Ahhh, great question.
On weekends, it seems like Chicago's entire running population takes to the lakefront path. When I lived at 31st Street, I was a mile away from the lake so I would always run the path between 31st and Roosevelt. But now that I live in the West Loop, I don't make it out to the lakefront path too much anymore.
So where do I run these days? Obviously I run in the West Loop neighborhood and surrounding areas. Within very close vicinity are Greektown, the restaurant row on Randolph Street (try saying that five times fast), and the United Center.
|Top from L to R: Greektown columns; Randolph Street restaurant row; rooftop dining at Pegasus restaurant|
Bottom from L to R: Michael Jordan statue at the United Center adorned with a Blackhawks jersey; Mary Bartolme Park, Greektown ATM
Venturing just a little further out brings a whole other blend of diverse neighborhoods and areas: Little Italy, Pilsen, UIC, and the Illinois Medical District, just to name a few.
When I lived at 31st Street, I was pretty close to Chinatown. At the time, I went there a lot to eat or shop, but didn't explore it much in my running shoes. However, last year during a run Erin took me to the Ping Tom Memorial Park in Chinatown:
|So peaceful. Notice the Chinese pagoda along the waterfront|
When I was working in Hyde Park, I had intended to blog about my running adventures there, but never got around to it. So now, here are some pictures from Hyde Park, mostly in or near the University of Chicago campus:
One of the things that I love most about Chicago is that while it is a large city, it is really more a collection of neighborhoods. Within those neighborhoods, there is so much diversity within very short distances. It is amazing how much contrast you can see within just a quick walk. This is especially true when you go off the beaten path, which I like to do as much as possible no matter where I am.
I could live in Chicago my entire life and still always be exploring all that it has to offer - with or without my running shoes.