Sunday, August 14, 2005

Looking Back: My Chicago Trip(s)

Okay, I just cant find anything to talk about. My mind is totally blank. May be too much sleeping, good food and no work does this to your brain. So I'll cheat a bit and recycle my past travel experiences, specifically about Chicago. Its almost like my second home here - been there so many times.

First time it was in the December of 2003 - just 6 months after I came to US. I had an evening flight and a drunk musician from New Orleans was right beside me. It was fun talking with him - I forgot what exactly he talked about - but I kind of remember the experience! He also told me to look towards the left while the plane circled the compact and well lit downtown - I have been to many cities later - but Chicago from above looks awesome - the whole city looks like a well lit grid - with the bright sky scrappers standing right beside the Lake Michigan. This trip was special for a few other reasons too. I was supposed to meet an online friend - but due to some lapse in communication ended up waiting for half an hour or so in falling snow in front of the deserted Sears Towers! Also visited the home of another friend in Chicago suburbs - it was my first time in a home in USA as opposed to the shabby and frugal graduate student apartments we are used to.

My next Chicago trip was as hectic as it can be. Joan Baez was performing at Northwestern campus on a weekend - I decided to go on Thursday - reached directly to the concert from O'Hare. It was April of 2004.

Third time it was when a three of us Siliguri guys decided to have a reunion of sorts at there in September 2004. Next time I drove down to Chicago from Columbus, Ohio via Urbana-Champaign in April 2005. And Finally just a week after that - I had to visit Fermilab in Batavia which is just an hours drive from Chi-city.

They say familiarity breeds contempt - thats surely not the case with my affection about Chicago. I love the city and feel so at home. (University of Chicago was my dream school!). I like the throbbing downtown, the crowded magnificent mile, view from the sky scrappers and the fireworks at Navy Pier. The food at Greek town, Indian delicacies at Devon area and Chicago's own deep crust pizza are added attractions. I even love the L,the mostly elevated subway system. The art museum and the stained glass museum at Navy Pier are amazing - so is a walk alongside the lake. The only thing I would hate is the crazy traffic on I-90 and Lake shore drive - but thats inherent to any big city.

If you plan to visit a true American city - you just cant go wrong with the windy city!

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