22 Jun 2017

Visiting Chicago


Thank you DES.

Once again escaping the Australian winter, I found myself residing in the temperate Bay area. But I was still cold. And so to Chicago I went… coincidentally, this was at the same time as a DES collaboration meeting.

This visit now marks my greatest journey east into the US. I would have liked to go to New York and visit the city, just to make that statement incorrect, but alas, neither time nor money can be spared for such an adventure. Next time, though!

As is tradition, I flew into a new city at night. As we all know, late night is the best time to visit a new city, because then you get to see the glowing web of streets spin through the countryside, which is always a great sight.

The meeting was held about half an hour south of the airport, at the University of Chicago. I will freely admit that their campus is very nice. Not as nice as my own campus at UQ of course, but not too shabby either. And on a chilly morning, lying down on the rocks and boulders in the courtyard was deliciously warming.

With Jacobo as tour guide, we spent a few nights in Downtown Chicago, just wandering around and exploring. We found a few good bars to grab a drink in and while away the night. I will also point out that those monsters orphaned me in the city - when I ducked into Macca’s to grab some food they all kept walking! Was sheer luck that, thanks my ridiculously fast “angry walk” speed, I managed to overtake them - even after giving them a ten minute head start!

After the exploring, we all retired, but the next day was even better, because boat dinner. Of course, Per and I shared a romantic evening. An Australian and a Dane in the US, battling stereotypes left, right and center!

We spent most of the evening on the top of the boat, taking in the great Chicago skyline whilst chatting and drinking. For me I got a bit adventurous and had not one, but three pink lemonades!

And given how much I like the below image, I thereby conclude my photographic skills are proportionally tied to the amount of pink lemonade ingested.

Science.

After the boat tour, Jacobo lead up to Hancock tower. It was a long wait for the one (out of three) elevators they had running, but a hundred floors later we got to the bar. We got some drinks (finally a Lemon Lime Bitters that was actually made correctly, I was so happy), and got this fantastic view!

I have to confess that this isn’t an original image from my phone, unlike the others. The glass introduced some reflections of lights from the bar that appeared to be hovering above the buildings in the image, so I removed them in Photoshop. But apart from the night sky, this is directly from my phone. I love the Pixel’s camera so much!

Relaxing 100 floors above the Chicago city with old and new friends, it was a great night. The next morning, we listened to the summary talks, made farewells, and parted with most of the DES researchers until the next meeting in Brisbane. Time to start organising for that!