Part 4: Looping around the Loop.
Back into action, Back to the Back – To Chicago with American Airlines, American Eagle and British Airways
- Dodging the Sword of Damocles (The Introduction)
- To Heathrow, T3 Lounges
- AA99 London Heathrow T3 to Chicago O’Hare T5
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- One Time Exception: A Loop Around the Loop – THIS SECTION
- To ORD, Chicago AA Lounges
- AA4008 Chicago O’Hare T3 to Toronto Pearson T3
- The Hell of Toronto Airport, and an unexpected dinner…
- BA098 Toronto Pearson T3 to London Heathrow
- Homeward Bound
- Colour me…
Part 4 One Time Exception: A loop around the loop
Price: $2.25… or $5 if you’re travelling on the Blue Line down from O’Hare
This may familiar from last time’s “From Addison to Downtown on the L… the scenic way”. Trust me – this has new content!!!
As the weekend ended, I needed to head to Paulina to get few things purchased… as well as heading downtown to get a few other things. A joy of travelling is people asking to shop for things – and I don’t have a problem with this as long as I have time… and for once – I had time.
I cheated and caught a cab to when I needed – running into Cubs traffic on the way at Addison as it was the first game of the Baseball season.
After getting what I needed in Paulina (No, don’t ask…), it was off to the Loop to visit the Boeing Shop, pick up a couple of bits from Walgreens and then head for home. Sounds a simple plan.
So after finding my way to the Paulina L Station, I deposited some coins and notes – and got a CTA farecard. $2.25 later, I was on my way downtown.
The view from Paulina Station
A short wait, and the Brown line delivered a train to me. Good timing as always.
A L Train arriving
The route from Paulina merges with the Red Line (which was getting busy as it was the first Cubs game of the season) at Belmont and diverges again at Fullerton, taking an elevated route to the Loop, giving you some nice views of the skyscrapers that populate North Michigan Avenue.
Merging near Belmont
On a curve – the Jack Hancock Centre visible with some of the towers of North Michigan Avenue
The Trump Tower in the distance
The train crosses through the edge of Merchandise Mart, and then over the Chicago River, going anti-clockwise around the loop.
Crossing the Chicago River
To me, the Loop has always been the Heart of Chicago. Whilst North Michigan Avenue hasthe glam shops, The Loop has the business heart and soul of the city. For those who are architecture and high building nuts, this is where to come and gaze upward.
Looking towards Millennium Park
For those who like the historical side, a stop at Quincy Station is required as the station is a must – one of the oldest surviving L stations, which was restored to it’s 1890’s looks.
As you travel around the loop, you’ll cross over State Street – the main thoroughfare of the Loop.
Crossing to Wabash – the Jewellers Row, the train passes the mad coloured CNA centre on the right… and my personal favourite haunt in Chicago – Central Camera.
Passing the CNA Center – Hey I know how to make a building different – lets paint it red!
My other home in Chicago (And where I learned to love film again).
Walking along Wabash is a normal activity for me as I’m normally going to Central Camera to pick up bits I’ve forgotten – but its nice to let the train take the strain as you pass The Art Institute and Millennium Park.
Eventually, the train loops back towards State Street – the top of it, and this is where I leave it as I’m needing to go raid a few places before heading back to the hotel and the plane.
North of State Street – Marina City II on the left the old IBM building on the right
The Chicago Architectural Foundation also runs a guided tour at https://tickets.architecture.org/public/show_list.asp?cgCode=40&cgName=L%20Train through the loop with a lot more history than I could ever write (and is on my to-do list).
Overall: If you like your big buildings and don’t like to walk, this is for you. A trick I learned when I was starting out in photography is “To look upwards”. You’ll never know what you might have missed…