There are two Chicagos. Or, rather, many pairs of Chicagos. Some are well known: North Side Chicago and South Side Chicago; black Chicago and white Chicago; rich Chicago and poor.
Others, are not so well-known. One of the less-recognized Chicago pairs is the city of 2.7 million Chicagoans and a parallel Tourist Chicago, a densely populated land of nearly 50 million transient residents who come each year to the city to eat pizza, ride Segways, puzzle over maps, wander downtown, fill American Girl bags, munch churros at Navy Pier, ask questions in German and take double-decker bus tours to learn of our city’s patron saint, Al Capone.
A new star in the firmament of Tourist Chicago winked into existence this week as Tilt! — the exclamation point is theirs — an attraction on the 94th floor observation deck of the John Hancock Center, opened for business.
Tilt! is a section of the south face of the observation deck, redubbed 360Chicago, with positions for eight riders, or, rather, standers, who hold onto handrails while the entire glass and steel facade slowly tips forward 30 degrees, allowing customers to look down the side of the building, at the roof of Water Tower Place.
“Everybody was sweating; it gives you great perspective,” said Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), one of about 100 VIPs, media members and guests who attended the champagne ribbon cutting Thursday, and who was among the first to officially try the device, which has been available to the public since Saturday.