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My Green Chicago Trip, Part 2: Transportation & Sightseeing

Posted By Beth Terry On August 7, 2009 @ 1:59 pm In BlogHer,travel and transportation | 11 Comments

Chicago is one of the best cities to see without a car! And boy, did I see a lot. I won’t bore you with all my trip photos in this post. Here’s a link to my Chicago vacation photos on Flickr [1], for those who are interested. I’ll just give you a glimpse of the car-free fun I had. Click on any photo to see the larger version.

My feet are my favorite mode of transit. Sunday evening, after I checked into the hostel [2], they took me around the neighborhood and over to Buckingham Fountain [3] to see some wonderous sights in the dark:

Chicago 2009-07 [4]

Chicago 2009-07 [5]

Monday morning, I met up with a Fake Plastic Fish reader: the one and only Clif Brown, he of the awesome [6], thought-provoking [7] comments [8]. Clif lives nearby and made an excellent tour guide for our hours-long walk…

Chicago 2009-07 [9]

through downtown…

Chicago 2009-07 [10]

Chicago 2009-07 [11]

Chicago 2009-07 [12]

Chicago 2009-07 [13]

Millenium Park…

Chicago 2009-07 [14]

Chicago 2009-07 [15]

Chicago 2009-07 [16]

Chicago 2009-07 [17]

Chicago 2009-07 [18]

Chicago 2009-07 [19]

and along Lake Michigan…

Chicago 2009-07 [20]

where we had zero-waste ice cream cones and chatted with a few ducks. How fortunate I am to be able to spend a simple day on foot enjoying gorgeous architecture, a big sky, and great conversations with a new/old friend.

Monday evening, I hooked up with a group from the hostel who were going to a neighborhood bar to listen to music. Did we take a cab or tour bus? No way, man! Only public transit for us!

Chicago 2009-07 [21]

The music was not great, but I didn’t care. It was all about the people: an English teacher from Germany, a blogger from North Carolina (?), a woman from Australia who is as passionate about the environment as I and who told me I was the first person she’d met in America who cared about waste and who also carried her own utensils and cup. As it turned out, we also share a favorite band (The Cat Empire [22]). I wish I had felt grounded enough to make these kinds of connections with strangers at Blogher.

Tuesday morning, I arose early for a bicycle tour with Bobby’s Bike Hike [23]. Chicago is flat and eminently bikeable. What a fun way to see more of the city!

Chicago 2009-07 [24]

Chicago 2009-07 [25]

There’s that big blue sky again.

Chicago 2009-07 [26]

I spent the rest of the day on Tuesday walking around the city by myself and braving the Sears Willis Tower “Ledge.”

Chicago 2009-07 [27]

Chicago 2009-07 [28]

I got through this part without fainting, so I think I win. (Yes, it’s a real tattoo on my foot, in case you were going to ask.)

Chicago 2009-07 [29]

Wednesday morning came too soon. I could have stayed many more days. I’d have loved to have toured the Museum of Science and Industry’s Smart Home [30]. And too bad I didn’t have time to drop in and say hi to my friend Oprah. But there’s just not enough time to do everything, is there?

I rode back to Midway Airport the same way I had arrived, on the Orange Line “L” Train [31].

Chicago 2009-07 [32]

Chicago 2009-07 [33]

Do all of these measures (walking, biking, taking public transit, reducing my waste) make up for the massive amount of emissions from flying to and from Chicago in the first place? No, of course not. I did carbon offset my flight miles. But why add emissions from driving cars to my carbon footprint when it’s so enjoyable to go slow and enjoy the view and fresh air from outside a motor car?

Article printed from My Plastic-free Life: http://myplasticfreelife.com

URL to article: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2009/08/my-green-chicago-trip-part-2/

URLs in this post:

[1] Chicago vacation photos on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/sets/72157621839084949/

[2] hostel: http://www.hichicago.org/

[3] Buckingham Fountain: http://www.cpdit01.com/resources/buckingham_fountain.cfm

[4] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795008543/

[5] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795832354/

[6] awesome: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2009/04/do-you-know-your-lifes-purpose/comment-page-1/#comment-5816

[7] thought-provoking: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2009/02/i-believe/comment-page-1/#comment-4798

[8] comments: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2008/11/focus-on-fake/comment-page-1/#comment-4039

[9] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795076349/

[10] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3794987413/

[11] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795113561/

[12] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795848552/

[13] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795854066/

[14] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795038233/

[15] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795036391/

[16] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795874470/

[17] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795883862/

[18] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795069909/

[19] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795072517/

[20] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795082059/

[21] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795905732/

[22] The Cat Empire: http://thecatempire.com

[23] Bobby’s Bike Hike: http://www.bobbysbikehike.com

[24] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795110347/

[25] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795088603/

[26] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795106803/

[27] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795130727/

[28] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795134899/

[29] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795136629/

[30] Museum of Science and Industry’s Smart Home: http://www.msichicago.org/whats-here/exhibits/smart-home/

[31] Orange Line “L” Train: http://www.transitchicago.com/riding_cta/systemguide/orangeline.aspx

[32] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795965232/

[33] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticfish/3795971462/

[34] Image: https://plus.google.com/+BethTerry

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