Chicago Loop Bridge Lifts

Insta4Every Wednesday and Saturday morning during the spring (mid-April – June) and fall (mid-September – early-November) the city of Chicago takes part in something called the Chicago Loop Bridge Lifts. This is when 18 of Chicago’s moveable bridges are raised to allow sailboats to enter Lake Michigan in the spring, and back in to the storage yards in the fall. For any Chicago or photography lover this is a very cool thing to be a part of.

Much like every other time I go on a photo walk around the city, I was put to the test weather-wise. It was a cool 60 degrees and raining when I headed out at 8:00am. Most people would’ve just stayed home and vowed to attend the Bridge Lift next Saturday. I, however, took this as another test from the universe.

“You say that you like photography, but do you really? Let’s see how committed you really are.”


Apparently very (or just incredibly stubborn). By the time I made it back home I was soaked to the bone, but, boy, did I get some good photos! I thought the rain would keep most of the boats and bystanders away, but I was wrong. Apparently I’m not the only Chicagoan who isn’t deterred by a little rain.

Insta3I also had the opportunity to chat with several of the boatmen as they waited patiently for the next bridge to be raised. A lot of them had a good sense of humor, too.

“Make sure you get my good side!” They would holler at me as I pointed my camera in their direction.

It would’ve been nice to have slightly better weather conditions, but I knew my bittersweet relationship with Chicago wouldn’t have had it any other way. This city is constantly putting me to the test. With the overcrowded Metra trains, the horn happy taxi drivers, and the nearly palpable pollution, it’s a wonder that I can still find something to enjoy about living downtown. Hopefully I can continue to find things to enjoy with my time left here before I move to Maine.