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The Windy City is full of more than just, well, air. Chicago is the heart and soul of America’s Midwest, the country’s third largest city behind New York and Los Angeles, and claims some of the most recognizable architectural monuments of American tradition and culture, such as historic Wrigley Field and the Sears Tower. Chicago’s skyline is one of the most recognizable in the United States and the soulful sounds of this city are some of the most recognizably influential all over the world.
Chicago is situated on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, making it both a strategic economic port city and a lifeline into America’s heartland. A wave of European immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries made the city a true iconic melting pot for the country as a whole. Additionally, Chicago has roughly equal populations of Caucasians and African Americans and the second largest population of Chicanos behind Los Angeles. This multicultural identity adds unparalleled flavor to Chicago cuisine, art community and, of course, political history. Remember, Chicago is the site of the infamous 1968 Democratic National Convention where riots ensued in the streets and extreme police force was employed.
Dust it off, Try Again and Flourish
The architectural sophistication of Chicago can largely be attributed to the zeal with which Chicagoans bounced back following the devastating Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The world’s first skyscraper was constructed from the ashes and Chicagoans proceeded to firmly commit themselves to preservation, which is why you will have the privilege to view the abundance of historic buildings lining the streets. Take a Loop Tour Train to see most of the significant sites while a guide from the Chicago Architectural Foundation makes note of their attributes. Lincoln Park is a massive artery of Chicago’s culture, history and greenery and a wonderful place to begin exploring the city’s infinite expanses. Don’t miss the Lincoln Zoo and the Notebaert Nature Museum. Also keeping Chicago notable in history books, Oak Park, a Chicago suburb, is the birthplace of Earnest Hemmingway and the home of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Chicago Blues and Comedy Troupes
There is no better way to put it except that Chicago has soul. The life of the city pulses on jazz beats and blues progressions, impromptu improv and carefully worked theater. The Second City Comedy Troupe is the original home of Saturday Night Live and also offers a packed house of laughs on a consistent schedule. Along the Chicago River, the Civic Opera Building (1929) is home to the world famous Lyric Opera of Chicago and is notably the second largest theater in the United States. In a city that invented house music, gave birth to techno and is exploding with jazz clubs, your evenings will never leave you wanting.
To take in the whole of Chicago, the proper way is from above. To top off your experience when you travel to Chicago, visit the historic skydeck of the Sears Tower or revel in the 94th floor panoramic views of the Hancock Observatory, which also offers a delightful touch of live jazz on the weekends. Travel to Chicago and discover the blue-collar workingman’s origin of the American Dream, laced with all of the trimmings of progressive modernism.