The conference center in Pittsburgh was my destination for a rail conference in June. I was there for several days but it was only on the last day that I managed to get some time to head up to the roof area of the center. It had some interesting gardens with views across the roof structure and some art installations. It also had a great view across the river. The top wasn’t the only interesting spot. There was a route under the center too which I found on my first day there when I was struggling with how to actually get into the place. It was not very intuitive which, given the nature of the place, seems rather odd. I saw a few people riding bikes through this lower level, but I never went down there.
When we lived in Chicago, we made a couple of visits to the Lego convention, Brickworld. Some of the Lego creations on display were really impressive and I have included them in previous blog posts. It just so happened that, this year, Brickworld was on the same weekend that we were in the Chicago area for my niece’s graduation. We had a little spare time on the morning that we were flying home so we decided to check it out en route to the airport.
The venue has changed from when we last went. It is now at a larger location and everything is in one large room. The previous place had four smaller rooms. This seemed to result in the more advanced pieces being grouped together. Now everything is scattered around the one space. Combined with the many retail stands, it made things a bit more tricky to see in a short space of time. Even so, we managed to cover everything enough to feel like we hadn’t missed out on anything. I even managed to FaceTime my sister in the UK so she could see some of the stuff from a long distance!
As with previous years, there were plenty of impressive creations. A section of downtown Chicago from the area we used to live was very cool. A recreation of a baseball stadium seemed to be incredibly detailed but it was quite hard to see since it was enclosed in a case. A guy had produced a detailed representation of a building from his home town in Europe. A Middle Ages scene from previous years had received some updates. My favorite, though was a scene from D-Day.
The scene consisted of a landing craft with soldiers and vehicles coming ashore on a Normandy beach having taken the area in battle. The level of detail was impressive with the water created from thousands of little pieces. I have no idea how many total pieces were included but it was clearly a lot. It must have cost a small fortune to put together combined with a lot of time and effort. A very impressive effort.
Once a year a Lego convention is held in the Chicago area. It used to be up in Wheeling and I have blogged about it here. This year they moved to a new venue in Schaumburg. We went along again. Some of the creations that people put together for this event are quite stunning. Their creativity and ingenuity are very impressive. Not all of the stuff suits me but I am cognizant of the skill, even for those that I won’t spend much time checking out.