One of the criteria for choosing a holiday destination, as far as I am concerned, is its culture. I love to explore museums, music, food, local traditions and much more when I go off on a holiday. So, this year, when I was planning my getaway, I read up on Chicago and found to my delight that I can enjoy:
Music and performing arts,
History replete with literature, architecture and visual arts.
Chicago drew me in from the very first moment. My trip started finding out the easiest way to find a parking spot and figured that I could find LaGuardia airport parking using the convenient airport parking reservations website from Top Airport Parking. I drove my vehicle to LaGuardia airport and left my car there and took a very convenient flight to Chicago.
The iconic ‘bean’ has been part of so many movies! So, I headed straight to this steel marvel and indulged in some navel gazing, figuratively speaking. Underneath this sculpture, known officially as Cloud Gate, there is a concave chamber; known as omphalos or navel; that is fascinating because it distorts reflections.
Who knew that the good old fashioned fountain can go digital! Situated just a little distance away from the Bean is the Crown Fountain. A melting pot of LED screen, reflecting pool, interactive delight and glass bricks – what’s not to love? For me, the most remarkable feature of this fountain was the use of videos to feature local residents of Chicago.
Getting an eye full
I knew I don’t have time to take in all of Chicago’s attractions but I had a way of taking in as much of its sights as possible. I headed straight to the 360 Chicago Observation Deck which gave me a bird’s eye view of this city. If you are feeling adventurous, try out the Tilt. The room actually tilts towards North Michigan Avenue that snakes its way below the tower.
Music for the soul
Given its historic association with jazz, blues and house music, Chicago is indeed where you should be if the music is your power. There is a staggering list of venues and theaters and halls associated with music but I chose to go to the Chicago Theatre and Oriental Theatre. The former was opened in 1921 and is famous today for its marquee. Interestingly, I was also fascinated by the history of its Wurlitzer pipe organ.
The Oriental is also known for its architecture and its association with performers such as Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby to name just a few.
I have saved the best for the last! Here are three things that you must try Chicago style:
Deep dish pizza with tomato sauce on top! Yes, here the pizzas are not built on a bed of tomato sauce and I loved my upside down pizza experience. The Italian beef sandwich is 2 meals rolled into one. Forget your ketchup when you bite into the hot dog here. My personal favorite was the hot dog – meat, veggies and relish in a warm poppy seed bun – what’s not to love!
From food to music and museums to art – there’s a lot to love and cherish in Chicago.