I am back from Chicago! Or possibly more accurately, Back From Evanston, since getting all of stellar_dust's moving and settling in taken care of took longer than expected, and we really only went into the city proper on one day. Also, she unexpectly had no internet, television signal, or radio in the new apartment yet, so we were pretty much completely cut off from the modern information flow - I know more about local Evanston gossip from last week than I did about the apparently really! important! things! that have been happening in the wider world. It was kind of nice.
( Evanston )
On our final day in town we did actually take the el into the city; we basically just wandered from the Cloud Gate down to the Field Museum and said 'hi' to Sue, but that was pretty cool! The Cloud Gate is *much* larger and more awesome than I had realized from the description, thus I am giving it its proper name, which it has totally earned. :P My favorite bit is that if I walk through it, only looking up, I really do feel as if I'm stepping off the edge of the world when I come out the other side, and stumble. (someone needs to write a Dresden Files fic about what happens if you let a wizard lead you through the Cloud Gate.)
The overwhelming impression I got, walking down Chicago's tourist promenade, is that Chicago is prosperous. Chicago is a city that can spend money on pretty stuff just because it's shiny! Create new parks and public spaces! Do exciting things by working together as a community! There are new-looking skyscrapers *everywhere*! Etc. This is an impression I don't get in Baltimore and Washington, the cities I know best, which are mostly struggling to keep things from falling over. (It might also be a false impression, because OMG some of the bridges the trains went over in other parts of the city were scary-looking.) But in general Millennium Park is pretty much what American cities were supposed to be in the 21st Millennium.
( Field Museum )
The other thing I brought back from Chicago was a head cold, apparently. Oh joy.