Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dear Dad, Chicago

Dear Dad, 

This week I got a chance to stay in Chicago while attending a conference. Instead of sending you pictures of the city which you could easily find Googling, I decided to share with you the city that I saw as I walked on its streets. Please remember that the city has a whole lot more to offer than what I saw in couple of hours.

As the conference ended, Wednesday evening, I tucked my feet into the sneakers and hit the road. Walked over 8miles rudderless in the urban wilderness of Chicago. Thanks to the gentle caressing wind, not a sweat poured out of my pores. Walk was a breeze, thanks to the awe inspiring marvel of human engineering all around me. Unlike NY, Chicago looked clean, food was phenomenal, buildings were youthful and non-monotonous, each skyscraper looked as unique as the signature(s) of its respective architect(s). I had plenty of company on the streets, the city was bustling with life. Tourists relentlessly clicking their cameras. Young and old, men and women, jogging, roller-skating, cycling, some sitting and just chilling in the corner cafes, some walking holding and warming their hands while some were melting in each others arms. Moms and dads bending down to their toddlers’ height and looking straight up pointing their fingers into the sky checking out how high the sky piercing buildings in front of them were and  probably whispering in their kids’ ears that even sky is not the limit to their innate imagination. Middle aged men oblivious to the beautiful day around them, weighed down by the chores, briskly walking to their after-work destinations. Roads filled with automobiles of all shapes, sizes and prices. Joyous visitors turning heads in awe in 360 degrees sitting on roof top of the brightly painted buses. Overall it was an enticingly inviting vibrant city.

Though I had been to Chicago before, never walked the walk but I felt the resonance, the vibe, and the feeling of deja-vu. Crossed the river, meandered through the millennium park, brisked through the art institute, hit the trail by the mighty Michigan lake, strolled through the Navy Pier, and as I was on my way back to the hotel on magnificent mile, Sun started dipping and Earth began dragging its own somber shadow, like a veil, over the sky reaching structures as if it was telling me “Pal! Go home! Curtains are down and the show is over!”…but the show is never over in Chicago, its only a new show that began.

The gleaming reflective buildings basking in the golden twilight soon reduced to a silhouette then the distant windows started blinking like stars rivaling the real ones up above. In no time, night fell, the city transformed, dressed for the evening occasion, as if it wore a dark & sparking dress, throwing me a beautiful bait, calling me in with an enchanting entice, daring me to embrace and explore. The city did not look the same as the one that I had been walking for over 8 miles. As if, I stood there and Earth underneath my feet moved on and I am in a different city. I would have walked 8 more miles in this new city had I not felt hungry. Retired into an east European restaurant with delectable food and called it a day, and what a day it was!

Yours Lovingly,