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