts on “A study in steps (and more) in Chicago

    1. “A single step is a tripping hazard.” was repeated frequently when I took Landscape Design classes at George Washington University. I think little round pea gravel is way up there too, although I love it.

      I saw no single steps at the Lurie Garden, and it was lovely.

  1. Chicago is not so very far away (I live in the Toronto area). One of these days I am going to get there. Sounds like you had a great visit. I love that Cloud Gate too!

  2. Chicago always seems so Midwestern and a reasonable size compared to NYC. Always feels comfy and homey to us if that is possible in a major urban area. I think The Bean is the most democratic, interactive art installation I’ve ever seen. It is always surrounded by huge crowds of happy people. Same with the fountain with the water squirting out of the mouths!

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