Articles tagged with "Illinois"

Sears Tower

Sears Tower

I headed for the Sears Tower. There were almost no queues, but still it took me a long time to get to the top. There was a forced viewing of some promotional video, and then they tried to take a photo of me to superimpose on some cheesy view. This happens in all sorts of places, and I can never really believe that anyone would actually buy the photos. I waved the photographer aside and strode through to the lift.

It was an overcast, dull day and Chicago looked huge. There were not many people on the viewing platform. I got into a conversation with someone, who asked me whether I knew what a particular building was. I didn’t, and presumed he was not from around here. He turned out to be a DJ from Texas and we talked about music for a while. He asked me if I was from around here, which surprised me a lot. I thought my English accent was a dead giveaway.

The DJ gave me his card, and I wandered on. The clouds seemed to be breaking up a bit, but I didn’t have too much time before my flight on to Tucson, so I headed back down the tower. I got back on the metro, and as we clanked out towards O’Hare, the Sun suddenly broke out, and by the time I got to the airport the skies were completely clear.


Chicago

Chicago

I got into trouble at immigration. I thought I might do – my passport has been through some rough times and is battered and fraying. But that was fine. The problem came when the immigration officer asked me what the purpose of my visit was. I wasn’t exactly sure what to say – I’d come for a conference but that was only one day, and then I would have two days free. On the green form I put ‘tourism’. “What is the purpose of your visit?” asked the officer. I began to explain my situation. I was tired and I rambled. He cut me short. “What. Is the purpose. Of your visit. Sir?”, he said, angrily. “Work”, I said, and he looked at me with disgust, crossed out what I’d written on the card, stamped my passport and waved me through.

I got a train into the centre of Chicago, and wandered around aimlessly. I’d seen ice in Lake Huron as we flew in, but Lake Michigan was ice-free and it wasn’t cold. I found my way to Millennium Park and Anish Kapoor’s ‘Cloud Gate’.