Lordy, no sooner have I posted those unsettling pix of Big Willie’s glass Ledge than here comes news of the John Hancock Building’s soon-to-appear glass TILT box. Oh, double f%*#!@$!
One day soon this spring, like in about a month or so, the John Hancock Observatory – now rechristened 360 Chicago – will unveil the TILT, Chicago’s newest outrageous attraction. Not to be outdone by the Sears Tower’s Ledge, the TILT will be a glass box accommodating eight people that will slowly lean out 90 degrees forward from Big John’s side so that the passengers can FACE DIRECTLY DOWN toward Pearson Street or Michigan Avenue. Insanity! Moreover, there will be entire rows of such 8-man boxes lining the glass walls of that floor.
Yet I expect there will be tons of people lining up for this death-defying feat (yes, yes, we’re assured that the TILT is completely safe and structurally sound, and no doubt it is … but they said that about the Titanic, too). For my part, I will be waiting for a dinner invitation to the 95th Restaurant, which is a much more pleasant experience occasionally accompanied by fine champagne. That’s more like it.
Those of you who prefer to ride your roller coasters upside down with loose seat belts should be absolutely thrilled by this development (the rest of us have more sense; we’re happy to just watch you, thanks much). Plus, if that’s not a big enough risk for you, there’s also a full liquor bar in the observatory – or at least they introduced one four years ago – so that you can have a slug of something stiff before getting into the glass box and possibly regurgitating it for the unspeakable delight of your fellow passengers (please, just don’t – if you have to try this ‘experience,’ be nice to your brother and sister tourists and do it without alcohol the first time, okay?).
And all you have to do for this dubious pleasure is wait a few weeks and pay the low, low introductory rate of $5 per person plus the regular fee for visiting the observatory, which is a bit steeper than that – more like $18 for (supposed) grown-ups and $12 for kids age 11 or younger. All this, for the privilege of shooting a selfie that will make your friends and family queasy. Or the privilege of drinking your caramel macchiato at the tallest (highest?) coffee bar in town, the Lavazza Expressions café, at an appropriately steep price, no doubt. Yikes!
When I first saw the headline on the post in the ChooseChicago blog, I thought perhaps the Hancock had gone the way of the Tower of Pisa and begun listing to the side. Nope, just one section of it with the TILT boxes, apparently. Perhaps Joe will cover that for us, too – you won’t be getting me up there. On the other hand, if anyone out there wants to fly me to Paris and fund my trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower (with lunch at the famous Restaurant Jules Verne on the mezzanine), I’m always game for that. Dibs!
Y’all let us know if any of you folks are nervy enough to venture out into the TILT later this year, right? Right. Better you than me. Good luck with that.
Yours still right-side up,
your own online tour guide, Marie