Photo album 1999.07
Virtual Skate from Hollywood to Field Museum.
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Virtual Skate - 5800 North - Ardmore
The start of the path! There's an official 18.5 mile marker sign a little ways down near Ardmore. Kathy Osterman park. Heavy traffic crossing Sheridan. I understand that this particular beach is gay friendly.
Virtual Skate - 5650 North
At the end of Hollywood beach is a pier. One can blade to the end, but sometimes there are couples fooling around there. The shore path ends here.
Virtual Skate - 5600 North - Bryn Mawr
North end of Foster Beach. This stretch is one of these reasons I keep living at this end of town. I like to jump between the levels here. Shore path is quite broad but pitted in spots. Good art painted and carved on many of the rocks. Three other paved paths above. Water is only a few feet deep (no diving) and sometimes one can see the fish and clusters of huge cubicle boulders.
Virtual Skate - 5500 North
A great place to watch the sunrise. Too dark for night blading and homeless sleep on some benches, but the paved path above is well lit.
Virtual Skate - 5300 North
Crowd here is very mixed and neighborly, full of kids, teens, elders, volleyball and international flavor. Path is quite broad and a good stunt run.
Virtual Skate - 5250 North - Farragut
At the end of this path is a beach house with concessions and bathrooms and showers. The shore here changes to large stone steps. Paths merge, watch for bikes.
Virtual Skate - 5200 North - Foster
Foster Beach. At the South end of Foster beach one finally must cross a street. For non-bladers, this street leads to parking and recreation areas.
Virtual Skate - 4600 North - Wilson
Getting more crowded. This corner has a good ramp, dense trees and benches. To the left is a turnoff leading to recreation areas and the jet ski launch area.
Virtual Skate - 3400 North - Roscoe
Another highlight of the path, Doggie Beach. It's amazing to watch all the races playing together here; a clear lesson to us humans. Watch the sand.
Virtual Skate - 3200 North - Belmont
Boat parking, coming up on the yacht club building. Weird stretch here, rough pavement adjacent to busy Belmont underpass. Watch the intersection. It's a rough mile, but one can skate up here to cool shopping. Visit the Chicago Yacht Club (300 W Belmont, 773/477-6951).
Virtual Skate - 2700 North - Wrightwood
Coming out of a steep S curve the skyline finally burst into view. Path is narrow but beautiful with several tiers of stone. Tree lined so watch out in autumn. UNLIT at night.
Virtual Skate - 2400 North - Fullerton
Biggest bottleneck includes the most popular fountain. Park building with swing dancing, food, and theatre through summer. Lower path wraps calmly around the point. Lots of trees, Lincoln Parkers, dogs and sun bathing, benches and snack stand.
Virtual Skate - 2300 North - Belden
Lincoln Park. Take advantage of the hill to reach top speed. You'll need it for this next long flat windy family filled stretch past the few public bathrooms. Volleyball central. See the gardens and rookery and Conservatory West of the drive.
Virtual Skate - 2200 North - Webster
North Avenue beach just goes on and on. Near the end a new health club facility off the path includes outdoor equipment and blade hockey in summer.
Virtual Skate - 1750 North
An elegant pedestrian bridge arches over Lake Shore Drive and North Avenue beach transitions now to an area capable of handling crowds.
Virtual Skate - 1700 North - LaSalle
The air and water show centers here and there are gymnastics and other sports demos sometimes. The city recently rebuilt this historic ship shaped beach house. There's bathrooms, phones, snacks, even showers and blade rentals. Good freestyling space when not crowded.
Virtual Skate - 1400 North - Schiller
We have arrived! All areas are soooo smooth, and the levels are jumpable. Careful, people have died here. The best bladers, jugglers, stunt bikers and bathing beauties congregate here on weekends when the weather is anywhere near decent.
Virtual Skate - 1100 North
Bladeable territory transitions to Oak Street Beach proper here with a dividing ramp. Solid sunbathing here and for some reason a lot of bums. Underpass leads out to the awesome Michigan Avenue, take it with braking firmly applied.
Virtual Skate - 1000 North - Oak
Now passing some of the most fabulous parts of downtown. Just a few blocks in leads to one of the greatest, hugest, glitziest chunks of top urban shopping and viewing on the friggin' planet, no kidding. Justifiably named "Magnificent Mile" this is a top tourist point.
Virtual Skate - 900 North
I take this like a cool down lap. The path curves broadly around to almost a mile of perfect but amusingly slanted path.
Virtual Skate - 500 North - Grand
Navy Pier (312/595-PIER, 600 East Grand). A premier attraction, like a conventiently located theme park and more. Shops, restaurants and attractions of every kind. Giant Ferris Wheel, Carousel, Children's Museum, IMax and Shakespeare theaters, bands, conventions, parking, blade rental, fountains, huge sculptures, fireworks.
Virtual Skate - 700 South
Great stretch of paths. Three levels separated by rows of trees, occassional wide gentle stairs between them.
Virtual Skate - 1100 South
Over the past decade the city completed the massive project of moving Lake Shore Drive, finally unifying the great museum campus. So perfect it looks like an architectural model. Muliple path options top side and by the water.
Virtual Skate - 1200 South - Roosevelt
Visit the John G. Shedd Aquarium (312/939-2438, 1200 South Lake Shore Drive). Named after John Graves Shedd, a former Marshall Field chairman, who in 1924 gave $2,000,000 to build what is now one of the largest aquariums in the world. In 1991 the new Oceanarium opened, nearly doubling the exhibit space and bringing whales to Chicago.
Virtual Skate - 1220 South
Visit the Adler Planetarium (312/922-STAR, 1300 S Lake Shore Drive). Donated by Max Adler in 1930, visited by almost a million people a year. Recently massively overhauled, vastly expanding the exhibit space.