call to place: chicago, illinois

My husband is the one who has the urge to visit Chicago. I drove through once in 1979 on a road trip across country with my first husband.  We didn’t stop for a visit, but simply drove our old van along the the shore of Lake Michigan and marveled at the skyscrapers.  It seems only now, some 40 years later, my husband Mike and I have decided to delve into the city, but the reality on the ground will probably waylay us this time around as well.

As the most populous state in Illinois, and the third most populous in the United States, Chicago beckons with its steel-framed skyscrapers and a slew of iconic and influential architecture created by such famous architects as Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, and Daniel Burnham.


Guidebooks for Chicago

It has famous and unusual public art in Millennium Park: the polished steel Cloud Gate, affectionately called “The Bean;” Frank Gehry’s stunning Jay Pritzker Pavilion; and the Crown Fountain, which displays the changing faces of native Chicagoans spitting a fountain of water. The city is home to some greats: Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum, and Willis (Sears) Tower. Chicago is known for its comedy and music, especially blues, soul, and jazz.

We hope to do public art walks and architecture walks, take boat rides in the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, and pedal bicycles along the shores of the freshwater Lake Michigan.  There are skylines to see, towers to climb and art museums to visit.


Guidebooks, map and journal for Chicago

And there is plenty of good food to be sampled.  The city is known for its Chicago-style deep dish pizza, artistic hot dogs, classy steak houses, Mexican food, Asian fusion, and Italian roast beef. Maybe these are not the most healthy choices, but they’re certainly hearty fare for an often frigid and windy city.

Connected by the El, short for Chicago’s elevated rapid transit system, Chicago is a city of neighborhoods: The Loop, the South Loop, the West Loop, Lincoln Park, Near North, River North, Pilsen and Hyde Park.

Chicago had 58 million visitors in 2018, the second most visited city in the U.S. after New York City. We planned to be two of them; we have a plane flight scheduled and an Airbnb rented for May 13-18.  We will probably have to cancel due to the coronavirus (we have until April 29 to decide), but if we do cancel, we’ll try to go as soon as the governors give the okay for businesses to re-open.


First notes on Chicago


“THE CALL TO PLACE” INVITATION: I invite you to write a post on your own blog about what enticed you to choose a particular destination. If you don’t have a blog, I invite you to write in the comments.  If your destination is a place you love and keep returning to, feel free to write about that.  If you want to see the original post about the subject, you can check it out here: imaginings: the call to place.

Include the link in the comments below by Wednesday, May 27 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  My next “call to place” post is scheduled to post on Thursday, May 28.

If you’d like, you can use the hashtag #wanderessence.

This will be an ongoing invitation, on the fourth Thursday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time.  🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!