Three nights on retreat in a monastery has given me time to expand the blog, and the USA page now has four “children”.  On returning home, I am reorganizing this again, and now this Chicago page has children of its own! Do explore the side menu.

To summarize briefly: I arrived by train at 11, 75 minutes late and walked to the lakefront, remarking the contrast between scruffy tourists like myself, and a lot of men in suits who must have been very hot.  Took the lakeside trail to 31st street, which has its own beach.

Looking back from 31st Street beach
Looking back from 31st Street beach

The East part of 31st street is on a large scale, not the skyscrapers of the city centre but a college and residential estates.  When I got onto West, it became more homely.  Lots of little restaurants and launderettes, and small houses, with churches and a Buddhist temple standing out. This is Bridgeport, where I stayed for the first three nights..


I then moved into the more touristy part of Chicago.

GiraffesLincoln park





The pictures show:

  • a tasteful urban planting on the Magnificent Mile, Michigan Avenue North;
  • One or two giraffes at the free zoo (not sure if you can see the second one);
  • skyscrapers with cars, seen from the River Walk;
  • and a tranquil pond in Lincoln Park, also part of the zoo.

No photos, unfortunately, of children revelling in the Millennium Park paddling pool when the fountains either end spurted water from the mouths of the ever changing faces, or of the cathedral where I took a bad video by mistake.

On Sunday morning, I went to St James Cathedral. After the Eucharist I had lunch with Shawn, Rector of Grace Episcopal Church with which St George’s Westcombe Park is paired.  We went to Eataly, a temple of Italian food with numerous restaurants and specialist shops under one roof.  I ate fried aubergine in one of the restaurants, followed by a coffee ice cream from a stall.  Both excellent.

Afterwards, Shawn gave me a lift to the north end of Lincoln Park, and I walked back to the hostel, visiting the zoo on the way.  It seemed to me that some of the animals were there as ambassadors for their endangered species, but this does not, I think, apply to the giraffes.

Stocked up with cheese, strawberries and a quarter of a cherry pie at a big shop on the corner of N State and E Ohio, very close to the hostel, enough for supper today and tomorrow with something left over for the train journey on Tuesday.

My Chinese roommate took this photo with her selfie stick. We had two other roommates but barely saw or heard them as they were night owls.





On Monday I took the widely-recommended architectural boat tour, lunched at Rainforest Cafe, and went to a free art gallery.