THE BLOG

Chicago's Living River

11/22/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It is not well known that Chicago has this river which has really developed into a living creature. It is an effective tourism and commercial being -- and we had the pleasure of seeing it in this incarnation when we took a trip on a water taxi to Chinatown this weekend. I have been in Chicago for ten years and had never been down there. And the trip on the boat was the most lovely, relaxing touristy thing to do. And above you see the view from the Michigan Avenue water taxi stand. This is a busy thoroughfare. You can see how buzzing the city is at all levels -- and can imagine, I hope, how agreeable it was to be on a boat in the middle of the river.

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Of course there are Chinatowns all over the continent. I know those in San Francisco, Toronto, and New York very well. But Chicago's I have passed by. It has the usual commercial stuff -- and best of all some pretty good restaurants. The feeling is certainly of another world. I made four visits to China in the early 1980s, plus Hong Kong. And I long to go back. So there were aspects of all this that rang some bells ... not least the retail department seen here below.

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After a couple of hours of eating and wandering we made our way back on the really excellent water taxi service. This is a trip that visitors to this great city should give a try. And on your return down the river to the Michigan Avenue dock you get a great view of Chicago from the south (below), including the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, the tallest building in the United States.

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