Chicago travel guide
Chicago is located in the Midwest. It is the third largest city in the United States. Chicago is a huge vibrant city and hollister jackets for men sprawling metropolitan area. It is the home of the blues and the truth of jazz, the heart of comedy and the first builder of the skyscraper. Here, the age of railroads found its center, and airplanes followed. It is one of the world’s great cities, and yet the metropolitan luxuries of theater, shopping, and fine dining have barely put a dent in real Midwestern friendliness. It’s a city with a swagger, but without the surliness or even the fake smiles that can be found in other cities.
As the hub of the Midwest, Chicago is easy to find its picturesque skyline calls across the waters of huge Lake Michigan, a first impression that soon reveals world class museums of art and science, miles of sandy beaches, huge parks and public art, and perhaps the finest downtown collection of architecture in the world.
With a hollister san tropez wealth of iconic sights and neighborhoods to explore, there’s enough to fill a visit of weeks or even months without ever seeing the end. The city consists of three large Sides (the North Side, the South Side, and the West Side) each named according to its direction from the downtown area, or the Loop as it is called. Each Side contains numerous neighborhoods. It was mostly swamps, prairie and mud long past the establishment of Fort Dearborn in 1803 and incorporation as a town in 1833. It could be argued that nature never intended for there to be a city here; brutal winters aside, it took civil engineering projects of unprecedented scale to establish working sewers, reverse the flow of the river to keep it out of the city’s drinking supply, and stop buildings from sinking back into the swamps and that was just the first few decades.
By 1871, the reckless growth of the city was a sight to behold, full of noise, Gothic lunacy, and bustling commerce. But on October 8th, Mrs. O’Leary’s cow reportedly knocked over a lantern in the crowded immigrant quarters in the West Side, and the Great Chicago Fire began. It quickly spread through the dry prairie, killing 300 and destroying virtually the entire city. The stone Water Tower in the Near North is the most famous surviving structure. But the city seized this destruction as an opportunity to rebuild bigger than before, giving canvas for several architects and urban planners who would go on to become legends of modern architecture.
At the pinnacle of its rebirth and the height of its newfound powers, Chicago was known as The White City. Cultures from around the world were summoned to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, to bear witness to the work of Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham, and the future itself. Cream of Wheat, soft drinks, street lights and safe electricity, the fax machine, and the Ferris Wheel bespoke the colossus now resident on the shores of Lake Michigan.
As every road had once led to Rome, every train led to Chicago. Carl Sandburg called Chicago the Hog Butcher for the World for its cattle stockyards and place on the nation’s dinner plate. Sandburg also called it the City of the Big Shoulders, noting the tall buildings in the birthplace of the skyscraper and the city’s “lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.” But Chicago is a hollister utrecht adres city in no short supply of nicknames. Fred Fisher’s 1922 song (best known in Frank Sinatra’s rendition) calls it That Toddlin’ Town, where “on State Street, that great street, they do things they don’t do on Broadway.” It’s also referenced by countless blues standards like Sweet Home Chicago.
Chicago is also known as The Second City, which refers to its rebuilding after the fire the current city is literally the second Chicago, after the one that nearly burned down in 1871. The moniker has stuck as Chicago had long held the position of the nation’s second largest city. And many know the nickname from Chicago’s great comedy theater Second City located in Old Town which has supplied countless talent to television’s Saturday Night Live and many sitcoms.
During the Prohibition era, Chicago’s criminal world, emblemized by names like Al Capone, Baby Face Nelson, and later Sam Giancana, practically ran the city. The local political world had scarcely more legitimacy in a town where voter turnout was highest among the dead and their pets, and precinct captains spread the word to “vote early, vote often.” Even Sandburg acknowledged the relentless current of vice that ran under the surface of the optimistic city.
Chicago is also known as The Windy City. Walking around town, you might suspect that this nickname came from the winds off Lake Michigan which can, on occassion, make for some windy days. Truth be told, Chicago is far from being excessively windy. In fact, according to the United States National Climatic Data Center, Chicago does not rank high on the list of windy cities. The origin of the saying Windy City comes from politics; some saying it may have been coined by rivals like New York City as a derogatory reference; at the time the two cities were battling for the 1893 World’s Fair, which Chicago ultimatley won. Others say that the term originated from the city’s strong political climate.
Finally, the city is also known as the The City That Works as promoted by longtime Mayor Richard M. Daley, which refers to Chicago’s labor tradition and its willingness to tackle grand civic projects. Daley and his father, former Mayor Richard J. Daley, ruled the city for decades in what can only be described as a benevolent dictatorship; as other manufacturing cities like Cleveland and Detroit went into decline, Chicago thrived, transforming from a city of factories to a financial giant; which now including
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the world’s largest future exchanges (the Chicago Mercantile Exchange) no less. With Richard M. Daley deciding not to run for mayor again due to his ailing wife, and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel resigning from that post hollister san tropez to become mayor of Chicago, the city elected its first Daley less administration with Emanuel since Mayor Richard M. Daley was in office from April 1989 to May 2011.
While the city has many great attractions in its huge central/downtown area, lots of Chicagoans live and play outside of the central business district as well. To understand more of Chicago, travelers can venture away from the Loop and Michigan Avenue and out into the vibrant neighborhoods to soak up the local nightlife, sample the wide range of fantastic dining, and see other sights that are also important to Chicagoans. Thanks to the city’s massive public transit system, all parts of Chicago are indeed accessible.
As far as Chicago’s weather goes, well let’s just say that Chicago is a huge city so things tend to get blown out of porportion more than they would in other locales, that includes the weather. The city doesn’t have weather like Honolulu then again, what other city does? The winters in Chicago are indeed cold, but then again, so is most of the United States from Maine to Utah, with the exception of the extreme south. A fact; Chicago receives less precipitation (snow and rain) in the winter than East Coast cities like New York City or Boston receive. where there is a nonstop heatwave throughout the summer. There is a good time to be had in any season in Chicago, and the summer offers an array of parades, festivals, and events.
The winter months from December to March will see cold temperatures with cold wind chill factors. Snow is usually limited to a handful of heavy storms per season, with a few light dustings in between and a little more along the lakefront in the local parlance, that’s “lake effect snow”. Chicago is a city that’s well accustomed to winter season, so city services and public transportation are highly unlikely to ever shut down.
A little known fact: there are more days with a maximum temperature of 80 84F (27 29C) than any other five degree range, this includes winter months. Chicago’s summer days can feel as warm as Honolulu or as humid and sticky as Miami. During any random summer, temperatures in July or August may go above the normal average of 83F and become hot and humid with dewpoints that can be similar to those found closer to the Gulf of Mexico. However, these heatwaves are not for the entire duration of the summer, but usually in patches of days. Summer nights are usually reasonable and you’ll get a few degrees’ respite along the lakefront in the local parlance again, that’s “cooler by the lake.”
Chicago does have several months of nice weather. June and September are very pleasant; April and May are quite fine, although thunderstorms can occur suddenly. July and August are okay as long as a heatwave hasn’t hit the entire country. Although there may be a slight chill in the air, October rarely calls for more than a light coat and some days that’s not even necessary. Consequently, most notable Chicago fiction focuses on the city itself, with social criticism keeping exultation in check. Here is a selection of Chicago’s most famous works about itself:
Karen Abbott’s Sin in the Second City is a recent best seller about Chicago’s vice district, the Levee, and some of the personalities involved: gangsters, corrupt politicians, and two sisters who ran the most elite brothel in town.
Nelson Algren’s Chicago: City on the Make is a prose poem about the alleys, the El tracks, the neon and the dive bars, the beauty and cruelty of Chicago. It’s best saved for after a trip, when at least twenty lines will have you enraptured in recognition.
Saul Bellow’s Adventures of Augie March charts the long drifting life of a Jewish Chicagoan and his myriad eccentric acquaintances throughout the early 20th century: growing up in the then Polish neighborhood of Humboldt Park, cavorting with heiresses on the Gold Coast, studying at the University of Chicago, fleeing union thugs in the Loop, and taking the odd detour to hang out with Trotsky in Mexico while eagle hunting giant iguanas on horseback. This book has legitimate claim to be the Chicago epic (for practical purposes, that means you won’t finish it on the plane).
Gwendolyn Brooks’ A Street in Bronzeville was the collection of poems that launched the career of the famous Chicago poetess, focused on the aspirations, disappointments, and daily life of those who lived in 1940s Bronzeville. It is long out of print, so you’ll likely need to read these poems in a broader collection, such as her Selected Poems.
Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street is a Mexican American coming of age novel, dealing with a young Latina girl, Esperanza Cordero, growing up in the Chicago Chicano ghetto.
Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie is a cornerstone of the turn of the 20th century Chicago Literary Renaissance, a tale of a country girl in the big immoral city, rags to riches and back again.
Stuart Dybek’s The Coast of Chicago is a collection of fourteen marvelous short stories about growing up in Chicago (largely in Pilsen and Little Village) in a style blending the gritty with the dreamlike.