A lot of the trip focused on the city’s food and drink scene, which I was more than happy to photograph and try. We drank at an authentic 20s-era speakeasy where the menu is on playing cards, at another where you need to have the password to get in (seriously), ate in a private dining room while a magician did tricks over dinner as part of an awesome supper club experience, in a brewpub that had a Michelin star, and, of course, tried a slice of gooey deep dish pizza pie.
Lucy is the best kind of company; funny, sharp and easy going. She is also insanely stylish. I kept telling her she needs to document her gorgeous creative outfits.
On our first day, we got lucky with the weather and strolled in the sunshine along the lovely Riverwalk, craning our necks to take in architectural masterpieces like the Wrigley Building and Marina City, standing so regal, so baldly ambitious. Having left the charming, crumbling, pastel buildings of Lisbon just hours earlier, the scale of the city and its gleaming, towering buildings floored me.
I dragged myself out bed at dawn (and with beds as comfy as the ones at The Viceroy, The Gwen and The Ace that was hard to do!) on more than a few occasions to document Chicago in its sleepy, morning state; walking past joggers bathed in that beautiful morning light, I made my way to probably Chicago’s most photographed attraction, the Cloud Gate sculpture (aka The Bean), in an effort to get a few shots of it solo.
Of course there were other people there, but we all stayed out of each other’s way, enjoying the indulgence of being able to see it without having to jostle or strain our necks. It’s both easy and hard to shoot – easy because every angle throws up a different delight, a different reflection. Hard because you know it has been documented thousands of times, using every trick in the book, every lens, at every time of day. How could you possibly hope to get something different? I never get tired of sunrise shoots though, and had lots of fun taking literally dozens of photos.
It was a whirlwind trip, and definitely left me wanting to go back for another visit. If you’re looking for some great tips and recommendations, you can read Lucy’s wonderful piece online here.