City Inspirations: Chicago In December

Chicago In December

Chicago in December. A visual, festive delight. Returning for the 12th month to complete my New Year’s commitment of arriving by train to this great city in search of inspiration, I excitedly began my walking journey. Inspiration and appreciation of the gift of a stellar city, indeed. And appreciate, I do. Monthly. Yes, for an entire year I have arrived to the city streets to seek inspiration and appreciation of the gift of a city that is so accessible by train and available for all that venture within its city streets. The beauty of architecture and the details that embellish the structures that surround, the seasonal transformation of fashionable “windows” and the energy of a city. Paramount. And of the windows that declared the arrival of the Holidays? A festive and inspiring visual delight for those of us that pause to appreciate the artistry presented

On this particular day in December, bright sunshine filtered through the clouds, spilling onto the city streets. Alas, the sunshine was met with the chilling Winter winds that Chicago is known for. It is expected for those of us accustomed to the seasons in this city by Lake Michigan. Signs that warned of “Falling Ice” caused caution to passerby’s below. A sign of Winter in Chicago, indeed. While weathering the change, holding to the layers of warmth of protection, the visual sight of chunks of frozen ice floating over the Chicago River verified Winter’s arrival. The seasons have changed. Recollections of the tour boats of warm weather delight filled my thoughts. And of the icy world below me from the bridge? I pondered in amazement at the pattern of ice that became a frozen puzzle through my lens. Nature is truly beautiful…

The Chicago River:  December's Icy Vision
The Chicago River: December’s Icy Vision
North Michigan Avenue:  Approaching Chicago's "Magnificent Mile"
North Michigan Avenue: Approaching Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile”

Crossing over the Chicago River, the Magnificent Mile awaited. The streets, as in the “Loop” , were decked with Holiday cheer and festive embellishments of red and green. Vividly declaring the arrival of Christmas. The buildings and awnings layered in snow added to the perfection of the Holiday season. The bustling of shoppers lined the streets and the sound of paper shopping bags, holding treasures of giving, rustled as the crowds grew tighter together. Bright colored packages were amassed amongst the moving crowds. The Holiday season of giving had arrived…

Perhaps, as the end of the year is approaching, it is the perfect moment to focus my lens on poignant visual city scenes. Buildings of prominence that line the grand shopping street of North Michigan Avenue. Distinctive Holiday embellishments decorating the striking architectural forms. Alas, “Dressed for the Holidays”

Chicago Architecture:  Embellished For The Holidays
Chicago Architecture: Embellished For The Holidays
Luxury & Distinction Paired With Holiday Adornment
Luxury & Distinction Paired With Holiday Adornment

Of course, if one is to travel into Chicago in December, a visit to the Daley Center’s open-air Christkindlmarket in the Chicago Loop is a destination and haven for Holiday shoppers. Set up as a European village in Winter, the German market delights with colorful visuals and delicious aromas of European culinary treats. Seasonal delight and charm among the towering buildings of the corporate world, for certain…

The Daley Center's "Christkindlmarket"/Chicago Loop
The Daley Center’s “Christkindlmarket”/Chicago Loop

As I walked the streets of the city that were suddenly “dressed for the Holidays”, I could not help but recollect the monthly jaunts I have experienced. Month by month. A changing city and a city that monthly changed me. Perhaps what this great city has provided me is continual gratitude for what is beautiful, what is inspiring and what surrounds. Life is beautiful. And December in Chicago is certainly that. No matter the chill or the winds that face one, the joy of being within the jeweled city of Chicago, or any city for that matter, is a gift. Even upon departing on my journey, my eyes were drawn to appreciate the clock in the Ogilvie Train Station. There is always something to appreciate. It is a matter of pausing and focussing on the details that surround. And December in Chicago? Brilliant and bright, bedecked and glistening. I am inspired, indeed…

Kristin

Ogilvie Train Station, Chicago
Ogilvie Train Station, Chicago
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