City, Wind


I think I mentioned wind yesterday. And all night and today, more of the same. I took Dad out for our customary trip down to the Dairy Queen at Irving Park Road and Central Avenue. Our mission: two chocolate malteds. On the way, we saw a couple of places where treetops had snapped off or large boughs had fallen into the street. It really was windy.

Searching for visual evidence, and trying to move my legs a little, I walked out to Loyola Park, on the lake about a mile and a half east of my sister Ann’s place. On the MIchigan and Indiana shores, the lake might have been putting on a show. Here, with the wind blowing straight out across the shoreline, the water was flat.

But on the walk over there, gusts ripped through the trees, thrashing them. The maples especially–the undersides of their leaves are nearly white–looked like they’ve been turned inside out. Still, it was a warm wind, a summer wind, and everything’s green as midsummer. In a matter of weeks, though, many of those leaves will scatter.



When the wind at O’Hare’s from a western quarter–a common occurrence–flights often overfly the North Side or northern suburbs, then loop out over Lake Michigan and circle back to land into the wind. I’ve experienced that approach many times, and typically, it seems the maneuver occurs well up the lakeshore, well north of downtown. Today I was sitting on the north side of the plane as we crossed the city, and I could clearly see the Edgewater neighborhood and other landmarks of the North Side shoreline. But it felt like we must be well north of downtown. Then we flew out over the lake, turning north. Looking back, I could see we were actually south of the Hancock Building (it’s the tall black building toward the right edge of the forest of towers here), meaning that we must have flown right over downtown, maybe even over the southern half of the Loop, before reaching the lake. I took the picture as we completed our turn back west, and we were already well north of downtown. It was one of the best views of the city center I’ve ever gotten.