Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Police Chief's, Occupy Chicago, and the Silver Streak

Chicago's Welcome Mat

Everyone that knows me, knows I love Chicago. It is home to great buildings, great food and some of the best people anywhere.

This week I returned to Chicago for the International Association of Chief's Police (IACP) Convention. For law enforcement executives worldwide this is the biggie. They come to think out loud, network, lobby and shop.

IACP originated right here in Chicago when 51 Chief's came together at the famous "White City" World Exhibition in 1893. That was the wildly successful fair that attracted 27 million visitors during its run (for reference purposes - that was half the population of the United States in 1893).

This is the fair that introduced the world to George Ferris's amazing wheel, juicy fruit chewing gum and Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer - Roadboy's favorite "everyday" beer!

Now with 16,000 members from 94 countries, this is the definitive symposia for law enforcement executives from around the world. There are seminars, educational programs and an exhibition hall filled with every conceivable piece of equipment and software imaginable.

Need a Helicopter? Driving Simulator? Road Spikes? Radar Gun? Armored Car?

The culmination of the serious part of the convention was the Police Executive Research Forum's Town Hall Meeting were ideas flow from the most dazzling minds in modern policing. This year the focus was on reducing gun crimes. The discussion was animated, honest and unvarnished. It was also inspiring to hear pure passion from leaders like Commissioner Ramsey of Philadelphia as they focus on ways to make their communities safer.

The most fun part of the convention was the Host Chief's Party held in Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. Built for the 1933 "Rainbow City" Century of Progress Worlds Fair, the museum is a marvel. It is big enough to house steam locomotives, the Burlington and Quincy Zephyr (otherwise known as the Silver Streak) and now features a new home for the German U505 U-Boat. This is the submarine that we secretly captured. The world, however, was led to believe we sunk it and all aboard were lost. The capture provided the Allie's an enigma machine to use to decode Germany's previously "unbreakable" Atlantic transmissions.

The U505

Hitler's Precious Enigma Coding / Decoding Machine

The First Streamline Zephyr
(Mom treasured the coin it smashed on its initial run behind her Quincy Apartment)

Since the weather was mostly beautiful. Roadboy did what he loves to do - walk. And what a walk it was.

Chicago was still warm and ablaze in flowers. And with winter seemingly minutes away, Chicago's sidewalks were full with people enjoying the last gasp of fall. 

I ogled the fine cars and the historic water tower on the Gold Coast. Then headed south. 

The Water Tower

Along the way was some dazzling window shopping, with stops in the Ted Baker shop and London's very cool AllSaints Spitalfield's clothing emporium. The clothes in this store are made to look old and worn. They look especially good on very slender people about 30 years younger than me and are available in black or grey.

AllSaints Spitalfields

We then came upon J. Seward Johnson's giant Marilyn in front of the Tribune Building. She replaces  his equally huge take on Grant Wood's American Gothic, which resided here last year. While (clearly) no one is going to mistake this for fine art, there is some relevance in a City known for wind.  Oh and for those keeping track (at least in the sculpture) Ms. Monroe has 5 toes on each foot....

The Seven Year Itch

We then made our way to Millennium Park and thousands and thousands of Chicagoans marching to express outrage at the justice system's failure to prosecute some of America's most dangerous criminals; Wall Street's unrepentant banking / brokerage executives. 

Occupy Chicago

Once again, thanks Chicago!


IniquitousFish said...

I'm glad you provided pictures of the convention.
I've had a hard time in the last couple of years trying to figure out what it looks like.
And it looks like amazing.

And of course, all the other photos are awesome.

Cassieopia said...

Your "Occupy Chicago" paragraph triggered this memory. When Ehren was at U Chicago in spring 2002, he attended an anti-war march near Hyde Park and heard a young dynamic politician speak against the impending war. Guess who that young dynamic politician was?