The View From 32


AUGUST 27, 2007  

Hard to beat

Elevator panel with "17: illuminatedAs I write this at 12:36 am Chicago time (1:36 body time) I'm sitting in a lounge chair on the 18th floor sundeck of the Seneca Hotel. There is a brilliant full moon and a few small white clouds hanging motionless above the buildings surrounding me. Straight ahead is the dark obelisk of the John Hancock building. If not for the throbbing and humming of huge air-conditioners on all sides this would be an incredibly peaceful spot.

Inside of Millenium Park pavillion at nightChicago's weather has been wonderful, sunny and warm but not hot, with enough of a breeze to make for glorious walking around. Tonight we blew off the one social event of the An Event Apart conference to take in a free jazz concert at the Frank Gehrey-designed music pavilion at Millennium Park. Good choice. I don't know how good the party was, but the music was wonderful.

The pavilion is visually stunning space, the sound was great, and we shared it with by an audience of young and old, black and white. It made me think—not for the first time this trip—that this is what cities are all about. It was a joy to joins thousand of others in celebrating what's good in us all.

I'm not very knowledgeable about jazz, but this music was easy to enjoy and appreciate. Not "easy listening" in the commercial sense of mindless background music,, It didn't lull me to sleep as classical music sometimes does. The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra and its leader were, to my ears, terrific. A series of female soloists outdid each other in energy and emotion. It was just a great way to spend the early evening.


Lake view

Lake Michigan across Lakeshore Drive

It's not my lake, but it's still a lake view, which I discovered just a couple blocks down the street from my hotel. Looking across Lakeshore Drive traffic spoils it a bit, but it's still big and blue and open.

Fine dining

Lunch at the conference today, sponsored by Adobe, was wonderful. Fantastic creamy tomato-basic soup, risotto balls, fresh mozzarella salad and more, including super rich tiramisu for dessert. I ate about two days worth of calories at one meal.

A late dinner was harder to find than I expected. Again, I had a sense of perverse joy to see than an awful lot of Chicago restaurants close at 10 on a weeknight. We ended up at the original Pizzeria Uno. My "individual" Numero Uno pizza was tasty and more than enough for the late hour. I still have leftover Thai food from last night that I thought about eating for breakfast. At this point the idea of being hungry again is a pretty hard sell.

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