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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Chicago -- Part 1

I got back last night from being to a work conference in Chicago. It is quite the city and I had a fun time. This will be the first of my installments of my experiences and thoughts about Chicago. To start, I traveled with my boss, his boss, and a coworker. We got a direct flight from Salt Lake to Chicago which made the trip that much better. Security seemed to go pretty quickly and we were there in time for dinner. Many Chicagoans travel using public transportation. The most used would be the "L". From Midway to downtown Chicago was only a thirty minute ride. My first impressions of Chicago was the architecture. Maybe it was just me but one of my first thoughts of downtown was how dark everything was. Maybe it was because there were so many buildings so close together that there wasn't a lot of natural lighting. Anyway, the L dropped us off right in front of our hotel. The L is also an elevated system lying at about two floors up to allow for automobile traffic below. This was very odd I thought but it makes things that more efficient. My next impression was how much construction was going on! I won't ever complain again about construction projects in Utah again! It seemed like hundreds of projects were going on a the same time. Most streets had scaffolding one floor up from the ground level. There also was a construction project of what seemed to be a new condominium right across the street from us. The L trains pass by quite frequently and standing at the street level it seemed like a 747 taking off. The sound was deafening and I don't know how anyone could get used to it. Although we did have one of the best locations for staying in downtown Chicago, the L passing by at all hours of the night was not the most enjoyable experience. Luckily I was on the 9th floor (about 7 floors above the passing traings)... my boss wasn't so lucky facing the trainside of the hotel on the 5th floor. He endured the first night and had a nice set of earplugs for the second night. I took some pictures of my trip and will put them on when I have time.
Next installment: location of the conference, Chicago cuisine, and more!!! Stay tuned...

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