Wednesday, June 8, 2016


I am in the United States and travelling to Milwaukee for the Bead & Button Show. Before I arrive in Milwaukee I visited Chicago and had a look around. What a pretty, and BIG, city.

I was instantly taken by the mixture of the old and new architecture, and new architecture made to emulate old.

Here are a few images of the old and a more recent building in an Art Deco style.

My friend/host Barbara and I decided to take a boat cruise to see the architecture of Chicago and I was certainly glad I did. 
I would recommend Wendella Boat Tours to everyone.

The commentator really knew her stuff and made the histories of Chicago, the buildings, the characters really informative and humorous during the tour.
On the right you have the tallest building in Chicago.
I took this picture as I really liked the straight lines of the buildings offset against the shorter curving lines of the shorter building.

 One of the things I didn't know was Chicago had a massive fire in 1871, dry weather and an abundance of wooden buildings, streets and sidewalks made Chicago vulnerable to fire. 
The fire burned for two days, leaving an estimated 300 people dead and 100,000 others homeless. More than 17,000 structures were destroyed and damages were estimated at $200 million.

Despite the fire's devastation, much of Chicago's physical infrastructure, including its transpotation systems, remained intact.  Reconstruction efforts began quickly and spurred great economic development and population growth, as architects laid the foundation for a modern city featuring the world's first skyscrapers. At the time of the fire, Chicago's population was approximately 324,000, within nine years there were some 500,000 Chicagoans.
By 1890, the city was a major economic and transportation hub with an estimated population of more than one million people. (In America, only New York City had a larger population at the time).

Something else I learnt was a man named George Washington Ferris, a civil engineer from Illinois, invented the Ferris wheel in the 1890's. The first Ferris wheel was built for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. The total Cost of the wheel was $300,000.00. The image alongside is not the original but there is still one there.

There were some interesting images for me to play with and I really like the photo on the left here showing a modern skyscraper in the background with an old ironwork bridge, raised and no longer used.

In the evening I went to see a comedy performance at a place called "Second City Review". A lot of current well known performers/comics cut heir teeth at this theatre. 
Not being American I found some of the humour fell flat for me -  not knowing the local politics - but I still enjoyed the show and had many laughs.

Chicago is a city in which I would like to spend more time. One day is not enough and I hope to re-visit Chicago again before returning to Australia.

One other thing, I stopped at the Swarovski shop and purchased myself some man-bling.

 I shall always look at this piece and remember "I bought that in Chicago"


  1. I have not been to Chicago and now I feel like I have a flavor of it. Thank you Patrick!

  2. Too funny, Patrick, we must have been there at the same time! I was attending an event in the western suburbs and unfortunately could find no way to get downtown from there, as I wasn't prepared to drive on my own through downtown Chicago. I REALLY wanted to do that river cruise but for me it was not to be. I'm so glad to see the pictures from yours!

  3. I'm so glad you had a great day in Chicago!

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed Chicago, it's one of my favorite cities. I understand some of the comedy falling flat. while I was in London last September, we went to a comedy show; I didn't understand a lot of the humor but it was fun all the same:)

    I hope the rest of your visit is wonderful!