The padded window seat in my 12th floor room at Chicago’s Park Hyatt Hotel provided a view of Chicago I had never imagined in my many visits to the Windy City. I looked down on the greenery of Water Tower Park and the historic Water Tower with a slice of Lake Michigan beyond. By 8 a.m. people were rushing to work but slowing to stroll through the park. Elderly people read newspapers and fed pigeons and squirrels. Later, I watched shoppers rest on benches with their bags from designer stores at Water Tower Place just across the street: Michigan Avenue’s crown jewel of upscale retail. A little girl seized her American Girl doll from her mother’s bag and kissed her curly haired treasure. I was sure the doll already had a name.
In between views of Chicago that were better than any daytime TV show, I relaxed in the Eames chair with its ottoman and read Carl Sandburg’s poetry. The Eames Lounge Chair and ottoman are made of molded plywood and leather, released in 1956 after years of development by designers. Examples of these furnishings are part of the permanent collection of New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. There is an Eames chair and ottoman in every one of the Park Hyatt Chicago’s 198 guest rooms. Sandburg was a good choice: City of Broad Shoulders, indeed! I felt like I was sitting on the poet’s lap.
The toiletries were a surprise. Each Park Hyatt hotel around the world has its own specially selected scent. Mine were labeled “Neroli 36—for Park Hyatt Chicago by Le Labo.” The scent is a brilliant blend of floral and citrus. I got out my iPhone and googled. “Essence of orange blossom.” Not too girly thanks to the citrus.
I went out for an early dinner, because fierce thunderstorms were predicted. I would have felt the first raindrops, but the doorman met my taxi with an umbrella. After a fragrant bath in the deep soaking tub, I wrapped up in the complimentary robe, opened the blinds, and settled into the window seat to watch one of nature’s most spectacular dramas: a Midwest thunderstorm. Lightning struck buildings like a scene from a horror movie, and a monsoon blew sideways shrouding the Water Tower in a gauzy veil. I snapped a photo with my phone and captioned it “At a Window,” the title of one of Sandburg’s poems.
With thanks to the Park Hyatt for their gracious hospitality and to Carl Sandburg