Thursday, June 17, 2004

Grand ballroom blog.

Today was a long day. Got up a little after 5 a.m., so that I could make it to Navy Pier before RealShare Chicago got under way. It was the second event of that name held by my company (see the June 5, 2003 entry), and I had roughly the same role as last year, moderator of a panel of real estate execs, with an audience of 500 or so. Not a bad little duty. I wonder why some people are so deathly afraid of public speaking.

Last year, it was at the Hyatt, in a generic sort of big hotel ballroom. This year, we met in the Grand Ballroom of Navy Pier. If I had more energy, I would describe it at length, since as I moderated, and as I went in and out of the space a number of times later in the day, I grew to like it even more than I did before. Enough to say, today, that I got a good look at its 100-or-so foot vaulting dome, and the brick exterior as well. A fine design all around.

Birds nest inside, too, along the perimeter of the second-story balcony. In the summer, the space is partly open to the lake, and I suppose there’s no good way to get rid of them that doesn’t litter the place with dead birds. Throughout my panel, and all the events there, was the constant backdrop of birdsong – little sparrows, I think. It added enormously to the ambience of the place.


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