Today I discovered Google Street View - it's surprisingly addictive, even though it's also a little freaky. I can't help but be reminded of an article I read in The Onion a few years ago - "Google Announces Plan to Destroy All Information It Can't Index." (Another fun Google-related article which has nothing to do with this post but which reminds me of some computer instruction classes I used to help out with - "Google Launches 'The Google' for Older Adults.")
Google Street View doesn't have everything (yet - cue evil laughter), so I could only virtually visit one of the places I've lived/visited, Chicago. Here's a short tour:
I tried the address for the tiny apartment I stayed at while in Chicago, but Google Street View couldn't take me there. This is the closest I came - I think the apartment is only a short way up this street, to the left.
To the right is the Barnes and Noble I used to walk past in order to get to class and work. I was a poor student, so I didn't often go in.
Here is where I worked, attended lectures, and spent hours doing research for what ended up being a 60-page paper. The Newberry Library is a beautiful place and has some great resources, but I'd have to say that the best way to experience it is to get some kind of job that will allow you to go into the stacks. This is a closed stacks library, so the average user has to request things in order to be able to see them. I can't remember what the department was called now, but when I worked there I worked in the area where they do microfilming and digitization - I entered information from many, many cards into FileMaker. Originally, I had thought I'd be creating simple metadata for train blueprints (this is what my job description said I would be doing during the four months of the program I was taking part in), but that job was given to an intern. I was a bit jealous of the students who got jobs as pages - they got to go into the stacks all the time. On the plus side, my hours were more flexible than theirs.
My absolute favorite restaurant in Chicago was Panang, a place with (while I was there, anyway) reasonable prices and really good Thai food. I got addicted to their lychee smoothies (the chewy "bubbles" were fun) and did my best to work my way through their menu. Sadly, I didn't get a chance to try everything - I could only afford to eat there once a week, tops. If you ever get a chance to visit Chicago (or if you live there), I highly recommend this place.
I've got one more Google Street Maps post planned, one about the Street With a View project, but I don't think I'll be getting to that tonight...