Things To Do In Chicago9:01 PM
Our friends Sandra and Slava taking us through the city of Chicago
Behind is 'Chicago River'
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.
To know more about America,check my posts
At The Loop @ Chicago America
At The Loop
'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.
At The Loop
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
Taking the Amtrak Train to 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
Cloud Gate or called as The Bean is a popular structure by Indian-born british Artist Anish Kapoor
The Cloud Gate was the result of a design competition.
The Sculpture surface reflects and distorts the city skyline
Millennium park celebrates a millennium beginning with a transformation from an industrial wasteland to urban park.
The videos sculpture use light emitting diodes behind the bricks displayed on Crown Fountain fade to black every 15 minute.
Watch my video for 'Chicago in a minute' Musical:
300,000 artifacts in the museum
Currently an event called 'The Gates of The Lord : The Tradition of Krishna' Paintings are running
The admission ticket is for $25
Garden South of Art Institute
The Water tower of Chicago
The Chicago River: notice the current flowing backwards.The river was reversed
to prevent excessive Sewage with the help of canals.To know more
Buckingham Fountain:One of the largest fountain in the world
6) The Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower
New York and Chicago has always been the centers of America Skyscraper Building. The Willis Tower commonly known as Sears Tower stands at 108-story is the 2nd tallest tower in US and was the tallest tower in the US for nearly 25 years. The ledge is a glass balcony extending 4 feet outside the 103rd floor. It opens at 9 am and closes at 10pm and is open all days. There are two types of tickets - general ($20) and fast track($40). We took the general ticket and I think we were there by 4pm. Luckily for us, there was just half an hour of waiting to the elevator. After which at each stage to the top there was waiting, but we could complete it in 2 hours. To let you know in advance, please spare 3 hours of your time, sometimes the queues extend to even outside is what I have heard. I think the best time to visit it would be as soon as it starts i.e 9 am. The views from the top were very beautiful and standing on it isn't scary. Not even scary for my hubby who is scared of heights. If you can , get your tripod or a selfie stick to take your picture. There are set-up for taking your pictures, but they charge quite a bit ($20 or more for taking professional picture or something like that but those pictures are really from top down, in short they are better if you can afford it)
Fast Track lines makes you skip the queues and the history video.
We haven't been there yet and missed it last time, but we have been hearing that its a very nice hands on Science Museum one must go to if in Chicago. Best place for everyone - kids or adults alike. It's said to be one of the best Museums in the country with lot of interactive demonstrations. Take out at least a day for this one or 4-5 hours.
U-505 Submarine at the museum