Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Sunday, 29 August 2010

View From Joliet


We're camped out at the Empress Casino in Joliet, Illinois. Friday night we went in to buy a drink and look over the casino.

The bar has an electronic poker machine on the tabletop. You don't put in coins anymore. Now you insert paper money or your credit card. It's stunning to think I could set there and lose $30,000 or whatever my remaining credit limit might be.

The last time I remember gambling was 1966 in Okinawa. The club had some slots. I dropped in two quarters and lost both times, which put me off gambling. In 1980 I used Excel to generate six random numbers and bought a dollar lottery ticket and also lost. This time I lost two dollar bills. I played for a quarter a hand. Twice I could have won three quarters on three of a kind, but I pushed the wrong buttons and hit "deal" instead of "hold" and lost one of my trips in error.

Joliet is depressing. The old prison is famous. You might remember "Joliet" Jake Blues, Elwood Blue's brother. The little city is dirty and poor, but convenient for our runs into Chicago on the Rock Island Line.
Down the rock island line is a might good road
Oh the rock island line is the road to ride
The rock island line is a mighty good road
Well if you want to ride you gotta ride it like you find it
Get your ticket at the station of the rock island line

This is the Hancock Building.

The run into Chicago is an hour and twenty minutes. We pay seven dollars each for a weekend pass...all you can ride...

I left the camera memory card in the computer again, so we head for the John Hancock tower and pick up another 4 gig card in Best Buy...

We get another weekend pass on the double decker tourist bus and spend the day hopping on and off. The old Sears Tower is now the tallest building in this hemisphere. It's the Willis Tower now. A small English Insurance firm leased three floor last year and bought the naming rights.

Chicago has spectacular architecture. We spend Saturday snapping pictures and visit the Art Museum. It's ok...lots of Gaugins, Monets, etc....I think we liked the ones in St. Louis and Kansas City more...

This is Marina City, which the locals call the "Corncob" buildings. Bob Newhart lived here in the old Bob Newhart show.

We ended the day with a couple of drinks in the "Signature" room of the John Hancock building on the 96th floor....I kept looking for airplanes, but nothing happened...

We love this thing. It's in Millenium Park and it's called "The Bean". It's designed to give a panoramic view of downtown.

This structure is the bandstand in Millenium Park.