Christmas Market

Christmas Market

Chicago, Illinois – December 6, 2014

The first day after Navy boot camp graduation, we had lunch with several family members that live close to Great Lakes, Illinois. One of them told us about the Christmas Market happening in downtown Chicago. We decided to go check it out.
Our drive took about an hour. We found a parking space in a parking garage directly across from Daley Center, the location of the market. The elevator from the garage brought us into the heart of the shopping mall known as Block Thirty-Seven. We made our way through the mall to the exit onto North Dearborn Street. As we approached the glass doors, we could see across the street to the Christmas Market.
We went outside, crossed the street, and found ourselves immersed in a sea of humanity. It was challenging to navigate through the crowd. I saw several people pushing strollers through the crowd, which did not seem like such a good idea to me.

The Christmas tree towered over the Christmas Market.
The Picasso sculpture in Daley Center seems to be watching over the people at the Christmas Market.
People gathered at the fringe of the Christmas Market.
There were so many people at the Christmas Market that, at times, there seemed barely enough room for oxygen.
The Christmas tree in Daley Center.
The flags and a menorah above the Christmas Market at Daley Center in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Several vendors were selling Christmas ornaments and crafts. A few vendors were selling everything from nuts to pretzels. One very popular vendor offered warm wine in small ceramic keepsake mugs. We waded through the crowd to get our wine. It was quite good. Near the entry to that vendor was a German band. They played several Christmas favorites while we stood and listened.

Ah yes…warm wine in souvenir mugs…priceless!!
This particular shop at the Christmas Market specialized in the Christmas carousels powered by the heat of candles.
People gathered in front of a purveyor of German beer steins.
Detail of some intricate and beautifully painted Christmas ornaments.
This may have been our favorite shop. They sold all sorts of Christmas treats.
This woman served us some of the hot candied nuts. They were amazingly good!
The German band made the Christmas Market complete.

After exploring all that we wanted at the Christmas Market, we decided to walk a little farther north on Dearborn. It was very, very windy and cold. Chicago was living up to its moniker of the windy city.

Looking north on Dearborn Street in downtown Chicago, Illinois.
A view to the east on West Randolph Street in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

We walked by a lively bar, Petterino’s. We went into the bar to find a seat and have a drink. We found none available.  We were close to the L.  I wanted to take some photographs of that iconic Chicago landmark.  So, Leslie stayed behind at Petterino’s to wait for a seat while Hillary, Tyler, and I walked to the elevated train tracks at Lake Street.  I took a couple of photos and then turned us all back toward Petterino’s.  Did I mention it was very, very cold?

A train passes over North Dearborn Street at Lake Street on the L (elevated rail).
A train seemed to pass by on the L every minute or so.
Looking to the east at Lake Street and North Dearborn Street. It seems to be a different world under the L.

Inside Petterino’s, Leslie had found a small table and two bar stools. We sat there for a drink while Hillary and Tyler stood with their drinks. The extravagant and eclectic Christmas decorations made the old bar feel quite cozy. The backlit sign above the bar caught my eye; “A woman drove me to drink and I never even had the courtesy to thank her.  W. C. Fields.”

A W.C. Fields quotation above the bar at Petterino’s.
The Navy Seaman and his sister at Petterino’s on North Dearborn Street.
The drink menu above the bar at Petterino’s.
The ceiling at Petterino’s had an eclectic Christmas feel.
Patrons at Petterinos drinking and dining below the actors who have appeared at the Goodman Theatre.
One of the Christmas ornaments at Petterino’s.
Detail of some of the decorations on the ceiling at Petterino’s.
A nutcracker on the ceiling at Petterino’s.
Hillary at Petterino’s in downtown Chicago, Illinois.
Hillary was just happy the wine had arrived…

We finished our drinks, made our way back to the car, and began the hour-long drive back to the hotel area for dinner. We all enjoyed the trip.

A high-rise tower in the distance. It is near the Chicago River.
In a Christmas ornament, one can see the entire Christmas Market reflected.
A menorah visible above the Christmas Market.
The nativity scene on display at the Christmas Market.
A portion of the Christmas Market reflected in the windows of the Richard J. Daley Center building.
A lone pedestrian walking by a rack of bicycles in downtown Chicago, Illinois.
The McDonald’s at the corner of West Randolph Street and North Dearborn Street in downtown Chicago, Illinois.
The marquee of the Goodman Theatre on North Dearborn Street.
Detail of the marquee at the Goodman Theatre.
The marquee for the Oriental Theatre on West Randolph Street in downtown Chicago, Illinois.
This panorama of Daley Center features the menorah, Christmas tree, Picasso sculpture, and flags.
Inside the Block 37 shopping mall across from Daley Center.
At Daley Center, the Picasso sculpture faced the Christmas tree.

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