These well-traveled eyes have seen a lot of great cities and still have others left to discover. But they can say that they have seen truly one of the most interesting and enjoyable cities in the U.S. – as long as it is not winter, of course! (OK, it still can be fun in winter as my visits many moons ago can attest though my memory cannot fully recollect…)
Chicago is vibrant, day or night. It is not the 200+ yr old charm that Philly has (Chicago burnt deep and well in the famous fire). It is not the capital of everything that NY is. It is not the power center that DC is. But it is a city that has everything that an urban area should have: unique neighborhoods, a vibrant center, a body of water (or two) running through it, great food, great hotels, diversity of entertainment options (blues clubs, skyscraper-top bars, mafia lore, shopping, people watching, and on and on), and a strong business community. Of course, it also has that required element of large cities: corrupt (or dubious) power brokers – but I digress.
But one thing it that tood out to me as if I had never been here before was the architecture. Not sure if it was the scale (as in the Hancock and ex-Sears Towers or as in the Merchandise Mart), or the contrasts between “old” and new, or just the fact that I got see it on foot, on boat, and on a bus.
If you have any interest in learning about the city’s architecture (and you most definitely do not need to be an architect for that!), the boat tour is a great option. The boat tour we took was offered was by Wendella Boats (http://www.wendellaboats.com/ (right by the Wrigley Building on Michigan Ave.). They provide an excellent narration of the architecture of the city by cruising the river – and they help you learn why the river no longer flows into Lake Michigan… I won’t spoil it for you. They also offer you a free drink (and you can pay for more) – the Honker’s Ale was very nice. And I digress again.
Here are examples of the architecture of Chicago (more pictures on my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ILiveToTravel):
Other stories from our tweetup: