A Couple of Cool New(ish) Things in Chicago

The USA’s “Windy City” sure is an exciting place to visit or study, and its summer may be relatively brief but is intense and completely glorious. News of interest to visitors includes the recent reopening of Millennium Park‘s iconic Crown Fountain (designed in 2004 by one of our own countrymen, Catalan Jaume Plensa) after a $3.7-million renovation. It consists of a huge pair of tall video screens, depicting the faces of thousands of Chicagoans and spouting water as well as bracketing a black granite reflecting pool. Kids of all ages love to cool off under the spray!

Another bit of news about a completely new attraction is the opening two years ago of the 606, aka the Bloomingdale Trail, a “linear park” created on a former elevated train line (New York City pioneered this concept several years back with its High Line) on the northwest side of the Chicago. Nearly five kilometres (three miles) long, it snakes above the neighbourhoods of Wicker Park, Pulaski Park, Bucktown, Humboldt Park, and Logan Square, and is reachable on the blue line of the CTA (Metro). It’s become very popular with locals for strolling, jogging, skating, biking (including Divvy bike-rental stations at various points along the park), and just hanging out. In addition to being a delight to experience on its own merits, the 606 is also a great way to dip into some of Chicago‘s interesting ethnic neighbourhoods.

Photo | The 606