It’s pretty much impossible to avoid politics in the States, and right now the fight is on among the candidates hoping to become the Republican runner for President. If you thought British election debates wre getting complicated, try watching a debate among eleven people, including the guy who built this little thing.
The Trump Tower may be impressive, but to get a real sense of scale, you need to get the view from the top. And just across the road from my hotel is the John Hancock Centre, which conveniently houses a restaurant on the 94th floor. It’s high end, high rise dining. But even better is the 95th floor Signature Lounge. I was initially wary of the queue in the lobby, imagining I’d be jostling with the crowds taking in the views. But it turns out to be a wholly relaxing way to watch the sun go down.
A light dinner and a couple of drinks came in at $45. But take into account the regular admission fee to the overcrowded observation deck and you still come out on top. And there’s no pressure to vacate your seat within a time limit.
The Signature Lounge is certainly popular, if not quite touristy. But if you want tacky, head to Navy Pier.
The Ferris Wheel, virtually deserted today, is probably the most impressive part of this attraction. The rest consists of a shopping mall and food court, while river and lake cruise companies line up to take your money. Locals will tell you this is a “must avoid” location – and they’re not wrong.
Still, it’s another great location to take in more views of the water. And it’s easy to forget that you’re looking at a lake rather than the sea. Lake Michigan is Chicago’s greatest natural asset, and one which sets it apart from other US cities.
Tomorrow I’m off to Memphis. It’s going to take a lot to Trump this place.