Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sojourn to the Windy City Day 1 - Sears Tower, Hop on/off Ride & Pizza Heaven - Giordano's

The day started early or rather the previous day did not end. Reached the airport way before time to avoid any delays anticipating the security checks.

 The TSA guy at the airport scared me to death by saying my ID has expired. Turned out that he was reading it wrong. Date format differences between India and US. Worked it out with him and we both had a chuckle over the mix-up.

The first flight of the new day out of Seattle bore us towards our destination, the Windy City of Chicago, things started off on a great note that our flight was well on time in spite of being overbooked and not having enough carrier space. Packing light was a point in our favor. Touchdown in the Windy City at 6:30 AM in the morning, bright eyed, bushy tailed & of course keyed up on coffee...

Freshening ourselves quickly at the O'Hare airport, we started our way towards the first attraction, the eagerly anticipated Sears tower or as it is officially know the Willis Towers. The locals hate the official name though, the reasons were not clear, but they absolutely refuse to call it anything other than the Sears tower or the sky deck.

Sky Deck: 1450 feet high, 110 stories tall. The Sears Tower Sky Deck is a surreal experience. While the panoramic views from the top is mind blowing, the glass encased Ledge sky decks jutting out of the 103rd floor makes it a mind numbing experience.

The shiver of dread tingling down your spine the first time you take a step on the ledge and then look down just cannot be described. You have to be there and experience it to know what I am saying. I am not a person scared of heights and everybody around me would acknowledge that my recklessness in face of danger is almost legendary. But taking that step over the ledge was a pivotal moment of my life. Its a feeling that I will never ever forget in my life. Repeat maybe but forget no.....

That could be you hanging off the 104th floor approximately 1398 ft in air with only a glass box between you and the long drop...

Hop-On/Hop-Off Ride: The best way to see the hot spots in the downtown part of the city and also familiarize yourself with the route and the different ways to reach the various attractions. The added bonus for hop on/off is that you can use these buses to travel between the various attractions as well. The tickets are valid of 24 hours and can be extended for 48 hours for an additional $5 - money well spent IMO.

Some pics taken while travelling on the bus. You can see some of the best views of the Chicago skyline from this bus.

While the building is a great architectural eye catcher the man whose name it bears is unfortunately not..... The third tallest building in Chicago is the Trump tower. That includes the antenna at the top which is purely to increase the height of the building and has no structural use at all....

The Gateway to Chicago Guardians - The Archer and The Spearman

Our hop on/off guide Joshua - He was entertaining as well as informative. The tour was a great experience due to him!!!

The Millennium Fountain built to commemorate the turn of the Millennium - Opened Circa. 2004

Giordano's Pizza: Chicago is known for its food, no visit to Chicago is complete without visiting Giordano's the home of the signature Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza Pie. When they say pie - they mean pie. Just find the nearest Giordano's and dig in... Enough said!!!!

To be continued... in Part II

Movie Trailer: Project Marathwada & Shorgul

Saw these trailers on YouTube today. Linking them for those interested.
Talks about farmer deaths and the hopelessness that surrounds the life of farmers in India. It makes me mad that we pride ourselves as human beings when we don't have even the smallest of empathy for our fellow man's suffering. He who puts food on our table starves to death under tremendous burdens and we don't even care an iota for him or his family. Nobody strives or fights for him because he's not a valuable vote bank. He does not bring much into the equation except for being the provider of food so lets push him to the bottom of the pile. Om Puri looks perfectly cast a miserable farmer wanting to get some attention to the lost cause of the farmers from the drought affected areas.

The pursuit of money has changed us, made us unfeeling & corrupt as humans, That is the sad truth of being human today.

This is another trailer that caught my attention. This movie deals with the current religious polarization; happening slowly but steadily in India. Emotional quotient runs high in this one. The star cast looks perfect, Ashutosh Rana for a change looks to be a cohesive factor rather than a divisive one. It's gonna be out soon, hope this one does well in all the stardom obsessed movies releasing now a days in India banking on stars rather than content.