Thursday, June 30, 2011

Adventures in Chicago Part I: Bloch Cancer Survivors Park

Cancer Survivors Plaza, Chicago
I can't remember the last time I had an actual vacation, but I can tell you that I was really looking forward to a weekend with friends in Chicago, and it was fantastic.  Four of us arrived on Friday and checked into the chic WIT Hotel in the theater district.  After a glass of wine on the 26th floor roof top bar, we headed to Lincoln Park for some fabulous Thai food at Aroy Thai.

We could see the famous "Bean" in Millennium Park from the hotel, and Saturday morning, a couple of us headed off to see it up close.  Purely by accident, we came across a beautiful garden, with Bloch Cancer Survivors Plaza at the entrance. Kismet?

From the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation website: "In 1978, Richard Bloch, co-founder and honorary chairman of the board of H & R Block, Inc. was diagnosed with “terminal” lung cancer. With the help of his wife, Annette, doctors who said he could beat the cancer, and his own determination, Bloch waged a bitter two-year war on the insidious disease. So dramatic was his fight and recovery that Bloch and his wife devoted their lives to helping others stricken with cancer."

They've built these gardens throughout the country, see a visual tour here.

Entrance to Cancer Survivors Garden
The entrance to the garden is framed by two large Gothic columns and an iron arch of triumph.

Beautiful View from the Garden Entrance
Row of Column Planters
Close-Up of Flower Column
In between the column planters were inspirational plaques:

Damn Good Advice
One of mine was the trip to Chicago!
The garden continues towards Lake Michigan and Lakeshore Drive.

View from the end of the garden
And ends with this odd installation of orange and yellow sprayed trees.

Looks like where dead trees go instead of the landfill
It was a beautiful day and a pleasant stroll through the garden.  I'll have to look up where the Cleveland garden is.  I spent yesterday weeding and deadheading my own garden, and said a prayer of thanks that I am around to see it bloom another year.


  1. Wow! I went to Chicago one month after I finished treatment and went to this same park, which we also stumbled on purely by accident! In fact, I have a very, very similar photo of me at the same sign. Isn't it wonderful?!

  2. Theresa - Wow! How funny is that? It was a beautiful park and the weather that day was absolutely perfect.

  3. Here is a link to my blog post with my very similar photo!

    I hope that works.

  4. Awesome - you are right about the identical photos. And I swear, I never read your post until today.


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