I had an exceptional experience yesterday.
We had another snowstorm here in the midwest. It didn't make it to my place, but I understood that Chicago was getting buried under a foot of snow. I had scheduled a little road trip to see Julius Caesar performed at the Shakespeare theater. Being from Michigan, I wasn't going to let a little snow get in my way. On this trip the train schedules didn't fit my needs so I made the two and half hour drive in the morning. I brought the Hunq, fully decked out with the 45mm studded tires and planned to park and use the Lakefront trail to get through town rather than fight with the inevitable mess that a snowstorm can inflict on Chicago traffic. I was a bit apprehensive, and expected a sloppy, icy mess to pedal through.
I was overwhelmed.Parking my car on a residential street to avoid all the mess in the loop, I found they had really gotten a lot of snow. I don't know if it was a foot, but it was a storm of large proportions.
The enlightening discovery was that the parks department was all over this thing.
I encountered 3 different trucks with plows and an end loader cleaning up the trail for full usage.
I could have ridden my road bike on it and it was only a few hours after the storm.
I was passed by a couple herds of spandex hamsters and had a good conversation with one commuter on his way to his law office downtown.
There were a lot of joggers and this one intrepid fellow taking advantage of the fresh snow.
On the way, I discovered the new project the parks department has in progress.
They are restoring the native prairie dune grass along the shoreline,
and remodeling some of the existing trees into new condo projects
for the migrant birds they hope to attract.
Always having an eye for the artistic, they haven't passed up the chance to embellish the view.
Which doesn't hurt when you have to look at this along the way. Seriously, I just don't get it.
I know Soldier's Field needed more seats, but they should have built something more complimentary to the classical doric style of the original facade. It doesn't fit anywhere. The museum campus is directly adjacent. The "expansion" looks like an alien parked his ship there and abandoned it.
I suppose one could conjure up an argument about the juxtaposition of classical and modern architecture to marry the ages together. Yeah, that's it, give the art history students something to discuss over their hangovers and latte's.
It didn't diminish my pleasure. Not only was the trail a great surprise, the play was a great piece of entertainment. The Chicago Shakespeare Theater is one of my favorite places in the Hemisphere.
Not only do they produce great plays by the master himself, it was built in the exact size and with the seating configuration of the Globe theater.
The text of Julius Ceasar lends itself well to modern life
and the director took full advantage using contemporary wardrobe rather than being period specific.
It proved to be very effective and
the battle scenes were particularly dramatic conducted by soldiers in fatigues
using modern automatic weapons.
I left the theater to find my faith in humanity restored,
not by the play,
but to find my bike in the rack untouched.
Of course it probably didn't hurt to lock it up next to the Navy Pier Security office.
Thank you Chicago for a great day!