My time in Chicago was rapidly dwindling, we really didn’t stay long. A lot of the group agreed later that we would have liked another full day at least in the city.
I had given myself a list of three things to do before we left at midday.
1. Step out on the SkyDeck
2. Get a picture of another The Untouchables location
3. Buy a road atlas
Let’s deal with them in reverse order:
The road atlas was so that I could follow our progress across the country. Although Amtrak provide timetables on the train, it’s not possible to actually see where you are. I like to know where I am. So the road atlas was very useful for the remainder of the trip. I bought it in a bookstore called BAM Books A Million.
Across the street from BAM there was a protest by striking teachers. The protest was being held in front of the Chicago Public School building. Here is the BBC Website report about the end of the strike.
Chicago is the backdrop to a lot of films, more than I know and I probably walked passed buildings or shops featured in famous scenes without knowing it. In the short time I had been in Chicago I had walked over the Michigan Avenue Bridge a few times and didn’t know I was walking over a film location.
Under the bridge is pedestrian walkway that was the location for the first meeting of the characters played by Kevin Costner & Sean Connery in The Untouchables. It’s been a while since I saw the film (I bought it on my return to the UK) but various sources on the internet confirm it’s the right place.
A location that I was fairly sure about but had to Google to check how many films where shot there, was La Salle Street. It has seen filming from Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Ferris Bueller & even Transformers.
If you remember The Dark Knight, there is a scene where a Memorial is taking place and Lt Gordon (Gary Oldman) takes a bullet. Well that was filmed in La Salle Street
Here’s my picture.Here’s a screen capture that I borrowed from Fong Songs (via)
It shows The Untouchables & The Dark Knight.…and later in The Dark Knight this happens in the street.
I think if you had access to a list of the films filmed here, and a portable DVD player, you could have a great day just checking out the scenery.
My awareness of the SkyDeck at Sears Tower (I know it’s the Willis Tower now but everyone referred to it as Sears Tower), was nil until a programme by Scottish comedian Billy Connolly. He drove Route 66, which starts in Chicago, he went to the SkyDeck and stepped out into one of the boxes which jut out from the 103rd floor. Once I saw it, I knew I had to go.
With a bit of planning ahead I had bought my ticket the day before, and got to the Tower for the 9am opening. This meant that although there was a small queue, as I already had a ticket I would be one of the first to get into the boxes.
I got to the edge, hesitated for a moment and then stepped out, and boy was it a weird feeling.
Seeing the reactions people were having was worth the entrance fee, there were grown men crawling into the boxes or refusing point blank to go in.