Saturday, February 9, 2013

Better Late Than Never?

The summer of 2012 was spent in Chicago IL. Having spent the summer of 2k11 in the beach town of Huntington Beach I was ready for an alternative experience in an American city, bustling with  counter opposites of HB and a host of new insights and experiences.

 I loved Chicago. My heart broke a little when my summer there came to an end. Not only because when I got home I wouldn't have a college semester of glee to face into but Chicago made a home for itself in my heart. Cheesy but oh so true. 

On one of the first days I discovered that GF cereal was significantly more impressive in the States than in Ireland. Obviously I couldn't afford to be splashing out on such luxuries but the initial novelty was fun.

We lived in the most amazing spot, right down the street from the beach, a short walk into the centre of the city and surrounded by public transport headed in every direction. We spent lots and lots of days thrown on the grass around here. 
We lived in Old Town, right in the centre of it all. Chicago in the summertime is unbeatable. There were festivals in every neighbourhood throughout the summer months. We tried to get to a few, but I think by making it to 3/4/5 that I made it to about a fifth of them. Spoilt for choice. 

The architecture there was very pleasant to look at. 

Navy Pier looked a lot closer than it actually was which I came to realise the few but painful walks home that were made from there. It's the home of the first ferris wheel, needless to say I never made it up on it. Much too busy not being a tourist. 
I feel it necessary to look back on the views from Navy Pier so as not to hate the place for what the walk to and from there did to my feet. I kept great company on my travels.

Take a look at this pretty skyline. I love a good skyline. It's the one thing that Cork lacks, not that it would diminish my love for the homeland. Cork will always be number 1.

The bi weekly fireworks at Navy Pier, there were a very pleasant touch however.

McDonalds little and large. 

John Hancock was never too far away. 

A giant mirror shaped like a bean in the centre of a city...genius idea.
The dress I'm wearing was a fond favourite from Cali the summer before, (don't I sound like such a seasoned traveller) BUT the machine mangled it one afternoon during laundry. Clearly evidence enough that my laundry abilities aren't my best of assets. 

We listened to the most exciting tunes all summer.

Nearly saw Oprah. Sort of. This was at another free street festival, Los Campesinos played, for free, in the summer heat, at sunset. Idyllic much?
There're the lads.

Lots of words of wisdom emerged.

There was copious amounts of coffee consumed. It was glorious. 
I loved all the little independent coffee stores about the place. Although nothing beat Intelligentsia (probably hot how it's spelt) It was my favourite. 

Sometimes it's forgivable to put ice in your coffee. 

Belmont was one of the finest neighbourhoods. Dancing in Berlin, eating Korean BBQ and Sushi, spending time listening to good music with good friends, brunching, lunching, record and book shopping, froyo-ing.. Reflecting is making me homesick for the place.
We know how to be classy.

Craft taverns are tough competition to beat.
Chicago Chinatown was full of enlightening moments.

Ridiculous amounts of Froyo was consumed. Definitely worth it however.

A getaway to Michigan with the the work buddies provided an amusing break from city life. The small town insights were hard to beat. As was the ice cream.

Not making it home for days on end. We had so much fun. Although I was working for Pride making it to Market Day made up for it. Lei's and drinking pineapple juice from actual pineapples, temporary tattoos and skulking into Walgreens to use the bathroom..

I lived by this sentiment for quite a while.

It was an unforgettable summer.


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"We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far."
Swami Vivekananda


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