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Here’s The Scoop…Lunch And Exploring Chicago…

ON THE STREETS OF CHICAGO…..ONCE MORE….

RLs…is a restaurant…Ralph Lauren’s restaurant… http://rlrestaurant.ralphlauren.com/…set up next door to the RL  store on Michigan Ave an E. Chicago …a beauty…set up like Capital Grille…with the same type of  wood- paneled decor …atmosphere…menu and prices..a lovely respite to enjoy some time getting caught up with dear old friends from the North Shore…and non-stop conversation flowing like we just saw each other yesterday….nice…really nice…

Heading out we bundled up…and braved the wind…lack of sun…(remembering why we moved to Florida)…and explored the city….yet again…

Best part of traveling with the BCbytheseahubby…we explore….go into places others miss…and always look up…where most look down…the architecture…the details…the finishing touches outside and in….

Today looking up took on a whole other experience…Trump’s new tower was busy having their spire installed by helicopter…after many weather related delays…we had plenty of company for this one….

Trump spire installation underway

A helicopter lifts parts for the spire installation onto the Trump Tower Saturday. (Tribune/Bonnie Trafelet) More photos >

‘Trump spire topped out’

‘After months of delay, construction workers installed the underpinnings for the spire atop Donald Trump’s Chicago skyscraper, which ranks as America’s second-tallest building after Sears Tower.’

Heading south we saw skaters outside…waiting to rent skates …looked like a 30 minute wait to have a photo -op and an experience…skating on Michigan Ave…reflected in the “bean”…

We observed quickly…..and trekked on…taking a look at how many old buildings added on top…quite a few modern “penthouses”…with what must be incredible views all around for incredible prices…must be nice…

At the end of today’s journey…we entered the the Chicago Hilton……and walked through the lobby…a decadent throwback ….. sneaking in as the  Grand Ballroom was being setup…and it was grand…before making the discovery of their “museum”….with the original name of the hotel…The Stevens…and a room full of photographs…of Presidents…Heads of State…along with facts of what went into the building…the amenities…3000 rooms…a rooftop golf course…ice water built into the bathroom sink…invented by Stevens in the 1920’s……It was something!…http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/CHICHHH-Hilton-Chicago-Illinois/index.do

http://www.chicagomag.com/images/2006/August%202006/0608_Features_HeartbreakHotel02.jpg

Hilton Chicago - Chicago, IL Hotels

Arriving home …..we made a beeline for Google…put in…The Stevens Hotel Chicago….and even more discoveries..to boot…the son of the man who built the hotel….was none other than Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens…with information of the rise and fall of the hotel and his father…and Uncle…… The hotel went under after the Great Depression ….the Army taking it it over for a year…then selling it and eventually it sold to Hilton…….well worth the read…and a look at the incredible hotel…

It was called the “Heartbreak Hotel”in one entry…..http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/August-2006/Heartbreak-Hotel/

Justice Steven’s father and Uncle were indicted for fraud….

‘In the meantime, the state of Illinois indicted Ernest Stevens, his father, James, and his brother, Raymond, for allegedly illegally diverting money from the Illinois Life Insurance Co. to keep up interest payments on Stevens Hotel bonds. James Stevens fell ill and was excused from trial; Raymond committed suicide. Ernest was convicted by a Chicago jury of embezzling $1.3 million.

But his conviction was overturned in October 1934 by the Illinois Supreme Court. The court noted that, although Ernest Stevens may have shown bad business judgment, he did not line his own pockets. In fact, the court noted, the hotel repaid almost half of the amount he purportedly embezzled.

“There is not a scintilla of evidence of any concealment or fraud attempted,” the court’s opinion said. Ernest Stevens “was emotionally wrapped up in the hotel,” says Justice Stevens’s nephew, Michigan lawyer William J. Stevens. “Did that cloud his judgment? Probably. Was it crooked? No.” ‘

BCbythesea…HMMM…….sounds familiar….in today’s “climate”…of Madoff/ Blagojevitch…Ahhh…Chicago…

http://www.law.northwestern.edu/news/article_full.cfm?eventid=1917

more to come….

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