Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Valentine's Day in Chicago

Photo taken by Wayne Woodcock, used with permission
I was in Chicago on Valentine’s Day this year. It was cold with ice floating on Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. The snow piled on curbs and buildings was slowly melting as the temperature rose above 40 degrees after the previous weekend’s snow storm.

References to Al Capone seemed to be everywhere—especially in the tourist souvenir shops where I bought postcards and refrigerator magnets sporting bullet holes. Prohibition, Elliot Ness, and the Untouchables also flavor my view of Chicago’s history along with the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. (I was told that Mrs. O’Leary’s cow was posthumously cleared of starting that fire.)

But Upper Whacker, Lower Whacker, and Lower Lower Whacker Drives, a multi-level street bordering the Chicago River, captured my interest. The stairwell descending into Lower Whacker seemed to exude mystery and suspense and I’m sure it’s a great setting for a book.