Since we left Chicago in 2003, it had been a long time since we’d visited downtown. We’d go to the Chicago area often to visit family, but we’d stay in the suburbs and due to the short visits, never come downtown. This Christmas 2011 we decided to change that and stayed downtown for 2 weeks, so we could get reacquainted with the city and visit our old haunts. Despite the gray and wet weather, we fell in love with the city once again.
I think it was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off that probably first piqued my interest about Chicago. It made the city look so inviting, especially the montage right after they peel out from the high school. Going to college in Iowa, I’d been to Chicago several times. The drive from the south on Lake Shore Drive in the summer, right after the Museum Campus bend, with the brilliant blue lake on the right, the gleaming buildings to the left, and the tree-lined avenue were all enough to get me hooked. Moving to Chicago after college was a no-brainer. Lived in Lakeview (near Diversey Harbor) for 4 years and loved it (for the most part). Despite having moved away, I still think Chicago is one of the best large American cities — big enough to feel like a big city with the cultural and culinary assets but small enough to not feel overwhelming. The architecture is fascinating, from the Sears Tower, to the John Hancock, to the Wrigley Building and more new ones coming up all the time. And the lake with the waterfront parks is just the icing on the cake.