is the capital of Illinois. The city has approximately 2.7 million residents. It is also called as "Chicagoland", and it is the third-largest in the United States, with an estimated 9.8 million people.
During the mid-18th century, the area was inhabited by a Native American tribe known as the Potawatomi, who had taken the place of the Miami and Sauk and Fox peoples. The 1780s saw the arrival of the first known non-indigenous permanent settler in Chicago, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, who is believed to be of Haitian and French descent. In 1795, following the Northwest Indian War, an area that was to be part of Chicago was turned over by some Native Americans in the Treaty of Greenville to the United States for a military post.
The name "Chicago" is derived from a French word of the Native American word shikaakwa, translated as "wild onion" or "wild garlic," from the Miami-Illinois language. The first known reference to the site of the current city of Chicago as "Checagou" was by Robert de LaSalle around 1679 in a memoir written about the time.
Chicago is located in northeastern at the southwestern tip of Lake Michigan. It is the principal city in Chicago Metropolitan Area situated in the Midwestern United States and the Great Lakes region. Chicago fits on a continental divide at the site of the Chicago Portage, connecting the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes watersheds. The city lies beside freshwater Lake Michigan, and two rivers the Chicago River
in downtown and the Calumet River
in the industrial far South Side - flow entirely or partially through Chicago.
The results of the Great Chicago Fire led to the largest building boom in the history of the nation. In 1885, the first steel-framed high-rise building, the Home Insurance Building, rose in the city as Chicago evolved in the skyscraper era, which would then be followed by many other cities around the world. Today, Chicago's skyline is among the world's tallest and most dense. The United States two tallest towers are both located in Chicago, Willis Tower
(formerly Sears Tower, and the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere), and Trump International Hotel
. The Loop's historic buildings includes namely:
- The Chicago Board of Trade Building.
- The Fine Arts Building.
- 35 East Wacker.
- The Chicago Building.
- 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments by Mies van der Rohe.
Chicago's theatre community people have modern improvisational theater. Two renowned comedy troupes emerged: The Second City,
. Renowned Chicago theater companies include:
- The Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
- The Goodman Theatre.
- The Victory Gardens Theater.
Chicago offers Broadway-style entertainment at theaters such as Broadway includes:
- In Chicago's Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre.
- Broadway in Chicago's Bank of America Theatre.
- Broadway in Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre.
- Auditorium Building of Roosevelt University.
- In Chicago's Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.
When Chicago was incorporated in 1837, it chose the motto Urbs in Horto, a Latin phrase which translates into English as "City in a Garden". Today, the Chicago Park District consists of 552 parks with over 7,300 acres of municipal parkland. There are 33 sand Chicago beaches, a plethora of museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, and 10 bird and wildlife gardens. Lincoln Park, the largest of the city's parks, covers 1,200 acres and has over 20 million visitors each year, making it second only to Central Park in New York City in number of visitors.
- Freeways: Nine interstate highways run through Chicago and its suburbs. Segments that link to the city center are named after politicians, with three of them named after former U.S. Presidents (Eisenhower, Kennedy) and one named after two-time Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson. The Kennedy Expressway and the Dan Ryan Expressway are the busiest state maintained routes in the City of Chicago and its suburbs.
- Transit Systems: The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) coordinates the operation of the three service boards:
- The Chicago Transit Authority, (CTA) handles public transportation in the city of Chicago and a few adjacent suburbs outside of the Chicago city limits. The CTA operates an extensive network of buses and a rapid transit elevated and subway system known as the 'L' (for "elevated"), with lines designated by colors. These rapid transit lines also serve both Midway and O'Hare Airports. The CTA's rail lines consist of the Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Brown, Purple, Pink, and Yellow lines. Both the Red and Blue lines offer 24 hour service which makes Chicago one of a handful of cities around the world (and one of two in the United States -the other being New York City) to offer rail service 24 hours a day, every day of the year, within the city's limits.
- Metra, the nation's second-most used passenger regional rail network, operates an 11-line commuter rail service in Chicago and throughout the Chicago suburbs. The Metra Electric Line shares its track age with Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District's South Shore Line, which provides commuter service between South Bend and Chicago.
- Pace, provides bus and para transit service in over 200 surrounding suburbs with some extensions into the city as well. A 2005 study found that one quarter of commuters used public transit.
- Airports: Chicago is served by O'Hare International Airport, the world's second busiest airport, on the far Northwest side, and Midway International Airport on the Southwest side. In 2005, O'Hare was the world's busiest airport by aircraft movements and the second busiest by total passenger traffic. Both O'Hare and Midway are operated by the City of Chicago. Gary/Chicago International Airport and Chicago Rockford International Airport located in Gary, Indiana and Rockford, Illinois, respectively, can serve as alternate Chicago area airports,
- Port authority: The Port of Chicago consists of several major port facilities inside the city of Chicago operated by the Illinois International Port District. The central element of the Port District, Calumet Harbor, is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
- West Division Street: Amazing restaurants, Division Street is quickly being transformed from an urban landscape to a hot shopping destination. It's a work in progress, a place where rents are available at the lower price enough for eager young entrepreneurs.
- Southport Avenue: West of Lakeview, a few blocks from Wrigley Field, this commercial strip houses a mix of restaurants, cool clothing boutiques, and cafes appealing to the upscale urban families who live in the surrounding area, and the surrounding tree-lined residential streets are a pleasant place to stroll.
- Armitage Avenue: Hovering between the North Side neighborhoods of Old Town and Lincoln Park, Armitage Avenue has emerged as a shopping destination in its own right, thanks to an influx of wealthy young professionals who have settled into historic town homes on the neighbouring tree-lined streets.
- Chicago Antique Market: This market has become quite popular in the town. It takes place inside the beaux arts Plumbers Hall, where more than 200 dealers hock collectibles, costume jewellery, furniture, books, Turkish rugs and pinball machines. One of the coolest facets is the Indie Designer Fashion Market, where the city has the designers sell their skirts, shawls, handbags and other pieces.
- John Fluevog Shoes: Bold and colorful shoes by the eccentric designer are the order of the day at this close-out haven.
Places to visit
- Cloud Gate: The Cloud Gate further cemented Chicago's reputation of a city at the forefront of public art and follows in the footsteps of earlier well-known public installations such as Alexander Calder's Flamingo at Federal Center, Picasso's untitled sculpture at the City Hall and Jean Dubuffet's Monument with Standing Beast at the James R. Thompson Center.
- Contemporary Art Museum: On top of the Chicago Museum the Contemporary Art and have an experience that is thought provoking and interesting.
- House of Blues: Listed as one of the best live music venues in Chicago, the House of Blues Chicago is famous for its intimate atmosphere and great acoustics (sound). The House of Blues also has a popular Chicago restaurant.
- Shedd Aquarium: This Aquarium Chicago has over 25,000 fish and mammals such as Pacific white-sided dolphins, seals and beluga whales. Not only this, but the Shedd Aquarium Chicago hosts a plethora of interactive exhibitions, shows and 4-D movies.
- Lincoln Park Zoo: One of the most popular attractions in this city park is a wonderful, world-class zoo called, simply, Lincoln Park Zoo. Besides the incredible array of animals on display here and the entry fee is free.
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