Some stretches of the river have become a little too popular, especially on summer weekends—a kind of Rush-Street-on-the-water vibe—but mostly it's a like a shared, joyous secret. Every single time I walk down to the Riverwalk off Wacker Drive*, I am amazed at how quickly everything changes. The hustle and bustle above fade away and my focus shifts to the fish nursery hidden beneath floating prairie gardens. I can't see it, but I know it's there. Fish swimming. Not floating. Better.
* Wacker Drive not only goes east and west AND north and south, but is two and sometimes three levels deep. What it lacks in length (2.2. miles) it more than makes up for in sheer originality—thank you Daniel Burnham. There's even a song: Wack Wack Wacker Drive!
• Ross Barney Architects
• River Edge Ideas Lab | Chicago Architecture Biennial