The Chicago River on a March afternoon, going along this unique waterway—a lot more intimate than the East River or the Hudson in New York. The Museum of Contemporary Art is a great museum thanks to its free Tuesdays, making a reasonable priced museum (compared to the Art Institute) even more accessible.
The condominium boom in Chicago has transformed the skyline into a modern city, very different from Manhattan with its rich history. Whereas the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building tower over Midtown, the Aon Center and the Trump Tower as well as the new condos dominate the view from the lake. In the middle of all this is the Art Institute, sitting on the edge of the city like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Central Park. It’s quite a contrast that the relatively younger city continues to look young compared to cities back east.
Days spent enjoying the downtown Chicago skyscrapers and the South Side. The funny thing about Chicago is that it has the Loop and Gold Coast with its skyscrapers, while tucked away miles from the big show is another mini city with historic apartment buildings and towers called Hyde Park. It even has Jackson Park, which arguably has more character than the carefully delineated Grant and Millenium Parks downtown. Millenium Park has Lurie Garden which is cut off from the city somewhat, but that doesn't match the physical isolation of the Wooded Island.
The Chicago River is a nice way to get pictures of the skyscrapers downtown, with plenty of room for wide shots that would be nigh impossible in some parts of Manhattan where the canyons predominate. The rapid development of downtown residential is a promising direction, but the question of how much this will contribute to the nightlife in the area remains to be seen. Of course, a city doesn't have to be open 24 hours a day to be vibrant. Even Manhattan reaches a low point during the night when nothing much happens.