Tag Archives: Chicago

Chicago | Always Fun to Visit

by Melanie and Jim

On our way back to Iowa from southern Ohio, we made a two-night stop in the Chicago area. Before we moved to Iowa in 1992, we lived and worked in the Chicago area. Though we’re glad we don’t live there, it’s always fun to go back, like visiting an old friend.

Chicago offers much to see and do. We had a big day ahead, with some firm plans and a lot of time for spontaneity. Under blue skies and in low 70s temperatures, we were ready to enjoy it.

To make getting around simple, we stayed in the suburb of Oak Park at the Write Inn. It was one block from the birthplace of Hemingway, three blocks from some Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, two blocks from eateries, and three blocks from the ‘L’ train station, our means of getting into the city. Oak Park is also short miles from Brookfield Zoo, where we spent the day before.

First we needed breakfast. The day before we asked a waitress at a Vietnamese restaurant where to get breakfast. She said go to George’s. That was good advice. We had breakfast, dinner, and breakfast the next day at George’s.

To use the L trains, we each bought a 24-hour pass for $10. That allowed us to leave our car parked in the garage used by the hotel. We were at the Loop on State Street within 25 minutes. After a walk of a few blocks, we crossed Michigan Ave and entered Millennium Park to enjoy the beautiful morning and do some people watching.

Show me more…


Tiffany | Cultural Center | Chicago

by Jim and Melanie

After viewing the Tiffany ceiling at Macy’s in Chicago, we walked toward Michigan Avenue with plans to visit the Art Institute. At the corner of Washington and Michigan Ave, we noticed the Cultural Center building. We had never been there before. It was something new to explore.

We were greeted by a friendly older gentleman who asked if he could help us. We told him he could and that we had never been in the building before. What interesting things were there to see? He opened a brochure and started describing the highlights. First on his list were the extensive decorations by Tiffany and Company. They have the largest stained glass dome in the world done by Tiffany at 38 ft in diameter. It was completed in 1897 when the building opened as the public library.



I want to see more of this place.

Tiffany Ceiling | Macy’s | Chicago

by Jim and Melanie

We went to Chicago recently to visits friends, see Porgy and Bess with Daniel at the Lyric Opera, and explore some familiar and new places. Here is one of our favorites. More than 1.6 million pieces are in the Tiffany Studios Favrile glass mosaic on the ceiling of Macy’s fifth floor. It was installed in 1907 in the former Marshall Field & Company store at State and Washington.


Two more sights in the store.

Great Chicago Wheel of 1893 – World’s Greatest Ride

How I See It

World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893

The World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago was the subject of a book my wife, Melanie, and I discussed. The exposition was in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the Americas by Columbus. A centerpiece of the exposition was the huge Chicago Wheel 264 feet high, meant to rival the Eiffel Tower. I love science and technology. The idea of this giant wheel being the first Ferris wheel fascinated me.

Rotating wheel rides have been around since the 17th century. They were known as ‘pleasure wheels’. George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr.  secured the patents for the larger metal concept which came to be known as Ferris wheels. Ferris was born in Galesburg, IL, in 1859. That is not far from where I grew up. The family moved to Nevada when he was six. He attended college at California Military Academy…

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