Chicago, Illinois, is one of those places you can never get enough of. In 2001, though, it was not the Chicago of today. Marshall Field’s was still its own breed of department stores, maintaining the senior Field’s vision of having a mini bazaar in the middle of Chicago. Lace from Ireland, Silver from France, and clothing tailored in London, Paris, and New York City was displayed for sale on the many floors of Marshall Field’s, which took up and entire city block and went eleven floors above State Street. Home furnishings, lavish walnut paneled restaurants, fountains, and decadent candy stores made shopping here an all day event. Grant Park was still working on its final Frank Gehry redesign. Trader Vic’s was serving south Pacific dishes in the basement of the Palmer House Hilton. For Kyle and I, this was a day of exploration, which involved the two of us getting lost. This was the only time we explored a city without a map.
No matter how early I woke up, Kyle was always awake and ready to go before me. He scooted out of the hotel around 8 a.m. to explore Chicago on his own. I was going to spend some of the day with my friend Chris, who would take me all over the city on a photograph safari, but before I could leave, I had to get my clothes out of the dryer, which meant I didn’t get out of the hotel until 10:30 a.m.
Leaving Clyde, Ohio, was a bittersweet. Although the town was clearly on the decline, there was something very likable, very American about it. The sky was overcast until 9 a.m. when the clouds dissipated, freeing the sun from any obstruction for the rest of the day.