Love is a funny thing. It turns where we live and where we go into a map of memories. Not much distinguishes the Starbucks on Belmont and Clark from the Starbucks on Armitage and Sheffield — that is, until something of significance happens. And once it does, the coffee shop is no longer just a coffee shop. Slowly, the spaces we frequent become reminders of people we’ve loved.
To celebrate love in all of its forms, we asked our readers to share their Chicago locations of love. Whether it was love lost, love found or something in between, we wanted to hear it all. We compiled all of the responses in our Locations of Love Map. In it are stories of playful love, affectionate love and platonic love. Some stories have happy endings, others end in heartbreak and some stories are still being written.
Map by Cody Corrall, 14 East.
Vicki got engaged at the end of Navy Pier.
“Over 15 Years ago my husband out of the blue asked me to be his wife. Navy Pier was close to closing time & we were by the very end of the Pier. It was a memorable night & so perfect in every way.”
Henny kissed many at Nichols Park.
“This weirdly turned into my make-out park. Just by coincidence I’ve had three first kisses in this park, between the carpeted oaks and swings. I didn’t want it to be an icon, yet it happened.”
Rachel got married at the Rookery.
“My husband and I got married in the Rookery Building on LaSalle. It represented our love of historic Chicago and made for spectacular pictures on the Oriel Staircase. It was also right down LaSalle near the stock exchange, which is another important historical Chicago landmark.”
Madi loved and let go love on the Red Line.
“These are two separate events. The first time we rode the red line together, I was happy and I knew I loved him. The second time I was walking past it, and I knew I had to let him go. We simply weren’t right for each other, and maybe if the timing or circumstances were different we could be happy. There isn’t a day I don’t miss him, and it always gets worse at the Belmont Red Line Station.”
Stephanie went on a first date at behind the Adler Planetarium.
“I was new to Chicago and my first love was from Indiana. He would come to visit me on the weekends once a month back in high school. We would walk all over the city and try to discover cool new things to do and see but every time we managed to come back to the same spot: right behind the Adler Planetarium right on the lakefront at night. At night it would be nearly devoid of people and it was just the city skyline and the lake which looked like it could have gone on infinitely. We had many amazing late night talks and shared silences that meant everything. Although the relationship didn’t end on a great note, I still have extremely warm memories of that spot.”