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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Finding Chi in Chi-town

It's Memorial Day in the US this Monday, so I'm experiencing my first ever USA long weekend, with no work on Monday, and have come to Chicago to visit a dear old(!) friend for the pleasure of it. Finally I'm becoming accustomed to the block and grid set up of New York, when I arrive here to find yet another layer of simplicity and reason added to the mix. In Chicago, not only are there streets named with numbers in ascending order, and avenues as 'cross streets' but each property's number corresponds to the number of the street - meaning that 2200 is on 22nd Street and so on...No more getting completely lost with numbering when I realise in the cab I have the number of the building and know what avenue but not what street / vice-versa. People who have problems with orienteering should live here! (More info on this available here! Chicago Encyclopedia - Street Numbering.)

The Downtown view, from 9th Floor Hyde Park (through mozzy guard)

Chicago's Hyde Park area used to be a getaway destination from the downtown commotion and bustle of the business world, and is situated by Lake Michigan and surrounded by trees. Most of the buildings here were build to cater for the holiday crowds, and although they are now apartments these tall, biscuit-coloured buildings used to be hotels in the main, and some still are. The building across from my view here has rooms with fur safes...I have a good UK friend I may have to send in this direction if ever she and her furs make it to Chi-town. The safes have all required features of security, including the addition of a climate control feature.

The Fur Safe Apartments (as they should clearly be named) (through mozzy guard)

Running along the lake shore is a lovely start to the day, as is a visit to Om on the Range yoga in one of their two studios in this city. I've been doing their podcasts for a while now, so it was a real treat to experience Baptiste yoga first hand in their spacious (yet over subscribed!) and 94-degree studio. After a night out drinking gimlets and eating spicy sushi rolls, a morning of fast, hot yoga seemed somewhat daunting, as did the unsavoury notion of sweating it out for 75 minutes in a room half filled with lithe, tanned yoga goddesses, and half with sweat-drenched male, middle aged yoga-fans with an unhealthy desire to practise bare-chested in swimming shorts. Hmmm. Perseverance, though, is often rewarded, thank goodness, so leaving the studio more zen than when I entered seemed a lovely release from some of the stresses of finding, acquiring and furnishing an apartment within a two week period!

Welcoming Sign outside Studio at Om on The Range

Tonight, Thai food and rose; tomorrow, possibly pancakes, and the architecture river cruise. Happy holidays everyone in USA. UK friends, I'll hope to see you in a week's time!


  1. To be clear, it is pronounced "shy" town.

  2. Let's be clear. Nothing shy about Chicago.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I'm not sure what you mean about "nothing shy about Chicago."

    Do you mean "Nothing's shy about Chicago?"