Chicago is an American Manhattan. After an early morning trip to Oak Park to see frank Lloyd wrights prairie work as well as his home, studio, and the jewel box Unity Temple, I walked from congress parkway and wabash through downtown, across the river all the way through old town and back through Wicker Park.
The city grows seemlessly as Manhattan from neighborhood to neighborhood stitched together by the visibility of the incredible collection of a century of skylines and the rickety crash of the elevated metro.
The collect of alleys here is certainly staggering. Most downtown ones maintain a very utilitarian existence similar to their Seattle counterparts yet old town has a more residential breed that is flanked by back steps, carriage houses converted to garages and children riding bicycles and skateboards about. This area is very rich in texture and apparent history. Two additional highlights were stumbling across one of the remaining four alleys with the use of treated wood pavers and Gaslanp Court, where you have to ask to be let in the gate to see its collection of timber fire escapes, planters, and fountains. This is apparently an old alley once lit by gas lamps and now serving as a backdrop courtyard space for a couple shops, offices, and condominiums.