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Cruisin’ around Chicago

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Ruby Dowling and Sid Sivaraman stayed on the top deck of the boat, where they took in unparalleled views of Chicago's skyscrapers. Photo by Saira Ahmed

With sunglasses on and a Peet’s Coffee in hand, Jaimie Chun of Fullerton, California, descended the staircase at DuSable Bridge toward the Chicago River. Cameras clicked and smiles widened.

Fifteen minutes later, the cherubs were cruising toward Lake Michigan on their annual boat tour. As a tour guide narrated Chicago’s historical background during the 90-minute ride, they viewed the Windy City’s skyline. 

The first Chicago trip after three years of remote programming was wonderful, instructor Joe Grimm said. 

Sarah Moghadam of Los Angeles loved learning about the skyscrapers’ history. 

“Being on the boat tour made me appreciate the architecture a lot more than just walking past buildings I wouldn’t have paid attention to,” she said. 

If the ride gave students a zoomed-out view of Chicago, the subsequent lunch break gave cherubs a chance to see the city up close. 

“I come from a town in New Jersey that’s close to Manhattan, so I’m pretty used to the big urban atmosphere,” said Uma Rajan of Haworth, New Jersey. “Chicago felt cleaner and more easygoing, but you were still totally in a city.”

The day ended with a visit to Medill’s graduate school, where instructor Elyssa Cherney spoke about her experience reporting on crime for the Chicago Tribune. There, cherubs also saw the city from 16 stories up, posing for photos at the anchor desk.

Hannah Lee of Fullerton, California said she appreciated the balance between the different perspectives of Chicago.

“The boat ride offered me a holistic view of the city, whereas, exploring on foot, I saw a more local and authentic side,” she said.

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