Chicago is known for...
1. The Arts:
Comedy, theater, art, music, culture - Chicago has all of it in world-class forms. The Second City comedy club spawns some of Hollywood's biggest stars, including Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert. Chicago's theater scene rivals that of New York City, with acclaimed actors, dancers and shows. Chicago remains a hot spot for music, from the massive Lollapalooza festival to intimate jazz and blues shows, to the refined Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Many of the art world's masterpieces hang in The Art Institute of Chicago. Just down the street is a relatively new art icon, the mirrored sculpture, Cloud Gate (aka "The Bean").
Chicago is a born and raised sports town. Watch a Cubs fan turn green defending his team. If you aren't for the Cubs you root for the Sox. Regardless of team loyalty, locals agree that Wrigleyville is sports bar central. French doors open to pour an overflowing house of fans onto the blocks of N Clark. Team flags proudly grace the Michigan Avenue Bridge during playoff seasons. Pass by the Art Institute on game day Saturdays to see life-size lion sculptures sporting blue and orange Bears helmets.
The city is characterized by an incredible diversity of cultures and lifestyles. Each neighborhood has an identity, a contradiction in nightlife, attractions, dining and ambiance. Officially, more than 180 neighborhoods are distinguished, from historic college areas to gentrified hotspots. The West Loop smells like chocolate. Simply walk south of Wacker Drive and let the wind carry the factory's rich scent. The handful of blocks bordering Ukrainian Village have, in recent years, become the epicenter of up-and-coming urban real estate. Constant renovation of old-style apartment buildings has branded the area "East Village."
Dirty politics in the Windy City is certainly not unheard of. Like clockwork, during Midterm Elections the scandalous flyers emerge. Dozens of papers scatter the street proclaiming Mr. Candidate an erroneous misanthrope. Pass by a light-post demanding to know "WHO IS THIS GUY?" in bold red. Election slander at it's finest. Chicago is home to bare-knuckle political campaigns. Eliminating party rivals? No problem. Later on down the road, return for a favor. We've seen the evidence in print. Former Governor this... former Senator that... Chicago has its fair share of ex-politicians behind bars. It's an old fashioned city, self-interested for good reason.
Chicago's world-famous skyline reflects powerhouse names in architecture like Ludwig Mies van de Rohe and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Architecture itself is the city's biggest attraction. The tour business thrives on showcasing these award-winning designs. You can walk, kayak, sail and even fly through the sites. Structural creativity reaches more than just eye-catching views. Stationed in the West Loop is a dog park with amenities that rival amusement parks. Fido plays amongst artificial canine grass and oversized dog bowls with continuously streaming water. Upon entrance cool off in a cloud of mist courtesy of the stainless steal gateway.