Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Return to St. Paddy's Day in Chicago

Date: Saturday, March 13, 2010
Travel: The L & CTA
Lodging: Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago
: 20100313 Dyeing The Chicago River & More Chicago

Chicago is like my 2nd home to me, just like (Philadelphia, NYC, Kalamazoo, and the many other cities I continue travelling to for business). Chicago is a major hub for American Airlines, and also has direct flights from Tucson via Southwest, so if you count the number of times I land in Chicago, I've really been there over 30 times. What's kind of scary is that at O'Hare Airport, there is a smoothie shop which has a customer appreciation program, where for every 12 smoothies you buy, you get one free, and I have already gone through a few already. Anyways, it was only 3 years ago which I had made my first true visit to the city, as I was made a road trip from Milwaukee, and it was also St. Patrick's day. I did not do my research and just decided to wing it and drive through. What a mistake, the traffic was insane, there was no where to park, and I had no idea where I was going. I just figured....look for the Sears Tower (Now renamed Willis Tower). Anyways, I knew from watching the movie "The Fugitive," that Chicago dyes the river green, and I really wanted to see that, yet I had no idea where it was. As I finally found the Chicago river that day, it was truly green.

Advance the clock 3 years later, I know my way around the city a lot more, and I know how to do my research more. This time around, I would not miss the actual dyeing of the river. Walking from my nearby hotel on Grand & State, The best viewing areas is along the river/Wacker between Michigan Ave. & Columbus. Anyways, it was a very cold and foggy, yet there were a lot of folks that had made it to see the spectacle. So a few minutes before the scheduled start time, you get to see the initial dyeing boat leaving a green streak down the river towards Michigan Ave. Shortly following the dyeing boat is another boat swirling back and forth in an S curve stirring up the dye in the river. It was a neat scene, as if it was like a scene from Batman, with the green ooze down the water and fog covering the towering sky scrapers. It is quite different than to just see the river green.

I also decided to stick around a bit for the parade, with the marching bagpipes and the green dogs. It was really too cold for my arizona ass, and I'm not Irish enough to just watch the whole parade ( however, enough to drink the green beer at a pub...just half of course ).

A few days later I decided to come back to Navy Pier, where almost a year prior, I had lost my Canon pocket camera. It was a blessing in disguise though, because now I had no more excuses to not get a DSLR. If it wasn't for that misfortune, I would not have the ability to take a million new pictures. I suppose this picture and this picture would offer the best comparison.

Anyways, I expect to be out in Chicago in the next month, and I have a few projects in my mind that I want to complete.