At first glance this city looks chaotic with the congested downtown traffic and yet holds a distinctive touristic interest in the heart of many.More than 35 million visitors visit Chicago every year and when you walk down the 'loop'(The Chicago downtown) the high skyscrapers look down at you.Coming from Milwaukee,the overenthusiastic crowd at the loop and the amazing tall buildings mostly of shiny reflective glass exterior was suddenly a change for me.
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'The Loop' is also where all the major brand shops are.I got totally daunted by the infinite crowd at the loop.I could hardly shop on a Friday at the loop because all trial rooms had huge queues at most of the stores.
How Chicago Got Its Name?
Based on the shoreline of lake Michigan,this city is also called the 'Windy City'.Everything about Chicago is quirky including its name that comes from the Miami-Illinois word 'Shikaakwa' meaning 'Smelly Onion'. And that's because the Miami - Illinois people were known for naming landmarks based after plants that grew in that area.It is said that at that time these wild leeks(also called ramps that smell like garlicy onion) grew in abundance around Chicago river.When the french explorers came to that area,they frenchified the name and started calling it “Checagou" and hence came the present day name "Chicago".
How To Reach Chicago
We took an 1.5 hours Amtrak train from Milwaukee to Chicago.It costed us around $25 one way.The seats were basically chair car style and very convenient. If you want to travel in a much cheaper way,bus is a great option.We took the Greyhound bus next time when we went to Chicago($9,2 hours).Both Bus Station and Amtrak Station are near to the downtown.
Al Capone , Easy Eddy and O'Hare and The Story Behind O'Hare Airport
If you are a first timer to Chicago and coming by Flight from overseas(Chicago is a main hub for many destinations) you might have noticed the name of the airport as O'Hare International Airport.The name O'Hare pays tribute to a fighter pilot and medal of honor recipient Butch O'Hare who fought with a squadron of Japanese Aircrafts during world war II single handedly.
Now Chicago once was home to a dreaded and famous gangster in 1920's named Al Capone who was into gambling,prostitution and organised crime.He never got into a trouble with the law because he had a great lawyer by his side named Easy Eddy(Edward Joseph O'Hare).Easy Eddy instead enjoyed benefits from him including a big mansion of the size of entire Chicago block.But Easy Eddy had a son who he loved very much and gave everything to.And in spite of his involvement with the bad,he wanted his son to know right from wrong.One day Easy Eddy decided to go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al Capone.He testified in front of the mob and was brutally killed by guns.His son was O'Hare .O'hare during the World War II in spite of knowing that his fuel gaze was forgotten to be filled and and he had to exit from the mission midway was brave enough to fight on his way back when he saw the Japanese fleet.He blazed his guns till the ammunition got over,then he tried to clip a wing or a tail of those 5 enemy aircrafts and damaging as many planes as possible.Finally the Japanese gave up.
Let's take you to a quick photo essay with the touristic highlights first and then we go in a little more detail in my next post :
1)The Cloud Gate or The Bean
Millennium park celebrates a millennium beginning with a transformation from an industrial wasteland to urban park.