Summer in Chicago

Chicago really plays in the summer. I hadn’t really noticed that as a young man working downtown, but have come to appreciate it in my later years. Maybe it is our long, cold winters, with our gray leadened skies and our gritty snow, that forces Chicagoans of all stripes to come outdoors and play during this wonderful time of the year.

What fun it is to see people flooding into our many parks near our wonderful lakefront. Office workers stream out of their antiseptic air conditioned towers in the Loop at noon to enjoy the warmth and sun, as they scurry to lunch, or simply sit outside and enjoy a smoothie or iced frappacino. The women look beautiful, as they stroll along in their summer dresses, their hair blowing in the wind and glistening in the sunlight. Maybe they are going to argue a case in court, attend a corporate board meeting, or are hurrying to a “power lunch”–but, you’d never know it from the smiles on their faces. The men, on the other hand, many in serious suits, toting serious briefcases, have serious looks, as they tug at their collars and sweat profusely, lumbering to their presumably serious appointments.

Tourists abound, with their folded maps and fingers pointing to the many architectural wonders and magnificent public art that populates our downtown, everywhere. Since I work near the Sears Tower, with its Sky deck being a de rigure stop for tourists, both foreign and domestic, I encounter these wanderers from many lands on every street corner, speaking languages that we seldom hear in Chicago at other times of the year.

Summer in Chicago. Carpe’ diem! Enjoy it while you can!

“And what is so rare as a day in June. Then, if ever come perfect days. Then Heaven tries Earth if it be in tune, And over it softly her warm ear lays”.

–James Russell Lowell

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