Why I Love Chicago
Chicago, Illinois the great windy city, famous for deep dishpan pizza, notorious gangsters, great architecture and panoramic skyline views.
What do I love about Chicago?
There is something for everyone here: Food, Sports, Boating and Outdoor activities, Zoos and Museums, Beaches, and magnificent Shopping.
A melting pot rich in diversity and history, Chicago remains one of the greatest cities to live in and visit.
A city in transition, constantly evolving, Chicago is a place to admire and a great place to live or visit.
Sports in Chicago
The ultimate baseball rivals, the north-siders vs. the south-siders, which equals to Cubs vs. Sox, those men in blue vs. those men in black.
The Cross Town Classic is one of the biggest baseball events held in Chicago and the rivalry still remains.
Chicago is the home of famous Harry Carey, legendary Ernie Banks, and Baseball Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg. And we won’t forget our beloved Ron Santo who passed away in Dec of 2010. I admit it; I am a Cubs fan with a love for baseball since I was a kid.
The Chicago Bears are legendary with greats like Walter Peyton and Coach Mike Ditka. Who can remember the Super Bowl Shuffle made famous in 1985 Bears season?
Great teams like Chicago Blackhawks also make hockey a sport to love.
The most famous Chicago sports team in my opinion, are the Chicago Bulls, six-time world champions with the likes of Scotty Pippen and legendary Michael Jordan, #23.
Chicago sports are year round and why not love a city with great sports team! Maybe this will be the year for the Cubs, or as Chicagoans say, we always have next year.
Food Made Famous in Chicago
Food ranging from fine dining establishments to ethnic food restaurants and of course pizza, Italian beefs, and the famous Superdawg hot dogs located on Milwaukee Ave.
A Chicago favorite, deep dish pan pizza is available at all pizza places throughout the Chicago land area. My favorites include Taylor Street pizza and Lou Malnati’s pizza which ships nationwide.
Lake Michigan Beaches
Lake Michigan hosts the tall ships each year in early August. Venetian Night in Chicago hosts these beautiful tall ships which line up along the Lake Michigan coast.
Every summer around the 3rdweek of August, the Air and Water Show comes to the North Ave beaches. As a child, my parents would make a day out of it. We would get there early to make sure we got a great spot. I remember seeing the Thunderbirds, the Blue Angels, an F16, the Stealth Bomber, as well as many other planes during those air show events along the beachfront.
The skydivers parachute to kick off the show each year and many celebrities have joined in during the years. Vince Vaughn participated in one such event in the past. A fellow Chicagoan, Mr. Vaughn is one of the many celebrities that are part of this great city.
A Chicago Tour
Whether you're a sports lover or nature lover, touring this great city has lots to offer. With great food eateries to long strolls down Lake Michigan beaches, Chicago is great.
The heart of the city is downtown Chicago also known as the Loop. Aligned with skyline views and some of the tallest buildings in the world, the architecture is something to be admired. Trump Tower recently built a few years ago has also added to the skyscraper beauty.
When you visit Chicago one of the best scenic tours is the river tour. Traveling down the Chicago River you can witness first hand the great architecture that built this city. There are several tours available which offer a rich history while touring along the Chicago River.
For St. Patricks’ day the city dyes the Chicago River green. A very strange sight to see but marks the establishment of the many Irish immigrants who came to this city so long ago.
It’s amazing to see how great architects have created a photographic element to Chicago. Architects like Frank Lloyd Wright have added beauty to this city.
Many of the tallest buildings are located in downtown Chicago. The Sears Tower completed in 1974 has been renamed at The Willis Tower and stands at 1454 feet high.
Many architectural buildings in the Chicago area are historical landmarks, built hundreds of years ago.
The Merchandise Mart, built in 1930, partly houses the showrooms for the furniture industry. Each year in June, the Mart opens its doors to host Neocon, an event where architects, designers and facility professionals are introduced to the latest and greatest within the A&D industry.
Other neighborhoods around town have famous establishments like Second City, where comedians have become famous, or the House of Blues which is located just north of Wacker Drive east of La Salle Blvd.
- Great shopping in Chicago is found along the Gold Coast which describes Michigan Ave. where you can find a variety of high-end stores ranging in any flavor and style.
- Maxwell Street Market on Roosevelt Road offers local merchants with great bargains.
- Multiple area Shopping Malls can be found around the city. Woodfield Mall has one of the largest indoor retail shops and is located about 25 miles north of the city limits .
- Weekends in the summer, the AllState Arena opens their parking lot for a huge flea market. Stop in and see what bargains you might find.
Outdoor activities in Chicago
Summer is the best time for Chicago. With the summer fests starting in May and lasting all the way into Oktoberfest, Chicago has a lot to offer. Local neighborhoods host festivals with firework shows, arts and craft booths, along with great food. The biggest food venue in Chicago is known as The Taste. The Taste of Chicago runs the week before July 4th with the biggest firework show ending the event. Thousands of people pour along Columbus Avenue to taste great BBQ, exotic foods, and fine foods from the Chicago restaurants.
Located along Lake Michigan is Grant Park with the beautiful Buckingham Fountain.
Grant Park offers the best summer festivals starting in early June with Gospel Music Festival. The Chicago Blues Festival follows with the best blues music all in one venue. Summer wraps around the Labor Day weekend when Millennium Park hosts the Chicago Jazz Festival. Other summer concerts are hosted here and in other festivals around the Chicago land area.
There are two major zoos in Chicago. The Brookfield zoo located just west of Chicago and the Lincoln Park zoo located near the lake. Each zoo offers a great visit to see wildlife in natural habitats. Parking can be difficult around Lincoln Park however this zoo also offers a short walk to the beach. With the North Ave Bridge, you can cross over Lake Shore Drive and step right into the sand.
Brief history about Chicago
Known as the Land of Lincoln, Illinois is a state in the Midwest. The capital of Illinois is Springfield and home to the one of the largest cities across America, Chicago, Illinois.
According to census the population in Chicago for 2010 is over 2.6 million people, ranking Chicago as the third largest city right after Los Angeles and New York City.
The legend Of the Great Chicago fire states that Mrs. O’Leary’s cow knocked over a lantern which spilled a fire into the city during the year of 1871. The entire business district burnt to the ground with the exception of the Water Tower which still stands today.
In 1933 the World’s Fair came to Chicago, during the great depression, and invited the world to come to the piers of the great city with the likes of Navy Pier and establishing Lake Shore Drive.
Famous gangsters were established in Chicago during the 1920’s and 30’s. Legendary John Dillinger who was gunned down outside of the Biograph Theater and the renowned Al Capone was from this windy city.
Hollywood is the not the only place they make great films. Chicago is becoming another great city where film legends are made. Hosting the Batman sequel, “The Dark Knight” featuring Heath Ledger, the Chicago streets were filming live along Wells and Wabash Avenues. Films like “Public Enemies” starring Johnny Depp as the legendary gangster John Dillinger were filmed right here.
Why not have movies made in Chicago? It is a great place with lots to offer. Years ago I watched the live making for the movie “Color of Money” featuring Paul Newman and a young, up and coming rising star, Tom Cruise. The filming took place right outside a local pool club which I was quite familiar with, only blocks away from my home. I saw Paul Newman push this young Tom Cruise up against the doorway. Even from across the street, I could see those rich blue eyes of Paul Newman.
The politics of Chicago, well I won’t go there. I’ll save that one for another story. Mayor Daley will retire in May of 2011 and the new Mayor will be Rahm Emanuel. I’ll stay away from Chicago politics right now but we’ll see how it goes.
Why do I love Chicago? Because it is my hometown, a place where I call home, a place where my parents grew up. The food is legendary, the sports are fantastic, the beaches and lake front are magnificent and the downtown area is filled with things to do.
If you ask any Chicago native, they will tell you that Chicago is great during the warm weather but brutal during the winter. They say there are two seasons in Chicago, summer and construction. The congestion of traffic needs some work but there are still alternate ways to get around.
The land of Lincoln, the windy city, home of the Chicago Cubs, my kind of town, all make up this wonderful city.
Celebrating this city with the words and music from Woody Guthrie, “This land is your land, this land is my land. From California, to the New York Island. From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters, this land was made for you and me.”
Why not celebrate the land God has richly given us and poured blessings over.
Chi-town is one of my greatest loves.