Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Day In the Land of Divergent

Prior to my fountain-jumping extravaganza last week, I went on an architectural boat tour of Chicago, the one Senior Week activity I actually attended. The problem with living near a place for your entire life is that you rarely look at it, particularly with the fresh eyes that you need as a writer, and that's a problem I intended to correct. Color me a tourist.

DIVERGENT is set in Chicago, for those of you who don't know. More accurately, it's set in a futuristic, warped version of Chicago, because we are dealing with a dystopian book, yes? You would think that I didn't have to do a lot of research because I live so close to the city, but you would be wrong. I looked up SO MANY MAPS. And SO MANY PICTURES. And SO. MANY. BUILDING HEIGHTS. And of course, I went on this boat tour.

Shall we have a look? (No, I don't know why I ask questions in blog posts as if I expect to hear an answer.)

This would be the north side skyline. That tall black tower is the Hancock Building, one of my favorites. You can't see it from that far away, but the base of the building is much wider than the top, so it kind of slopes upward-- very cool.

And most of the south side skyline. You can kind of see the Sears Tower in the mist on the far left side of that picture. The tall, foggy building in the center is Trump Tower, and the green-roofed building on the right is the end of Navy Pier.

Speaking of Navy Pier, that's the Ferris Wheel. I rode it once when I was young, but I think now I would pee my pants if I tried to go in it because it's so high up. Just so you know, my main character does not share my fear.

Trump Tower. I sort of like this building, even though part of me is wary of it because it's new.

The reflection of the Trump Tower in this other building that I forgot the name of.

Merchandise Mart! I am pretty sure our tour guide told us that in terms of square footage, this is the largest building in the country. Or one of the largest. Basically, it's freaking huge.

Ahh, the Sears Tower. Technically it's called the Willis Tower now, but no one I know calls it that. Not even the tour guide called it that. SEARS TOWER FOREVER.

This is my friend Mary Katherine in front of the lion statue in front of the Art Institute of Chicago. You may not have heard, but the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup this year, and we're all very excited about it. Hence the huge Blackhawks helmet on the lion's head.

And of course, me and my fountain-jumping accomplices in front of the GIANT FACE, also known as one of the two pillar-fountains in Millenium Park. (I feel like I should probably explain my shirt, while I'm at it. I went to Carleton College my freshman year, and then transferred to Northwestern. My friend Alice, who went to Saint Olaf, the college across town from Carleton, got me the "CARLETON SUCKS" tee shirt because she thought it was funny. I agreed. But I do not actually think that Carleton sucks. It's a great place. Just wasn't for me.)

So there you have it. A short tour through Chicago, and by proxy, through some of the scenes in DIVERGENT. You'll see which ones in Summer 2011. YESSSS.


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