How does that work?
City living inspires a lot of WTFs (chief among them: What did Daley just say? But that's a question for another time). These explanations of prominent urban curiosities should satisfy your need-to-know urges.
How did the Park District “make” the new Oakwood Beach?
According to Joseph Bornstein, city project manager in charge of creating Oakwood Beach (4100 S Lakefront at 41st St, 312-742-3224), which opened in May, it’s as simple as finding the right place, figuring out the right measurements, building some breakers and plopping down a boatload of sand barged in from Princeton, Ill. “The first thing we have to do is build two concrete piers, not for boats, but to prevent huge waves and seiches [sea quakes],” Bornstein says. “Then we calculate the slope of the beach and fill it in with dirt. A tremendous amount of sand goes on top of that, barge after barge.” Additional underwater stone break walls surround the beach’s swimming area and provide a barrier against bad weather and larger waves. “Lake Michigan is like an inland ocean instead of a calm little lake,” Bornstein says. “If you don’t put in things [like the barriers] to attenuate the waves, you’ll be renourishing [or replacing sand on] the beaches constantly.”—Christina Couch