Monday, July 25, 2011

Running the Windy City

I love Chicago. I could not possibly love it more. The first time I visited I asked my husband why we don't live there. I have continued to ask this question each time I visit, and I'm still not entirely sure why we haven't uprooted our lives to move there. 

The John Hancock Building in Chicago. Note the green space!

 In Michigan we often hear that Michigan's college grads are flocking to Chicago in droves - and it's true. Research shows that millennials (young people between the ages of roughly 25-35) move to someplace cool and THEN look for a job. Chicago's concentration of Michigan college grads shows this to be true. This idea sounds so romantic - take off, wait tables somewhere, look for a job while living in the coolest city ever. It's less romantic when you're 32 and married with a great job, a mortgage and a gaggle of pets. But hey - a girl can dream.

Lake Michigan waterfront with downtown Chicago in the background

 I visited Chicago for work last week and continued my love affair with the city. We stayed at The Wit on State Street right by the L and next to tons of shopping and restaurants. We arrived (via Amtrak to Union Station) on Thursday afternoon, and even during the week the sidewalks were crowded with pedestrians. 

A view of downtown Chicago taken from the Hancock Building

 On Friday morning we decided to take a quick 30 minute run before preparing for our morning meetings. From the hotel we ran a lovely course down State Street up to and through Millennium Park. This park is in the heart of the city and is lauded as a "new kind of town square". It offers tons of amenities and public art. It's the perfect place for a morning run.

Taken from pedestrian walkway over Lake Shore Drive

We continued on across Lake Shore Drive and along the lake shore for a mile or so. Lake Michigan provides amazing scenery on a hot summer morning. We almost forgot how humid it was. Almost. The trail along the lake was crowded with other runners and bikers.  After crossing back over Lake Shore Drive we ran through Grant Park and back toward the hotel. Although it was a short jaunt it provided a prime example of why Chicago is an amazing city for cityphiles and runners alike.

Navy Pier and the lake
 I love lots of things about living in Michigan, and I doubt we'll be putting the house on the market and moving west any time soon. It's nice to know though that Chicago is so close (about a 4 hour drive) for shopping, running, and just soaking in everything that is great about the Windy City.

No comments:

Post a Comment