Chicago River © Robert Cameron
Chicago is the major metropolis of America's
heartland in northern Illinois. Around three million people live
and thrive in a city of skyscrapers that appears to rise straight
out of the waters of Lake Michigan.
Once a gangster's paradise, home to Al Capone and
Bonnie and Clyde, the 'Windy City' today has a reputation as an
international business and commercial capital with an eclectic mix
of architecture, world-class theatre and art exhibitions, a
fantastic local music scene, and thriving sports scene.
Chicago emerged after being destroyed in the Great
Fire of 1871 when a large influx of immigrants in the early 20th
century infused the city with diversity and the unmistakable sound
of Chicago-style blues music. It now boasts soaring skyscrapers
like Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), colourful
neighbourhoods, a lakefront business district, a re-energised
downtown district, unbeatable shopping along the famed Michigan
Avenue, and top-class sports teams.
One thing that does not attract visitors to Chicago
is the weather; the city's geographical location means it is breezy
at best, and freezing and gale-ridden at worst. It is possible to
ignore the weather though, especially in summer, while getting
caught up in the myriad things to do, see, and experience in this
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