Saturday, June 12, 2010
Built in 1893 for the Columbian Exposition, this hotel was the Americana Congress, just off the Loop in Chicago. The best rooms overlooked the fountain in Grant Park, and it prided itself on the early 20th century politicians, bootleggers, and mobsters who were its patrons. Grover Cleveland, Teddy Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Al Capone, and Benny Goodman, just to name a few, have all been guests at the Americana.
I marveled at the rooms whose windows opened onto the black telescoping fire escape ladders (think of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere at the end of Pretty Woman). The hallway door into these rooms had a large, flimsy wooden plywood panel in the middle and big sign over it stating that those fleeing a raging hotel fire could quickly kick in the door in an emergency and scamper through the room to the safety of the fire escape. And, no, I never did, and never would stay in one of those rooms -- I always had visions of either really bad people easily breaking in, or hoards of panicked people racing through the room while the luckless, embarrassed and probably naked patrons were screaming in confusion and fright.
That was the emergency exit of yesteryear. I guess in some ways today's emergency exit can actually be thought of as a "simpler time":
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
We got to pretend we were bats!
In one section of the Desert Museum is a “cave” – not a real one, but a very well done one – where visitors can see what it is like to have huge bat-ears, among other cavy things. The ears are functional – they amplify the sound and deliver it right to the human’s ears.
Plus, you get to take some photos that might even be useful for future blackmail!
John is definitely the “Alpha-Bat,” don’t you think?
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Safe travels to you all, and we'll see you "down the road."