My husband and I went to Washington DC over the weekend to celebrate my sister-in-law’s sixtieth birthday. Our flight out of Chicago departed in the afternoon. Fine visibility. The plane flew right over the city, giving me the clearest aerial view ever of the neighborhood I call home! This picture gives a “bird’s eye view” of many of the places described in my posts.
To the left just above the engine is the North Pond, with North Lakeview and Cannon Drive slanting up along the other side. At the foot of the Pond is the Nature Museum, where the winter farmers’ market is held. The next body of water to the right is Diversey Harbor, its slips (and the ones in Belmont Harbor to the north) now devoid of boats. The Fullerton Bridge runs across the foot of Diversey Harbor, and below that is the Lincoln Park Lagoon. (Unfortunately, the plane’s engine is obscuring the conservatory and zoo.)
Above Diversey Harbor is the driving range. Snaking up along the harbor, and threading its way north through the park is Lake Shore Drive, the scenic road that is also a vital traffic artery. Protruding far out into the water is the curvy hook of Montrose Harbor, with the vast beach on its north side terminating in a spiral jetty. The bird sanctuary known as the Magic Hedge lies at the extremity of the park, occupying the tip of the promontory. Just below Montrose Harbor is Recreation Drive, with its clock tower, nine-hole golf course, and baseball fields.
In recent years, the concrete embankments that fortify the lakefront have all been replaced. Their yellow cords stand out against the lake’s aqua clearly. Residential hi-rises crowd the edge of the park, delineating the course of Sheridan Road and the inner Drive.
Chicago’s lakefront is the fruit of public investment over many decades. It’s still being improved, and the future will bring more changes still, judging from the ambitious blueprints now being drawn.