Chicago is the self-proclaimed birthplace of the skyscraper. The downtown Loop is filled with old ornately decorative skyscrapers and modern glass monoliths, the Chicago River winding it’s way between the buildings and lending a certain spacious and calming vibe. Out in the neighbourboods, funky cafes and bars housed in red brick buildings are everywhere to be found. But beyond the shopping strip of each neighbourhood are cool green tree-lined streets. Find a residential street that isn’t lined with big leafy trees and you have found a rare sight. Which was a welcome necessity as temperatures soared to 100 during a July heat-wave. Boats on the river, flowers in the streets, childen playing in water fountains, free outdoor concerts and an endless plethora of great bars and restaurants. Even if it is incredibly hot and humid, Chicago in summer is still a great place to be.
A water taxi heads down the Chicago River between ornate skyscrapers and through the Loop, the golden light of late afternoon sun reflecting off the buildings.
In Wicker Park, three people wait for a bus in the hot sun outside a red brick building, it’s fire escape dangling above their heads; With a backdrop of the Loop skyscrapers and blue sky, the L train travels over one of the steel bridges crossing the Chicago River.
One of the defining aspects of Chicago neighbourhoods is the tree-lined streets which in summer time are leafy and green, providing welcome relief from the hot sun; Even in temperatures nearing 100 degrees, the outdoor seating area of a funky and contemporary taco bar in Wicker Park is crowded.
A couple eat outside in Wicker Park, beneath the shade of the umbrella; Delicious fresh fish tacos, with salsa and lime, take away.
A man looks out over the Chicago River, the ornate buildings and decorative features of the Loop are golden in the late afternoon light.
Near the Wicker Park station, lines of bikes are locked up beneath the L track; Beside steps leading up to the L, with coloured neighbourhood train lines marked on them, a man stands in the hot sun reading the newspaper.
A man wheels a suitcase through the ornate Union Station, past the hanging American flag.
Downtown in the Loop, a tiered planter box with a tree and colourful flowers adds to the decorative and European vibe of the city, a bicycle leaning against it; In Wicker Park, Hari Krishna’s on the street talking to an attentive skateboarder.
Children play beneath a moving illuminated face that spouts water at the fun interactive water feature sculpture known as Crown Fountain in Millennium Park; Looking up at the tallest building in Chicago, Sears Tower, now known as Willis Tower, with surrounding skyscrapers and the clear blue sky forming a cross.
Soaking wet happy children are the epitome of summer childhoods as they run round and round the Crown Fountain in Millennium Park, getting wetter and wetter and squealing with glee.
In the harsh and hot summer afternoon light, bridges in the Loop are flooded with people leaving the city and heading home for the day, here people rush towards Union Station; A happy smiling women poses with open arms for a friend to take her photo in front of the Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park, otherwise known as The Bean, it’s shiny surface reflecting the city behind her.
Tourists cluster around the shiny Bean in Millennium Park, looking at reflections and taking photos.
A common Chicago sight, L train passing above a city street; A famous Chicago-style hotdog, with relish, onion, dill pickle and peppers on a poppy seed bun.
A woman on a city architectural boat tour looks up at buildings in the sunshine on the top deck of the boat, the Sears building in the distance; At the end of a tree-lined residential street in Lincoln Square, a colourful planter box sits filled with flowers.
Brickwork, trees and the Boulder bookend sculptures at the entry to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park studio, open to the public for tours; Stone plaque advertising his place of business and decorative pillars outside Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio in Oak Park.
A couple relaxes in the summer at Millennium Park as dusk approaches, listening to a free concert in the Frank Ghery bandshell; A couple with a picnic sit and watch Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park during it’s hourly show as water is shot 150 feet in the air to the sounds of classical music, the setting sun tinges everything slightly pink.
Night view of the Chicago city lights, with Lake Michigan and slight clouds, as seen from the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the John Hancock building; A small old building reflected in the blue glass of the new Trump Tower.
A bird flies through the twilight sky over Grant Park’s Buckingham Fountain and the city skyline.
A tour boat on the river between old buildings and new, the Chicago flag flying proudly as the setting sun turns all the buildings golden.
Iconic Chicago-style deep dish pizza, served up and waiting to be eaten.
Susie’s in Irving Park, a well loved and busy late night grease food shop.