Not the photograph, but how quickly River Point, a 52-story building and park development located on the west bank of the Chicago River, has filled out. Last summer, the building still had not topped out, with the exterior only partially clad. Looking any the building today, it is evident from the lights (and close inspection of the photograph) that large portions of the building are now occuppied.
The building is an amazing engineering feat. It was constructed over five Amtrak railroad tracks, with the structure designed to accommodate high speed rail traffic should the United States adopt policies facilitating such development. Throughout construction, the trains continued to run. It seemed to take well over a year to build the foundation. The building is set back from the river by a sea wall, which serves as the foundation for a 1.5 acre public park, which hopefully will be fully accessible by summer.
I had started out intending to photograph the Board of Trade at the end of LaSalle, but the photograph failed. Too much light pollution from the traffic jam at rush hour. I needed blur the cars, which required a longer exposure, but that meant that the Board of Trade was overexposed. I need to comeback on a Sunday, or later in the year when the days are much longer.
Meanwhile, as I was standing on the traffic island, I looked to my right, seeing the lovely blue sky. I packed up, and dashed across the street to the bridge, where I spent about 45 minutes photographing the River Point development and its surrounds. The green lights at river level are part of newest section of the Chicago Riverwalk, which had a soft opening in late October.
I must admit, I object to the River Point development because the Chicago River is being closed in by towers from Lake Shore Drive to the west bank. Yet, from this vantage point, I can't complain.
And by the way, it was really cold out there tonight. I headed to Imperial Lamian, a new Chinese restaurant in River North for some hot tea, golden mapo tofu, and salmon. I can't say the black tea was worth the $11 price, but I loved the mapo tofu, which was tofu encrusted in bird-cage like balls. The salmon was cooked to perfection--extremely hot, with crispy skin. Yet the meat was pink and tasty. It was served in a lovely glazed dish, with scallion ginger consume, with bits of leeks.
I sat in the bar, but had an excellent view of the open kitchen that lines the dining area. The steam billowing from the pots and bamboo steamers is quite picturesque. I will be back, but the restaurant is very pricey for Chinese food. The tab came to $56 after I added the tip. Yet, the food is anything but typical Chinese fare.
And where was Evelyn? She was at her Thursday night drawing workshop in the River West neighborhood.