Flip Flops in the Windy City: One of Many Reasons Why Chicago is Awesome

Why I love this city

I grew up in Portland, Oregon.  It is the greatest city ever [fact].  I had extremely high expectations when I moved to Chicago, and I am pleased to say they have been more than met.  But this weekend, I experienced part of Chicago that really raised the bar…

I was walking near and around Millennium Park this weekend, enjoying the mild winter weather we’ve been having.  Walking along the edge of the lake and through the park, I was truly amazed by the stark contrast of ice and sun.  I know that sounds a little weird, but I think the photos in this post will help you understand.

Frozen Harbor

This is a picture of the harbor just north of The Bean in Millenium Park.  As you can see, the inner part of the harbor is frozen.  I grew up on the west coast, spending time in San Francisco, Portland, and Los Angeles.  Winter weather is still a new thing for me, but frozen lakes are a different thing all together.  It was truly beautiful!  But what really amazed me was the fact that it was a mild 40 degrees, and we were standing on the edge of a major metropolitan city.  I always thought of frozen lakes as a something quaint that people from small towns skate on.  This is happening in DOWNTOWN CHICAGO!  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted to walk on it.  But I didn’t, which is probably a good thing.

Sand and Snow?!!

There is something awesome about the juxtaposition of this photo. How often do you see sand and snow at the same time?  It’s something you think is common in the Andes, not next to a big city like Chicago.  This photo is indicative of what makes Chicago a weather powerhouse: cold winters and awesome summers.

Snow beach

Since seeing a beach covered in snow is pretty much the coolest thing for me in a long time, I took several photos.  On first glance, one might think this is somewhere remote, out of the way.  It is actually 2 blocks from my apartment.  I love Chicago.

Ice beach!

Only a mile away from the awesome frozen harbor and ice-covered beaches is Millennium Park.  It is huge.  Vast fields, gardens, all sorts of fauna that is pretty impressive considering the size of the city it’s in.

Field, Chicago skyline

A pretty park set against the backdrop of a sweet skyline; not too shabby.  One could go on and on and on about the architecture of Chicago skyscrapers.  I don’t know much about them, but I do know they look awesome.  Especially when you put The Bean in the foreground:

The Bean, skyscraper

What I’m trying to say here is that it is not necessarily rare for a city to have all of these things.  Big cities like New York and Los Angeles have everything.  But what sets Chicago apart is the proximity of all these wonderful and beautiful things.  You’ve got beautiful Lake Michigan on one side, and awesome snow-covered beach in the middle, and an awesome city on the other.

Well done Chicago.