The Chicago Pedway Tour
Your first question may be – what the heck is the Pedway anyway? And my answer would be, the Pedway (along with Lower Wacker IMHO) is the unsung hero of Chicago. Sure, some may see only shoe-shine places and convenience stores, but we know better! When we start to dig into the Pedway and examine it – it reveals itself to be a fascinating study. The Pedway is a series of walkways that run above and below (mostly below) buildings in the Loop it’s not a well-known part of the city, a mystery to even the most seasoned natives. It will challenge your logic, your senses (it mostly smells pretty good, I promise!) and definitely your sense of direction. There’s art and beauty and life down there, and the best part is, you are basically getting a full Chicago highlights tour without ever going outside! So good. Keep in mind the Monday/Thursday Pedway tours are different from the Saturday Pedway tour. They’re both fun and weird, but they’re different for sure. The Monday/Thursday tour keeps west of Michigan Ave – we see interiors like REALLY pretty City Hall, the doomed State of Illinois Building and Marshall Fields. There’s more architecture talk on this tour, we clip along at a pretty pace and there’s a little more action since it’s the weekday. The Saturday tour ends up east of Michigan Ave. It’s quieter tour, a bit more leisurely. We see some great interiors like Macy’s (ahem, Marshall Fields) and the Cultural Center, but we cross under more office buildings, through railroads – it’s more utilitarian in its feel. And it definitely feels a bit more abandoned too – it’s fun.
I’m Margaret, your tour guide, hello…hi…hello… A little about me – grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, so I’m from here (it is apparent in all that I do, my accent, the way I cross the street, the fact that I have a hard time walking uphill because everything here is SO FLAT) and moved to the city after college. I started studying at the Second City Comedy Club in my 20s, kissed a number of relatively famous people and wandered through the city in a hazy gauze of pride mixed with a total ignorance of history, architecture or anything important that happened here. Then I did the smartest, dumbest thing I have ever done: I moved to New York City. What was I thinking? A pragmatic Chicagoan, a child of the Second City – spinning her wheels in the First City – it was not what I imagined. I had fun in NYC and I’m thankful I spent time there and learned another city, but I moved home, fast. When I got back to Chicago I promised never to take it for granted again – and I haven’t, not one day. I became a tour guide 10 years ago and it was the greatest turn anyone’s life has ever taken. My improv and comedy training guarantee that you won’t be bored; you won’t get a scripted same old same old from me, I’ve never given the same tour twice, not ever. I’ve worked hard to certify my info is correct and on point, I may be an improviser, but I don’t make stuff up! My passion for this beautiful city will promise you all the drama, peaks, valleys, comedy and love that this city has to offer. Each tour is its own unique thing and that’s what makes me fall in love with my work over and over again.
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