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Old 05-13-2014, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee
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I always laugh when people say they prefer the "openness" of the ocean when you can't see the other side of either - it "feels" the same looking at the horizon of both. I've introduced many coasters to Lake Michigan, and without exception every one of them exhibited surprise at this fact.

The Great Lakes are far bigger than the whole of the New England states. I get the feeling that some of you have never been on Lake Superior, Michigan or Huron.

That said, the smell/tides/wildlife certainly create a different feel. NYC is greater than Chicago, but it has nothing to do with the bodies of water they lie on - though clearly Chicago has a more accessible waterfront.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
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I didn't spend time on Chicago's lakefront but on my second trip to Toronto in summer 2010 I swam in Lake Ontario in Toronto Island (but a rather rocky area, as opposed to a sandy beach like The Beaches neighborhood there...but I digress). I loved it! No worrying about sharks and things like that, but I was surprised how clear the water was! It was pretty warm too, at 77F, and the waves were small. I still prefer the ocean for the salty smell and larger waves, but the lake is nice and very underrated.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:46 PM
 
11,928 posts, read 9,685,290 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CowsAndBeer View Post
I always laugh when people say they prefer the "openness" of the ocean when you can't see the other side of either - it "feels" the same looking at the horizon of both. I've introduced many coasters to Lake Michigan, and without exception every one of them exhibited surprise at this fact.

The Great Lakes are far bigger than the whole of the New England states. I get the feeling that some of you have never been on Lake Superior, Michigan or Huron.

That said, the smell/tides/wildlife certainly create a different feel. NYC is greater than Chicago, but it has nothing to do with the bodies of water they lie on - though clearly Chicago has a more accessible waterfront.
I didn't mean it like that - I meant it like knowing whole other continents are on the other side. Knowing that the ocean is the end of this continent, the end of this country. It's a scary and amazing feeling when you're staring at that horizon on the ocean. It may be cheesy (it probably is) but every time I'm standing at the beach and truly thinking, I'm thinking about how there is literally a whole different world on the other side of that ocean, culturally and scenically, etc. I think about Italy being on the other side, where I visited in 2011 (and Italy is in the Mediterranean and not directly across but it is still across the ocean). This kind of stuff is what amazes me about the ocean, and what I mean about "openness." I'm not talking about just how it looks, how you can't see land on the horizon. It's the feeling of the vastness of the ocean. And if you think too hard about it it's scary.

I know the Great Lakes "feel" the same as oceans and they are definitely beautiful, but they're not oceans. And that doesn't go unnoticed by me.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:06 AM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyGirl415 View Post
I didn't mean it like that - I meant it like knowing whole other continents are on the other side. Knowing that the ocean is the end of this continent, the end of this country. It's a scary and amazing feeling when you're staring at that horizon on the ocean. It may be cheesy (it probably is) but every time I'm standing at the beach and truly thinking, I'm thinking about how there is literally a whole different world on the other side of that ocean, culturally and scenically, etc. I think about Italy being on the other side, where I visited in 2011 (and Italy is in the Mediterranean and not directly across but it is still across the ocean). This kind of stuff is what amazes me about the ocean, and what I mean about "openness." I'm not talking about just how it looks, how you can't see land on the horizon. It's the feeling of the vastness of the ocean. And if you think too hard about it it's scary.

I know the Great Lakes "feel" the same as oceans and they are definitely beautiful, but they're not oceans. And that doesn't go unnoticed by me.
Your not the only one, I sometimes find myself thinking the same thing.
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sav858 View Post
I think Lake Michigan looks a lot prettier and more inviting than the murky looking waters that surround NYC, at least in summer. Though even with that being said in most cases I prefer the ocean over a large lake.
Most of the California ocean looks the same as those "murky looking waters" of NYC. I have been to every major region of California and it's mostly the same color as just about anywhere in coastal US except for Florida and below. Unless you were talking about things like the East River. That hardly covers most of NYC.

Manhattan doesn't have anything like Lake Michigan's view from far away but if you count the whole metro and outward though it does have some nice ones. It's nothing compared to the tropics but it's pretty good by US standards.
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:44 AM
 
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One thing about Lake Michigan in Chicago though it may look nice from far away, but if you go up close though the water is dirty. The view from far away is nice and hard to beat, but the beaches themselves are mediocre imo. The sand to me almost feels like made out of dirt sometimes.
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Maryland
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Originally Posted by Gothamist View Post
One thing about Lake Michigan in Chicago though it may look nice from far away, but if you go up close though the water is dirty. The view from far away is nice and hard to beat, but the beaches themselves are mediocre imo. The sand to me almost feels like made out of dirt sometimes.
I guess I'm confused if you mean dirty in terms of polluted or dirty in terms of full of trash and murky. In terms of pollution, I'm sure Lake Michigan and the Atlantic near NYC are both at least equally as polluted. In terms of clarity/trash/murkiness, on most days in Chicago you can wade pretty far out into the lake and see right to the bottom. Of course it's even more pristine looking further up North...
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:15 AM
 
43 posts, read 49,558 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maintainschaos View Post
I guess I'm confused if you mean dirty in terms of polluted or dirty in terms of full of trash and murky. In terms of pollution, I'm sure Lake Michigan and the Atlantic near NYC are both at least equally as polluted. In terms of clarity/trash/murkiness, on most days in Chicago you can wade pretty far out into the lake and see right to the bottom. Of course it's even more pristine looking further up North...
I have seen murky brown water ashore of Lake Michigan on multiple occasions. All those boats and the lack of strong waves compared to that of an ocean I imagine has a lot to do with that.
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:43 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gothamist View Post
Most of the California ocean looks the same as those "murky looking waters" of NYC. I have been to every major region of California and it's mostly the same color as just about anywhere in coastal US except for Florida and below. Unless you were talking about things like the East River. That hardly covers most of NYC.

Manhattan doesn't have anything like Lake Michigan's view from far away but if you count the whole metro and outward though it does have some nice ones. It's nothing compared to the tropics but it's pretty good by US standards.
During winter and the rainy season the waters off CA are generally pretty murky. Storms and run off during that time of year generally make the waters that way. In Southern Ca maybe from around April through October the water is a lot bluer and clearer though. Northern CA waters tend to be a little rougher so they don't get get as clear or blue looking as often.

Pics I took during summer:


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Old 05-15-2014, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,313 posts, read 18,002,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maintainschaos View Post
I guess I'm confused if you mean dirty in terms of polluted or dirty in terms of full of trash and murky. In terms of pollution, I'm sure Lake Michigan and the Atlantic near NYC are both at least equally as polluted. In terms of clarity/trash/murkiness, on most days in Chicago you can wade pretty far out into the lake and see right to the bottom. Of course it's even more pristine looking further up North...
Yep - the water in Lake Michigan is not that murky in Chicago. It can be polluted which is no mystery, but you can usually see down a ways. There are some spots south I believe that are semi murky though. I'd say the popular beaches areas though aren't that bad. I have seen murky water many times from a few rivers near where I grew up - it is not that. Murky also doesn't always mean unclean in the sense of polluted either.
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