do a Janet Frame again this afternoon. Nik Wallenda has been tightrope walking across the Chicago River and between the two corn-cob towers of the Marina Center, uphill and then blindfolded, and honestly, I really only tuned in so that I could see those familiar buildings again, and not because I wanted any drama.
The buildings themselves are dramatic enough. So are New York's, but I like Chicago's better because there are fewer of them, and whereas the iconic NYC buildings that I recognise seem comparatively few amongst all the rest of that forest of glass and stone towers, in Chicago I feel that I have more of a handle on them, and can use them as signposts to find my way around. It gives me a connection with the city that I don't have in New York, exciting and spectacular as it is.
chopper ride over Long Island during our brief visit there recently really brought it home to me how densely built-up it is: all concrete canyons, the cliché as true as any other. It's pretty intimidating. But Chicago? It's user-friendly, approachable, its skyscrapers interspersed with people-sized buildings. Even Lincoln Park is more appealing to me than Central Park: smaller, more accessible, safer-seeming, but still with surprises to discover and room to relax in. It's just a shame its rhinos are so snooty.