Skyscrapers. Elevated trains. Nosebleed seats at Wrigley Field.
It seems like everywhere in Chicago, there was elevation. To some extent, I can see that as a trait for most cities, but Chicago felt especially elevated.
When we sat down for a lunch of deep dish pizza from Giordano’s, we discussed what we could and couldn’t see from the top of the Willis Tower. We could see the landscape. We could see the buildings. We could see the cars backed up on the interstate. But what we couldn’t see was the people. Of course, there was evidence of them everywhere. None of the streets, high rises, docks, vehicles–none of it would be there if not for us. And yet, we could not see people walking on the sidewalks–we were too high up.
While on the “L,” the elevated trains in Chicago, I admired the varying architecture of every building we passed. The combination of modern and historical facades alternating with each structure was a stunning reminder of both the past and the future. But there was again something missing–the people. We were off of the street, so we couldn’t see them.
Now, I love cities. This trip has solidified for me that I want to live in an urban environment. But the problem with cities is that though there many windows, there is little visibility. We don’t look each other in the eyes. We go from sight to sight without acknowledging the people we pass by. We pass right by a brother or sister who needs help without a second thought.
Despite the problems, not all heights are bad. There are the nosebleed seats at Wrigley Field that allow us to see everything that happens in the game and in the stands. And there are the moments when you look away from the gaze you usually keep while walking. You look around, and you notice the people around you, how every one of those people has a long story just like you do. The world looks a lot bigger, but it actually gets a little smaller.