My trip to Chicago

Think of Chicago and you think of  the iconic towers, chilly winds, the great Michigan lake and the America’s first ever planetarium. This is also a city where every Indian would feel proud on seeing a block in the downtown named after Swami Vivekanada, who delivered an impressive talk on Hinduism at the Parliament of World’s Religions in 1893 .

Last weekend I made a trip to Chicago to see my friend and the city. My friend lives in a rather sleepy suburb of Chicago called Martin Grove. I reached in the afternoon, relaxed for a while and then we set out for a drive to a Balaji temple about 20 miles away. The temple seemed to be a great meeting place for Indians of all communities and origins. I was told that the temple serves several purposes besides worshipping – one can have food in the canteen and have ‘satsung’ or discourses. On some special occasions they also conduct music concerts and Bhajans. In this respect these temples in the US follow our age-old traditions back in India when temples were the centres of cultural activities. Here is a picture of the Balaji temple that we visited:

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After a sumptuous dinner in the temple, we drove to downtown to see Chicago by night. What a spectacle it was. The beautifully illuminated skyline is simply out of the world. I completely agreed with the 12-year-old son of my friend who proudly announced: Oh boy, our skyline is the best in the world! We drove through the iconic towers Sears tower,Willis tower, Trump tower etc. We then drove through the famous ‘ Navy pier’  showcasing an impressively illuminated 150 ft giant wheel offering joy rides. Here are a couple of pictures of Chicago by night:

 

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The following day, we drove straight to Millinium park. The park is situated right in the middle of the town overlooking the iconic towers. The main attraction here is the so-called ‘cloud gate’, which is a huge steel structure consisting of concave surfaces meant to reflect and distort the city’s towers. It is a hit with tourists providing an occasion for photo-op. Here are a couple of pictures taken at the park:

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Next we went to the planetarium where we enjoyed 3 well presented shows. Michigan Lake can be viewed from the planetarium and the following pictures were taken as we took a stroll along the lake:

 

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 Finally, we completed our tour with a visit to the iconic Sears tower. The tower is 1350 ft high offering a grand view of the city. The unique attraction of the tower visit is the all-glass balcony projecting out. One can walk into the balcony and feel the thrill of looking through the floor to the street down 1350 ft below! The pictures below gives an idea of the view from the tower:

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We timed our city tour to complete everything before 7 pm since heavy showers were forecast from 7 pm. I was amazed to see the onset of showers exactly at 7 pm even as we were driving back home as per our plan. That is the precision of weather forecast over here!

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Published in: on May 7, 2014 at 3:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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