Day 50 – Chi-town

Chicago has lots of names, and lots of identities, as shown in this poem written by Carl Sandburg

“Hog butcher for the world,
Tool maker, stacker of wheat,
Player with railroads and the nation’s freight handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the big shoulders.”

Chicago has lots of identities and so has done a lot of stuff. Today we visited the Chicago History Museum to learn more about it.

This museum is excellent. It is really well presented. It provides a great overview of everything that Chicago has achieved or moments of shame. The museum does a great job of providing enough information to understand what happened and why it was important, but not so much tha it becomes overwhelming and dull.

The museum has a temporary photography exhibition called Vivian Maier’s Chicago. Normally, I find photography exhibitions to be a bit pretentious, but this amateur photographer shows an amazing insight into the true nature if the people she photographed.

The museum also has a very good exhibition called Chicago: Crossroads of America which provides insight into key events in Chicago history and other important parts of Chicago’s history, such as music, architecture, and sports.

After visiting the museum we walked upstairs to the research centre. This are of the museum cost $5 per day or $15 annually and it is an amazing service. The service allows access to a wide range of historical resources. We went them to research the 1893 Columbian Exposition which is one of the coolest periods in history. The research centre allows you to photograph many of the books and they have an amazing collection. We were able to see several tourist guides from 1893 and learnt a great deal about the exposition. The research staff at the centre are awesome and provide friendly, expert service.

Then we visited the sky deck which is on the 103rd floor or what used to be called the sears tower. The sky deck provides excellent views of Chicago and Lake Michigan. The views are certainly expansive and impressive. They also have the ledge which is an area of what appears to be glass which hangs over the edge of the building. It is a weird fight between instincts and intellect as you know that the ledge is very safe, but you can’t help but pause befor stepping onto it.

We finished the night at Navy Pier which is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the mid west. Navy pier has shops, restaurants and attractions on the pier on Lake Michigan. Navy Pier is very historic and was popular since 1927, but fell out of favour before being revitalised and reopened in 1995. We rode the Ferris Wheel, which was installed in honour of the one at the 1893 Fair. The pier is a fun tourist attraction, with lots of souvenir shops and is def Italy worth visiting.

I also had a deep dish pizza to finish up the Chicago day!

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