Lake Shore Drive

At 5 pm

At 5 pm

Commuters on the bus regard others enjoying the unfettered pleasures of being at the beach at the end of the day.  I look out at the passing scene through the bus window.  Being liberated from work is itself a pleasure, compounded by the pleasure of watching other people enjoying the day.

I think of how only the glass of the window separates me from the bathers, as we fly by on the bus, looking at the seascape just beyond the concrete median.  Yes, only the glass—our attire—the median—the speeding bus—and the destinations we travel toward—separate us from the joy of being at the beach at the end of the day, a humid weekday that’s perfectly draining, that’s made for wasting and whiling away.

Recreation Drive

The exit sign for Recreation Drive in Chicago

Sometimes the only thing separating a jaded Chicagoan from nirvana is a rusty guardrail.

How many times had I looked at this sign without seeing?  Finally, one fateful day, responding to its call, I discovered the glories of Waveland Park, which lies at the end of Recreation Drive.

This large old lakeside park boasts tennis courts, playing fields for baseball and soccer, a nine-hole golf course, access to Belmont Harbor, picnic areas, magnificent lake and city views, and a bird sanctuary.  The lakefront bike and running trail More

In Praise of the Drive

Along the Drive, © 2012 Celia Her CityIt’s all too easy to grow blasé about the city.  I live in a congested neighborhood, where any drive or commute can turn into a hassle; and, all too often, I start out on it stressed out or weary.

Regardless of my mood, I can never be entirely blasé when I’m on Lake Shore Drive.  Not only is it fun if you’re behind the wheel, but everything you see is absolutely beautiful: the architecture, the Lake itself, the parks and landscaping.  The Drive has a zillion moods and zones, and let’s not forget the people-watching. . . . The Drive is like a beautiful necklace adorning our city.

This panorama shows the path that the Drive follows on the near north side, as it threads along the Gold Coast, with the beach on one side.

Click image to enlarge.

The Other Side of the Drive

The Lincoln Park Lagoon (Credit: Celia Her City)On one side of Lake Shore Drive is Lake Michigan; on the other, for a while, is the Lincoln Park Lagoon.  As motorists whiz along the Drive in their morning commute, the Lagoon remains a reservoir of calm.  Fishermen cast their lines into the water as they have for hundreds of years, cyclists pedal past slowly to check on the fishing, and trees reflect their splendor into its still pool.

Click to enlarge.