Chicago. Third largest city in the United States. The windy city, the second city, the city with big shoulders.
I’ve visited it a couple of times and always had a great time and had a business trip there late last week and over the weekend. The term “business trip” has two parts: business and trip. I’ll be covering the trip part in this blog and the question is; did I have a great time? Yes, yes, yes! Because Chicago rocks that’s why.
Left Phoenix, Arizona, my home town, early Thursday morning, and left from Phoenix Sky-Harbor Airport Terminal 4, Gate D, which is a lucky Gate for me. I love Gate D: Click to embiggen – these are all cellphonephotos so you’ll need to.
You know, airports nowadays are like giant, luxury, shopping malls. At least they should be and Gate D Terminal 4 is a newer one and I’ve always liked it. Oh, and bird live there and they were singing that morning. Another good omen.
Naturally the weather in Phoenix was spectacular and nice so our take-off was entirely uneventful – we were forewarned that conditions in Chicago may not be suitable for landing a gigantic four-engine jet, in this case a Boeing 737, and we might be diverted to Washington DC; but we weren’t and we landed in Chicago’s Midway airport, on time, with no incident whatsoever and I was grateful as were the other passengers, many of whom broke into spontaneous applause upon deceleration after touchdown. Nice touch. Everything was perfect so far and Midway Airport was prettily dusted with snow, snow that was keeping platoons of snowplows busy. Those Chicagoans know what to do with snow. Plow it.
I was staying in the River North Area and it’s really nice there if you like a big city kind of feel. I liked it a lot – tons of great looking architecture and what a marvelously live scene it was despite being between 5 – 20 degrees F the entire time. It didn’t even make a dent in people getting out in it having a great time. Here’s some views outside my hotel window:
Fools that we were, we did some walking from our business meeting back to our hotel, it was my idea, if I can stand the extreme I will always go for the experience. It was 5 degrees. We. Were. Freezing.
My freedom was somewhat restricted by the constraints of business, but I still got some great shots. How do you like these horse statues?
And I just can’t get enough of that awesome Chicago Skyline:
Chicago (i/ʃɨˈkɑːɡoʊ/ or /ʃɨˈkɔːɡoʊ/) is the third most populous city in the United States, after New York City and Los Angeles. With 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in both the U.S. state of Illinois and the Midwestern United States. Its metropolitan area, sometimes called Chicagoland, is home to 9.5 million people and is the third-largest in the United States.[dead link] Chicago is the seat of Cook County.[a]
Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837, near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed, and experienced rapid growth in the mid-nineteenth century. Today, the city is an international hub for finance, commerce, industry, technology, telecommunications, and transportation, with O’Hare International Airport being the busiest airport in the world; it also has the largest number of U.S. highways, and railroad freight entering its region. In 2012, Chicago was listed as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and ranks seventh in the world in the 2014 Global Cities Index. As of 2012, Chicago had the third largest gross metropolitan product in the United States, after the New York City and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, at a sum of US$571 billion.
In 2012, Chicago hosted 46.37 million international and domestic visitors, an overall visitation record.Chicago’s culture includes contributions to the visual arts, novels, film, theater, especially improvisational comedy, and music, particularly jazz, blues, soul, and the creation of house music. The city has many nicknames, which reflect the impressions and opinions about historical and contemporary Chicago. The best-known include the “Windy City” and “Second City.”
I had a great time. If you’ve never been there, check it out if you get the chance.