Lifestyle

Playing Tourist in My Own City

Pritzker Music Pavilion

It is a poorly kept secret that I hate tourists and I hate crowds. And yet, for some bizarre reason, I work right in the heart of tourist land. As with every summer, as soon as the weather begins to warm up, I find myself surrounded by them simply trying to get to and from the train when it’s time to commute.

And yet despite my dislikes, when I find myself with some time to kill after work, wonderful early evening sun, and pleasant temperatures, I play tourist a little bit. After all, when you can see Millennium Park from your lunchroom, you’re tempted to go and play literally all day.

Gotta feed that temptation.

So off I wandered on Wednesday to go enjoy the solace from the hustle and bustle that is rush hour in the Loop.

Barefoot in Millennium Park

Kicked my shoes off, walked through as much grass as I possibly could (because being barefoot in the grass is literally the thing I look forward to every single year), and meandered my way through the peaceful gardens.

Chicago Bean Selfie

Cloudgate Sculpture

The gardens are at the east end of the park, back past the big music pavilion and well beyond the fountains and the Bean. Most tourists don’t make it back there and, thus, the flowers can actually get some peace and quiet.

#ootd selfie

Some shameless photo taking naturally had to happen before I could really kick back and relax.

Steve Madden d'Orsay Leopard Flats Target Purse

But eventually I dropped my things, dipped my feet in the water, and kicked back.

Chicago Skyline

The views throughout the park are stunning. It’s almost surreal being surrounded by towers of glass and steel while you sit among flowers and birds.

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  • I have to ask, why do you hate tourists? I dislike them myself, clogging up pretty parts of beautiful, historic cities, they are usually dressed horribly and from the looks of it, take a bunch of terrible pictures of statues and landmarks. What a great idea though! I do that from time to time in my own city of Ottawa. We have some gorgeous landmarks, parks and tons of great restaurants and little boutiques to see.

    Btw – I love that handbag of yours! Where did you get it?

    xo!

    • Specifically, tourists in and around the business district clogging the sidewalks and transportation and actively preventing me from getting home after work. I walk super fast and often find myself at the ends of slow walking parades. I’ve walked into oncoming traffic far too many times for my own good.
      The bag is from Target, actually! Thanks!!

      • Hahaha – all of that sounds about right! Target – wow! Love it!

        • You got me thinking way more about why I hate tourists so much. I have a better answer-
          What I specifically don’t like is tourists who come into a city and don’t try to blend in at all. The ones who stick out like a sore thumb. One of the first things I do when I go to a new city is go to a cafe, order a coffee, and sit on the patio and people watch. Learn through example the culture of the place, etc. And learn the manners of the place! Different cities have different ideas of general street politeness. The tourists who very obviously ignore that and get rude. Those are the ones I don’t like.
          It’s one thing to go around and take pictures and ooh and ahh at everything. It’s another to really experience the city.

          • You are absolutely right. A truly thoughtful answer and I agree with you 100%. I remember going to the Vancouver Aquarium and being struck at the beauty of the tropical fish in one particular tank. A large Texan woman was right next to me, loud and brash. I said to my sister a couple of feet away: “Come see these gorgeous fish! One looks like it’s glowing!” The Texan stared at me, said they were ugly, complained about being hungry and hot and stomped off. That close-minded behaviour bugs me. In Rome, I watched a family of North American tourists bypass two great little Italian restaurants for McDonald’s. THAT bugged me and kinda stuck with me. Jeez.

          • YES! that is exactly what I’m talking about! If yuo’re not going to appreciate the beauty of the fish, stay out of the aquarium and stop ruining it for everyone else. You can eat McDonald’s at home, enjoy the local food. ugh.