Chicago pt 1

Trip Start Jul 12, 2009
Trip End Oct 09, 2009

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Where I stayed
Chicago International Hostel

Flag of United States  , Illinois
Sunday, July 19, 2009

On Wednesday Morning I caught the Greyhound out of Albuquerque, headed towards Chicago along Route 66.   It was a pretty long ride, we passed through Tucumcari, New Mexico (small border town), then Amarillo, Texas which was bloody hot (must have been 40 something), Elk City and then Tulsa, Oklahoma, Springfield and then St Louis Missouri where we had 1.5 hour layover.  With a bit of time to fill in, I had a walk around St Louis, it had some really cool architecture, so I took some photos (still can't find a computer that will let me upload any photos yet...).  Then eventually we got into Illinois, and eventually Chicago, as we came in along the expressway, the skyline looked incredible. 

Next 3 days was Pitchfork Music festival which was awesome, to summarise the highlights:
Friday night: Built to Spill
Saturday: Ponytail, Bowerbirds, the National (but Wavves sounded crap!!)
Sunday (easily the best day of the festival): the Walkmen, Frightened Rabbit and Grizzly Bear were all awesome

Thermals and Flaming Lips sounded good but I didn't really know any of there songs, Flaming Lips show was pretty impressive, they had this massive LCD screen, big balloons, streamers, costumes, etc and the whole of Union Park filled up (the crowd seemed to double in size) when they came on

Today (Monday), I headed into "the Loop" which is the central part of Chicago.  I went on a walking tour ran by the Chicago Architecture Foundation called Modern Skyscrapers.  After the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, as Chicago was rebuilt they pioneered the development of skyscrapers which continued until the great depression in the 1930's. It wasn't until the 50's when Richard J Daley (the Mayor) and Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe encouraged more investment in buildings and skyscrapers that the "Modern Skyscraper" emerged (as you can see I was taking notes).  So the tour went for about two hours and covered about 15-20 notable "modern", "post-modern" and "new modern" skyscrapers, we also learnt about how they differed from the older skyscrapers and examples of some of the other styles like Art Deco, we also went through Millenium Park which is a massive open public space with free concerts, parks, etc. 

Just before I found a hostel and booked in an extra nights stay, which means I've got tomorrow (Tuesday) to check out Museum of Science of Industry, Navy Pier + Millenium Park, and hopefully the Sears tower observation deck. 

Then on Wednesday I plan to catch the greyhound upto Detroit, Michigan, home of the automotive industry
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