Christmastime in Chitown


When I told Ty that I had never been to Chicago during Christmastime, he rolled his head back and groaned with a sort of nostalgic ecstasy.

"Ooooooh. Oh. Oh, man. We're going. Yeah, we're definitely going."

A week and a half later, we found ourselves on State Street, whose sidewalks were bedecked with evergreen clippings and red berries. The Macy's—which we referred to as Marshall Field's, of course—displayed its holiday finest. Inside we went, to the Walnut Room and to the Great Tree, which sparkled and twinkled red, purple, blue, green, silver. Inside, too, was Santa's workshop, and Frango Chocolates, and multi-colored lights and Christmas music and shopping bags and heavily-perfumed air. Outside, the holiday windows were crowded, and children pointed at the scenes, pressed their noses to the glass.

We visited the Christkindlmarket, too, on Daley Plaza. There, we bought mugs of spiked cider, and cups of goulash, and plates of potato pancakes. We were like sheep; tightly packed and unable to move, unable to balance our plates of salty goodness anywhere but above our heads. It was wonderful.

In the afternoon, we met Ty's dad and younger siblings at Lincoln Park. We quickly jaunted through the conservatory before heading into the zoo itself. As night fell, the park became an illuminated wonderland. Trees were outlined with thousands upon thousands of little colored bulbs, and Ty and I squinted at the enclosures, just barely outlining the humps of a camel, the legs of an ostrich.

Chicago has been on my mind quite a bit, as of late. Finishing Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City just before our trip put me in a "Chicago mood" as well. I wish I could explain how, and why, it is so easy to fall in love with Chicago. (Even when you miss two Metra trains in a row and end up staying in the city three hours longer than you expected.) For now, I leave you with the words of Larson himself:

" … I knew little about [Chicago] until I began work on [The Devil in the White City]. Place has always been important to me, and one thing today's Chicago exudes, as it did in 1893, is a sense of place. I feel in love with the city, the people I encountered, and above all the lake and its moods, which shift so readily from season to season, day to day, even hour to hour. I must confess a shameful secret: I love Chicago best in the cold." [1]















































[1] Larson, Erik. The Devil in the White City. New York: Random House, 2003. Print. Page 432.

8 comments:

  1. I love how u frame your shots!. OMG the first one has such clean lines... The inside mall shots as well as the out of focus lights are amazing!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! I've been on a bit of a bokeh kick lately, with all of the holiday lights up! I'm going to miss all of the decorations when they come down next month. :)

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  2. Christkindlmarket!!! I am so sad I didn't get to go this year! I was ridiculously busy my last week before I flew back home, so didn't have any time to stop by. It's funny because I remember last year chicago was SO MUCH COLDER. This year has been pretty alright. I don't have too many holiday plans other than hang with friends and family. I'll be going up to NYC next weekend before flying back to Chicago hhahahaa. I'm basking in my time away from the city (as much as I love it...Chicago = school for me). Also, if you drop by in January or February, we should head down to the Art Institute! I have a members pass now and I can bring a guest for free!

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  3. You're the best photographer I know.

    Uncustomary Art.

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  4. Wow! Your photos are so beautiful! What a gorgeous area too. So festive.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Wow! Chicago is beautiful during this time of year! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!! and I hope you have a very happy New Year!!

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  6. Whoa, such a beautiful bokeh, this portrayed xmas so well :D

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    1. Thank you! The holiday season is definitely the best time for bokeh! :) Thanks for taking a look and for commenting!

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