I think it’s the best mirror-wall in the city. I’ve written enthusiastically before about the Trump Tower. Now I see another aesthetic reason to like the building.
I fear, though, that its mirror-cladding poses a new threat to birds. Our newest glass skyscrapers are so mirage-like that many birds probably die flying into them. If this is something you know about, will you let me know?
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Families roll out of bed on Saturday and head for the farmers’ market in Lincoln Park. The kids run while parents buy produce and pick up a plein air breakfast to eat on the lawn. It’s about as low-key as city life gets. I like the communal look of so many people quietly eating at once.
Three poles carrying a bit of everything communicate with a neighboring wall. Much care has gone in to maintaining all these wires and the wall, with its band of red and conscientious tuckpointing.
The suburbs sustain their own landscape aesthetic, different from that of the city or country. Whenever I visit my brother, who lives in a sweet subdivision in Palatine, I realize how much I crave those expanses of lawn and the calming sight of manicured bushes and sheltering trees. Like many city-dwellers, I grew up in the suburbs, a habitat I nostalgically associate with order and peace.
Our apartment is old-fashioned, with a kitchen that’s not eat-in but only for cooking, a too-big dining room, a butler’s pantry (where a butler is supposed to be plating our food), and a cozier ‘breakfast room,’ where we end up eating most of our meals.
The table in the breakfast room is beat-up and small. Its surface is chipped, and its chairs bear the chew marks from when our late dog Barkley, a Chesapeake Retriever, was a puppy. When it’s set for four, the place-mats touch. For all these reasons, it’s the place we prefer to dine in with our friends.
Night never really sets in thoroughly in Chicago. We get closest to dark in summer, when the trees’ shadows leaf into a canopy, blocking out some of the streetlights’ glare. The lights are overly bright, to the point of making it hard to sleep.
How would we be affected were the city naturally dark at night? If the streetlights were fewer or more puny? For stay-at-home types, it would be quieter, more soothing; for live wires, much more an adventure to be out on the town.
A rooftop shows the work of generations, its flaking chimney, paint-spattered shingles, and ancient tar-paper overlaid with present-day graffiti, satellite dishes, and solar panels.