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Chicago, Illinois is the third-largest city in population in the United States, following New York City and Los Angeles. Chicago is located in the Midwestern state of Illinois along the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan.
With no natural barriers such as mountains or hills to protect it, the city is subjected to the full onslaught of the winds and storms that blow across these "Prairies". Thus, Chicago deserves to be called the "windy city", although it really earned that nickname from its abundance of "windy" politicians.
The Chicago skyline
marks the gateway to culture and to an incredible adventure for visitors
of all ages. Approach Chicago from any direction, and marvel at the
incomparable view. Explore nearly thirty miles of Lake Michigan
shoreline in this water enthusiast’s paradise. Savor the aromas and
flavors of the wide variety of dining choices. Visit museums, art
galleries, and parks. Enjoy a ballet, a symphony, an opera, a leisurely
day of shopping the Magnificent Mile, and a stroll along the waterfront.
The skyline dominates the view along
Lakeshore Boulevard and Michigan Avenue. In the foreground, is one of
the finest aquariums in the world, the John G. Shedd Aquarium. To the
right of the skyline, reaching out into Lake Michigan, is the impressive
3000 foot-long Navy Pier. The large globe-like structure on the hill is
the Adler Planetarium.
Millennium Park, an
ambitious and sometimes controversial addition to Chicago's downtown
lakefront has opened. The centerpiece of the 24-and-a-half-acre park is
the Pritzker Pavilion, a 120-foot-high outdoor music stage framed with a
signature Gehry sculpture. The pavilion will be the new home of the
Grant Park Music Festival, a 70-year-old summer series of classical
concerts. A pedestrian bridge, also designed by Mr. Gehry and spanning
Columbus Drive, provides access to the pavilion and links Millennium
Park to the rest of Chicago's lakefront park system.
fountain, by Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa, features the faces of 1,000
Chicagoans projected onto two 50-foot glass towers, while artist Anish
Kapoor's 110-ton, steel sculpture reflects both the faces of those who
approach it and the city's famous skyline.
The Kapoor sculpture
and the Plensa fountain are sure to be the topics of animated
conversation for years to come.
Other park features include a free November-to-March ice rink, a
three-block-long promenade for outdoor festivals, a replica of the 1917
neo-Classical peristyle that once stood on the site, a perennial garden
with more than 240 plant varieties, and the 300-seat Park Grill
Chicago‘s architectural achievements include
the Sears Tower and the Tribune Tower, whose base includes stones from
famous buildings throughout the world. The Art Institute of Chicago
houses a world-class collection, from Impressionist masters to more
contemporary works in photography and ethnic art. From there, many of
the city's major cultural and tourist attractions are within walking
distance, including the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and the
Chicago is home to
world-champion Chicago Bulls and the well-loved Chicago Cubs. Chicago
sports fans are known around the globe for their undying devotion in the
bitter winter to the Bears, and through the warm summers to the
Cubs, as they cheer from the bleachers at Wrigley and Comiskey (now
US Cellular) parks.
Chicago offers an
endless variety of places to explore and things to do. There are museums
of every kind; avant-garde art galleries; dance, theater, and music
venues, and ethnic and cultural delights in food, music, and shopping.
What would Chicago be
without the blues? The original House of Blues is located on Dearborn
Street and hosts the current masters of this music.
The heart of downtown, formed by the "Loop"
of elevated train tracks, has additional energy these days, invigorated
by the renovation of the grand old theaters, the opening of Millennium
Park, and the enhanced nightlife options that are breathing new life
into this fabulous city. What a perfect time to visit Chicago, Illinois!