Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Monday, July 22

Gapers Block

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Michael / June 2, 2005 9:03 AM

Any place which reminds me that yes, after all, I am in Chicago, a peculiar and singular city, causing me to recognize that I am indeed somewhere and not in any forgetable episode in a series of nowheres.

Roni / June 2, 2005 9:10 AM

My backyard.

Pete / June 2, 2005 9:30 AM

The flower garden in Lincoln Park, just south of the greenhouse. Gorgeous flora, comfy grass and a great view of the Gold Coast.

Lee / June 2, 2005 9:39 AM

Wooded Island behind the Museum of Science and Industry. A close second: Winneconna Parkway, a late 19th century street near 78th and Eggleston that has a lake running though it.

donna / June 2, 2005 10:09 AM

LaSalle and Washington.
I love the view looking south down LaSalle toward the Board of Trade - it's like a canyon.

Carrie / June 2, 2005 10:41 AM

There is this little grassy spot right across from the Sears Tower (on the Jackson side). People go there over lunch and lay down and take naps. I took a nap over there last week. It's the best place to take a safe nap over lunch in downtown Chicago.

FredN. / June 2, 2005 11:03 AM

Shakespeare Garden, on the NU grounds about 100 yards from Sheridan road in Evanston.

Here's a cool pic

Also, the lagoon is an awesome area to picnicabout 5 minutes walking from the Shakespeare Garden, with tons of Koi and direct access to the lake.

Here's some info

daruma / June 2, 2005 11:09 AM

Navy Pier during fireworks show
Halsted St during Market Days

Erica / June 2, 2005 11:13 AM

The southern most tip of North Ave. Beach. It's kinda sandy/kinda grassy. There might be a tree or two. There's a ledge between the beach and the bikepath that I like to sit on and take in the view of Oak Street Beach and the beautiful lakeshore, the skyline and LSD. It's fun to just sit on the ledge and watch summer happen.

The boulevard system, at least around Logan and Kedzie, makes for a nice outdoorsy walk, too. Very grassy and scenic.

Rosseta Stone / June 2, 2005 11:14 AM

Daley plaza just before critical mass.

Michael / June 2, 2005 11:59 AM

With its many trees, winding paths and own lagoon complete with an island, Graceland Cemetery is beautiful and would make a great spot for a picnic, although I'm not sure it that's allowed. Even if it isn't, take a stroll through it on a nice day and see the final resting places of Daniel Burnham, Marshall Field, Philip Armour, the Potters, Henri Louis Sullivan and other Chicago luminaries.

atomly / June 2, 2005 12:03 PM

I've always been a big fan of Tom Ping Park... It's in the middle of the city, but you really can go there and feel like you're completely alone-- an excellent thing every once in a while.

Brenda / June 2, 2005 12:55 PM

The steps outside the planetarium that lead down to the lake, facing north. Especially at night. The lights from the skyscrapers and the various shades of darkness always make me feel like I'm sitting at the bottom of the ocean.

Alice / June 2, 2005 1:02 PM

It used to be Grant Park in the evening during the summer, while sitting on a blanket near the Petrillo band shell, listening to the orchestra.

Carlos / June 2, 2005 1:12 PM

My backyard!

flobear / June 2, 2005 4:05 PM

With running the lakeshore marathon this weekend, I had 2 favorite places, the finish line at The Great Lawn by soldier field :) and also up by Belmont Harbor, the view is pretty, and the path is great up there, not many people out on the grass either.

e_five / June 2, 2005 5:39 PM

Section 126, Row 4, Seat 4 at Wrigley Field. Exactly even with the pitcher's mound on the first base side.

Honorable mentions: Planetarium for the skyline view (especially during winter when all the buildings have their lights on).

Next fuel topic should be best outdoor cafe.

Ellen / June 2, 2005 6:01 PM

North Park Village - I understand it used to be a tuberculosis sanitarium... and it's not just the wooded area I'm fond of, the park itself: Peterson Park.....what a respite.

DebO / June 2, 2005 6:11 PM

I love sitting on those long wood benches in the Lurie Garden (Millennium Park); there's one that faces south which feels particularly secluded. A great place to read and write: quiet (relatively--you still hear the railroad and the buses lumbering down Michigan, but those noises seem muted), birdy, and beautiful.

Annie / June 2, 2005 6:22 PM

The lakefront bike path, early in the morning when there's no one out but other people getting some exercise before work. It's quiet & relaxing & the sun off the lake is just beautiful.

Leelah / June 2, 2005 9:30 PM

The Point.

Emerson Dameron / June 2, 2005 11:15 PM

Foster Beach, if only for memories of the impromptu fireworks display I witnessed there one July 4th, as the big 'uns went off in the background. That, and the lady who does Yoga in the mornings. I always get a contact well-being buzz.

I've only sat by the water in Humboldt Park once, but I loved it. Forgot the rest of the city existed.

Those are my favorites I can visit without trespassing.

curtsy / June 3, 2005 7:15 AM

1. Along the railroad tracks in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor
2. 63rd Street Beach House
3. Picnic table on the side of the Skyway Dog House at the intersection of US 41 & 95th Street
4. Underneath the Red Line in Lakeview
5. Peeble Beach @ 4900 S. LSD
6. Swimming between Promontory Point & the Museum Harbor (5900 S.)
7. The rooftop at my old address at 2111 W. Augusta
8. Northerly Island
9. Wrigley Field (of course)
10.And on inclimate days, Garfield Conservatory

YAJ / June 3, 2005 10:28 AM

A friend of mine who lives in Paris traveled to and photographed all the sites used in the movie Amalie.

I think I need to do that for this amazing list. Thanks for all the great sites and suggestions.

Cinnamon / June 3, 2005 10:33 AM

I like Doggie Beach. Watching unleashed puppies chase each other and eat dead fish when their people aren't looking. I also love the view of the downtown that you first get coming north on the Orange Line. The first time I saw it, it took my breath away and it still gives me this warm-fuzzy "I'm home" feeling.

Otherwise, I'm currently loving my yard.

Andrew / June 3, 2005 11:14 AM

Jen, I love that idea. Please consider submitting it for Detour.

emily / June 3, 2005 12:15 PM

1. My roof.
2. The Northwestern "island" in Evanston.
3. Graceland Cemetery.

curtsy / June 3, 2005 12:20 PM

Just curious, exactly when was Evanston incorporated into the City of Chicago anyways?

Nuxrs / June 3, 2005 1:16 PM

Yes, Leelah! The motherfucking POINT!

sarah / June 3, 2005 2:39 PM

The intersection of Halsted and Chicago Avenue...four corners of perfection!

BAM / June 3, 2005 2:39 PM

The recently spruced up Prairie River in Humboldt Park (thanks Richie!) during the quiet hours around dawn or the view across the big lagoon from Humboldt Blvd bridge looking SE during the 10 minutes before&after sunset. The foreground view almost makes ya forget yer in the big city and you gaze up a bit and wow that skyline is all ablaze in the fading light. Urbs in Horto!

Or my backyard with the smell of hardwood wafting out of the smoker...and then the neighbors start yelling again and I remember where I am.

Mr. Lightning / June 3, 2005 3:06 PM

East River Park.

Where the hell is that? you ask.

Stretching from Argyle to Peterson along the river. Don't take my word for it.

paul / June 3, 2005 9:03 PM

I can't believe this thread ended without anyone mentioning any beer gardens. (Wrigley almost counts.)

shechemist / June 4, 2005 11:50 AM

coming in fantastically late:

1. Dog parks anywhere in the city.

2. The mini stonehedge by the Adler. In fact that was where we had our civil wedding.

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