My last trip to London was only three weeks in the rear-view mirror before it was time again to pack my bags and head to Chicago for a long weekend getaway. On my London trip I managed to meet up with my friends Dan and Cara for a quick lunch and a stroll along the Thames river on a rare sunny spring day. We only had a short time together, but luckily the reason for my Chicago trip was to meet up with them again during their visit to the US. Another friend of ours, Greg, joined us as well.
Dan, Greg and I have been friends since the first October weekend back in 2001. The reason I remember the day so vividly is because it was the weekend the three of us, among hundreds of other young and eager students, arrived at our dormitories at university in England. I vividly remember pulling up in my car at university, getting my room info and keys from the porter's office, and then heading to my block and being greeted by these two fellows. We've been friends ever since, through thick and thin, and I am grateful for calling these two my friends. Whenever and wherever we have a chance to meet we try to. We pick up right were we left off the last time.
This time we picked Chicago for our get-together. Unfortunately, Chicago has been in the news a lot because of the weekly violence. Not a week passes without new headlines about the killings and even the New York Times recently ran an article titled "Pleading for Peace in Chicago Amid Fears of a Bloody Summer". During our visit there was no shortage of gun violence and deaths in parts of the city, even a friend of Greg's woke up to her car wrecked Sunday morning because of a police pursuit. Personally I hope Chicago is able to get it under control, because it truly is a beautiful city with wonderful people as we experienced during our stay.
This was my fourth visit to Chicago, so I had no specific agenda and followed the lead of my friends. We stayed at a spacious Airbnb apartment in Logan Square, one of Chicago's neighborhoods in the northwest side and a short car ride from the city center.
On our first day we ventured into the city early in the morning to partake in a 90-minute architecture boat cruise. Chicago is legendary for its architecture and there was no shortage of old and new buildings to admire. I am a fan of art deco and got my fair share of buildings to look at. The afternoon we spent walking around the city center and explored parts of the Magnificent Mile, finished a round of mini-golf at Millennium Park, and stopped by the Buckingham Fountain (title scene Married... with Children).
Exploring Chicago's Logan Square and Bucktown neighborhoods, as well as North Avenue Beach was the theme of Day 2. In total we must have walked 10+ miles that day and we finished our day with a delicious BBQ at Chicago Q.
On our last day we stayed local in Logan Square. I had a late afternoon flight back to New York to catch and didn't want to stress over long queues at O'Hare airport. Late morning Dan, Greg and I went for nice brunch at one of the cafes close by. We just sat there, talked about memories of university life, laughed, and schemed our next get-together somewhere on this globe; a perfect finale to a great weekend.
All photos were made with the Leica MP and Summicron 2/50 on Kodak Tri-X 400. Film was rated at 200. Photos were developed at home using Kodak Xtol developer (no pulling or pushing), and scanned using the Nexlab Pakon (non-plus).