WPC: A Mississippi Delta in the Midwest

“It is wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago”― Dan C. Quayle

Chicago River Walk.  Shot with a Samsung Galaxy S7.

You may be asking: how can Chicago be a delta?–  It’s not “an area of low land along the Mississippi River.”  It’s nowhere near the Mississippi.  But, in fact, it is.

Chicago was built at the confluence of two rivers–the mighty Mississippi and the Chicago River, which empties into Lake Michigan.  Water surrounds the city and winds through it.   A series of bridges connect streets running north and south.   No wonder why this city is called America’s Venice.  In this first photo, you can see the State Street Bridge directly in front of us.

“Let me tell your something. I’m from Chicago. I don’t break.”~Barack Obama

Esplanade Walk, Chicago. Shot with a Samsung Galaxy S7.

Chicago is a contradiction.  There’s too much crime, too much racial tension, but at the same time, it’s startlingly beautiful.

On a recent trip, we walked along a riverfront esplanade that parallels the Chicago River through the heart of the Loop–or downtown area.  In this photo, you can see a stunning architectural feature on this skyscraper–a mirrored arch that reflects the water.

“I think that’s how Chicago got started. A bunch of people in New York said, “Gee, I’m enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn’t cold enough. Let’s go west.”- – – Richard Jeni

Lake Michigan beachfront. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Chicago winters are notorious, but their summers are remarkable.  From the heart of the city, you are within walking distance of miles of prime beachfront along Lake Michigan.  In this shot, you can see the beach on a summer weekend.

“One of the hallmarks of Chicago is that we do so many things in an original manner. What other city has made a river flow backwards? What other city makes traffic flow backwards?”~ Mike Royko

Chicago Skyline from the Trump Tower. Shot with a Canon 60D by Alex Moed.

In a remarkable engineering feat, a system of canal locks was built in the 1900 that reverses the flow of the Chicago River by taking water from Lake Michigan and releasing it into the Mississippi. In this last shot taken by our son, Alex, you can see Lake Michigan in the distance connecting into the Chicago River.  In 1999, the American Society of Civil Engineers declared this system a ‘Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium.’

So, have I convinced you that Chicago is another Mississippi delta in the Midwest?

Have a wonderful and inspiring first week in July!

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20 replies »

  1. Hi, Sally. It’s wonderful to hear from you! So glad you like the b & w. The round Goldberg building is eye-catching, isn’t it? I know one person who lives there. I can’t imagine an apartment with so many rounded edges! Hope you get to go there again soon.

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    • Thanks, Gwyn! The Chicago architecture is magnificent. If you have a chance to come during Open House Chicago, you get an insider view of some great places that are normally not open to the public.

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  2. I’ve always wanted to see the windy city. Minus the wind, of course! 🙂 🙂 I love that image where you can see the lake shore from the centre of town. Magnificent! It’s raining cats and dogs here, with a liberal dose of thunder and lightning. 😦

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    • Hi, Amy. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! We went up to the bar at the Trump in Chicago a few years back and the view is spectacular. He does know how to pick real estate. I’ll give him that! 🙂

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  3. Wonderful city images, Patti. What a great place to explore architecture. Have you done the architectural boat ride and walking tours? Excellent. All terrific and I especially love your B&W and the last shot is a stunner. Also, the famous Dan Quayle quote made me laugh.

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    • I’m so glad you liked the shots and the quote, Jane! I was wondering if anyone was going to comment on that classic Quayle flub. 🙂 We have done many of the architectural tours and really enjoyed them. Have you been to Open House Chicago in the fall? It’s terrific. You get into places that are normally closed to the public. And if you join the Chicago Architecture Society you get to go first into these places; the general public has to wait on long lines. It’s a lot of fun.

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