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New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Sears (Willis) Tower is 283 Barack Obamas Tall

I'm getting hungry just looking at this again...

A view of Chicago's streets with the Sears (Willis) Tower

July 2

We met up with Kathy, Jess' cousin, who used to live with Jess growing up in Central New York. She put in a reservation for our group and we went across the street to Bloomingdale's to wait for our party to be called in - it was a busy Friday night at Pizzeria Due.

Pizzeria Due, I've been told, was started by the same people who own the rights to Pizzeria Uno. Located at 619 N. Wabash Ave (phone#: 312-943-2400), they are actually right down the street from the original Pizzeria Uno. The second pizzeria was started as a place for the local residents to go, while Uno's was more of a tourist attraction.

I've also been told that you'll find some food items at that nearby Uno's that you won't actually find at the chain locations since the franchise owners mainly buy the name and not the recipes. I can't speak for Uno's, but Due's was very good!

The deep dish - of course we got a deep dish - was impressive. Huge would be the word I would use, actually. There were huge chunks of sausage and peppers and the tomato sauce was great (this coming from someone who grew up in an Italian/Sicilian household).

Just one slice and salad filled me up.

Adam then convinced me to go up the Sears Tower, now called the Willis Tower since the majority of the building is used by the company now.

I was hesitant because I was still tired from driving and the long day the day before, but I realized it was a good day to go up 1,451 feet - there was not a cloud in the sky and the view would be great.

So, Jess' cousins were nice enough to drop us off in front of the building and we went inside. Surprisingly, for a clear Friday evening, there was not a very large line. We maybe waited a total of 20 minutes when they are obviously prepared - with interactive exhibits - for an hours-long wait.
Did you know that the tower is 262 Micheal Jordans tall, or 283 Barack Obamas?

Completed in 1974, it was the tallest building in the world for about 25 years.

I really enjoyed looking at Chicago's architecture - both on street level and from 108-stories up. It's old yet modern. There was glass, steal, wood, and stone - sometimes all used for the same building. And they have a lot of detail.

There was a large stone building in front of the Art Institute with just countless windows, and a honeycomb-shaped parking garage - though the cars looked like they would fall into the Chicago River.

With such a flat area surrounding the city, these buildings are some of the tallest things - manmade or natural - in the region. There are no foothills of the Adirondacks here, or Catskill Mountains, or Berkshires or Green Mountains. Nothing of the sort for the buildings to compete with.

It made me wonder what makes men want to build the tallest things and why do we want to climb them? Why do we want to see the biggest, the tallest, fattest, oldest first things?

Americana meets modern....I guess it's these curiosities that drive the desire for road trips like mine.

Quote of the day: "New Yooork" - a guy who let us merge in with him outside Chicago


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