Chicago is one of the most underrated cities in America and the world. It is difficult to imagine that any city has contributed more to the American way of life than Chicago. This is where the blues and jazz music took root; it was home to one of the most successful American basketball teams of all time and also the planning point for the first skyscraper.
As the third largest city in the United States of America, Chicago should have a similar reputation to world renowned cities such as New York and Los Angeles. However, Chicago is usually referred to with little fanfare as the ‘Windy City’, a place to huddle into your trench coat along the banks of Lake Michigan.
Lake Michigan has always played a pivotal role in the development of the city and Chicago has the world’s third largest inter-modal port. Chicago also built its might around industry with many meat packing companies being based here before the city became known as global financial centre. It remains one of the strongholds for the Democratic Party and current president Barack Obama is from Chicago.
Chicago was originally inhabited by a Native American tribe known as the Potawatomis. By 1838 Chicago had opened its first railroad but in 1871 a devastating fire destroyed much of the progress. That however provided the chance to build the world’s first skyscraper in a huge building boom. Today Chicago has an incredible skyline of ultra modern buildings, among them the Merchandise Mart which is one of the tallest buildings on the planet. But Chicago is not all concrete and Lincoln Park is visited by 20 million people every year making it second only to Central Park in terms of popularity.
Chicago is full of entertainment and always has been. The term jazz was first used in 1915 to refer to a new ‘hot music’ coming out of Chicago. Whereas jazz music had been produced by large bands in New Orleans, Chicago saw individual players start to blossom, such as King Oliver. The jazz age of Chicago was also fuelled by the mob which became powerful there in the prohibition era under the leadership of Al Capone. More recently house music was born in Chicago and the city was also very influential in the hip hop scene.
The Chicago Bulls basketball team had an unprecedented level of success during the 1990s, winning six titles in eight years. There’s was a dream team of players with Scottie Pippen doing the work around the incomparable Michael Jordan. Jordan is widely considered to be the greatest basketball player of all time and one of the greatest sports players ever. The six foot six player was such a supreme athlete that he was named ‘Air Jordan’ for the way he flew around the court to perform outrageous slam dunks. He is now part of the basketball hall of fame.
Most of the people who come to Chicago fly to Chicago O’Hare international airport which is one of the busiest airports in the world dealing with 64 million passengers per year.
With car hire Chicago or car hire Chicago airport you can see all that this fabulous city has to offer. Take in a game at the at the United Centre Arena in Illinois, find a charming bar where you can listen to live jazz or just drive around the lake admiring the impressive architecture.
By tpsdave from Pixabay