Having already done the train trip into Union Station, with Lynn the day before, my confidence was boosted about replicating the trip to catch up with penpal and Facebook Friend, actor James Dauphin, on New Year's Day of 2013. We had a wonderful lunch, talked at each other about a million words per hour, and took a wander around the sights of Chicago's CBD. James had recently done some acting work on the then-forthcoming "Superman" movie, Man of Steel, and he pointed out several street angles that might appear on film. (Sadly, James' scenes were cut, but yes, lots of buildings were recognisable.
James is the master of the Facebook selfie, and as we bid each other farewell, we indulged in the above duo-selfie before I headed off for my train. He was deep into rehearsals for a stage production of Deathtrap, playing the role made famous by Christopher Reeve on screen. I understand the play ended up having a sell-out season, although I was already due to move on to my next destinations before opening night.
My first challenge for the day had been finding a while-you-wait photo lab that was open on January 1, to have my cousins' photographs scanned and printed. Although the shop I encountered had several self-serve devices, the guy took pity on the helpless tourist with the fascinating pictures and did an expert job on them, using the "special" printer behind the counter to get the best results.
While I was there, I remembered to ask for directions to "The Bean" (above). I knew nothing about it, except that its official name was Cloud Gate in Millennium Park, and that a Facebook Friend had urged me to add it to my bucket list. I wasn't that far away from it, and Millennium Park was certainly a great place to fill in time before the rest of Chicago's shopkeepers awoke for their late-morning January 1 openings.
Day 10's other photos: