The expansive grid of warehouses and industrial facilities in what was once Chicago’s meatpacking district have an eerie, cyberpunky regularity. An aggressive teal/magenta color grading maxes out the Matrix/Tron vibes.
The steady, even grid of Chicago and its suburbs terminates into chaotic reality when it hits the shore of Lake Michigan, but hey—at least there’s a beach.
Runways on runways on runways, with the Rayleigh-scattering-induced silhouette of the Chicago skyline in the distance, on this summer morning over O’Hare International Airport.
Sections of Chicago’s hinterlands that were once stockyards and meatpacking facilities have long since been converted to serve as industrial parks, but the sense of an endless grid remains.
This week’s theme on Decaseconds is apparently athletic fields. In the suburban Chicago grid, little park oases like these are a delightful break from the monotony.
Chicagoland’s nearly 2D topography and nineteenth-century population boom conspired to make for a remarkably uniform grid of structures and roads. Even the water that might “go rogue” in another setting is often confined to the grid.
Where Illinois meets Lake Michigan, a sunny winter afternoon makes a natural instance of the “classic” orange and teal look.
An early-evening flight into Chicago puts the setting sun behind the skyline along Lake Michigan, reflecting silhouettes from the placid surface.
The grayness of Chicago-area sprawl takes on a golden hue at sunset.
At the dawn of aviation, flight was magical. Then, it became routine. Now, after months in lockdown, a view above the clouds once again feels pretty special.
Rainy nights on the interstates are threatening, and few sights represent that better than the aligned brake lights of 18-wheelers, glaring out between the raindrops.
Everything is parked, arrayed, and prepared in precisely the right position for maximum efficiency. This might not really be the case, but when I stare through the airport glass, I see a ballet of criss-crossing tools and machines harnessed for travel.
I’ve always abhorred airports. Actual air travel, if dull, is typically calm and uneventful. Airports are Purgatory-on-Earth where stressed travelers worry and fuss and cope with the imminent delay and cancellation of their flights.
Still, if I have to spend time in an airport, Chicago’s Midway is probably my favorite. It has by far and away the best selection of overpriced food (Potbelly’s sandwiches! Pegasus gyros!) and an at least tolerable amount of seating. In its own way, Midway is not entirely un-beautiful.