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myrtlesquare

Why is Chicago(land) a great city?

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Just curious on your opinions...

Why do you think Chicago(land) is a great city?

My thoughts:

- Shopping

Chicago seems to have an enormous amount of malls throughout the Chicago (and Chicagoland) area. As well, there are outdoor malls like Oak Brook and Old Orchard.

- Transportation System

Besides the fact that you have to pay toll, Chicago has an extensive roadway system with 5 major interstates running through it. Metra is also an easy way of getting downtown.

- Services

Chicago has almost every kind of service available, as well as many tax-funded programs.

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I have never been to Chicago but it is near the top of my list of places in the United States I want to visit. I guess I really want to because of hearing about people going there a lot and hearing about good places to shop.

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Wordsmith    0

Zachariah you've really got to get out more (I'm not trying to yank your chain or anything) but it sounds as if you're being held hostage in the suburbs...

As for what makes Chicago great, the residents and city planners alike seem to understand what a city should be and how it should work. And from what I understand from my time there what the citizens want the citizens get, or at least work is done to get to that point. (Metro) Detroit is greatly retarded (no offense to anyone) in that respect.

WS

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It's a darn good time day and night! In the winter and the summer. No need for a car, diverse populations, big city feel without the overwhelming NYC feel.

Two cents from DetroitBazaar

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Wordsmith    0

I feel that way about New York as well Bazaar. I've never been although it looks like I will sometime in the near future. But just looking at the pictures with all of those skyscrapers everywhere it gives me the creeps. I guess I'm just a Middle-Western girl in that Great Gatsby sense. Couldn't leave these parts behind to save my life, well okay maybe for my life's sake.

WS

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Wordsmith    0

haha, it's hard to go anywhere when I'm only 17 and don't drive yet.

I'm telling you, get down to Royal Oak or wherever your parents feel comfortable dropping you off or letting you take the bus and jump on an Amtrak to Chicago. You'll end up at Union Station. Find your way outside (easier said than done for me every single time) and grab a cab. The only hotels I know of personally are the two Hiltons, one on the riverfront and this other one on S. Wabash Ave. so you should look that up ahead of time. Then blow your mind exploring. Just don't go further than you feel comfortable about finding your way back to base.

WS

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evan d    0

i know it upsets me i read about all theses crazy places and the only big cities ive seen are boston and Dublin, im only 15 so i cant get out there n see everything.

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I'm telling you, get down to Royal Oak or wherever your parents feel comfortable dropping you off or letting you take the bus and jump on an Amtrak to Chicago. You'll end up at Union Station. Find your way outside (easier said than done for me every single time) and grab a cab. The only hotels I know of personally are the two Hiltons, one on the riverfront and this other one on S. Wabash Ave. so you should look that up ahead of time. Then blow your mind exploring. Just don't go further than you feel comfortable about finding your way back to base.

WS

I'll have to check into that sometime. Thanks for the idea!

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memphian    171

The things that make me prefer Chicago to say, New York is the approachability of teh city itself and the people. Everytime I visit the city Chicagoans are extremely nice. The shopping is good too but that may be a thing of the past when Macy's takes over Field's (at least you'll still have Carson's). I like the architecture, the transit and the overall vibe the city has. Progressive yet very much steeped in tradition - something that I feel NYC through out a long time ago. The city seems a lot cleaner than NY or San Fran too. - just my thoughts.

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GRDadof3    1817

All of these things make Chicago top notch IMO:

Lake Michigan

The Chicago River

Awesome architecture, from the highrises to the historic urban neighborhoods

Don't NEED a car

Shopping

Restaurants

Massive parks

Always something new every time I return

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:(

The things that make me prefer Chicago to say, New York is the approachability of teh city itself and the people. Everytime I visit the city Chicagoans are extremely nice. The shopping is good too but that may be a thing of the past when Macy's takes over Field's (at least you'll still have Carson's). I like the architecture, the transit and the overall vibe the city has. Progressive yet very much steeped in tradition - something that I feel NYC through out a long time ago. The city seems a lot cleaner than NY or San Fran too. - just my thoughts.

That's true, although they will be changing over from Saks into another company. Hate to see Field's name go. I hope that they'll keep the Downtown Chicago store as nice as it was before the change.

Hope they keep Frango Mints - it would be sad to see those go :(

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skylinefan    25

Hello Chicago Forumers, I found the following article on the Yahoo webpage regarding the dissapearance of many of the things that make Chicago a great city. What is revealed in the article is unfortunately happening all over the country. I live in Washington, DC for the last 21 years and since that time we have lost many institutions such as Hecht's Department store now Macy's, Woodward and Lothrop Department Store, Hechingers hardware store, Hahn shoes, Hot Shoppes cafeteria etc. Has to be some way to grow and modernize a city without destroying what makes a city special. Well here is the article:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051207/ap_on_...pearing_chicago

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Chicago is probably my favorite city that I have ever been to, which includes Salzburg, Vienna, Paris, NYC, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Although I'm not sure I'd ever want to live there, I dream of the time when I can visit again. Hell, I even have a map of Chicago on my wall above my bed. Here's why I like it:

It's like a more accessible New York - it has the museums, the architecture, the skyline, and the sights, but doesn't overwhelm you the way NYC does.

I enjoy the grittiness of the place - it's obviously built on industry and blue-collar hard work, and it's proud of it; it's not a pretentious city like LA or NYC.

The shopping is very good.

St. Patrick's day!

The parks are incredible. Go see the Bean in Millennium Park (it's officially called the Cloud Gate, but it looks like a big shiny bean. Hence the nickname). The Buckingham Fountain's pretty cool too - it's the official endpoint for Route 66 (a highway which should NEVER have been treated as it has been since the building of the interstates).

Pretty good transit system (although I liked it better before the rate hike).

Some very good pieces of public art, like the Flamingo and Picasso's untitled sulpture.

Navy Pier!

The #1 McDonald's museum

Frank Lloyd Wright's house, and the surrounding GORGEOUS neighborhood in Oak Park - one of my favorite places in the world.

The downsides are the notoriously and infamously corrupt and inefficient as hell government and high tax rates (doesn't really matter if you're a tourist like myself), high 8.75% sales tax, the recently more expensive CTA El train rides, bad traffic and very expensive parking if you have a car, may not be the safest place in the world, and no handguns or concealed carry reciprocity (for those of you, like me, who have a concealed carry permit). Also, the wind coming off the lake is bitter cold in the winter if you're a California born and bred guy like me.

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dimebag1980    17

Oh and I forgot, take a camera.;)

WS

That's the best advice you can give about visiting Chicago, no doubt! :)

Every time I've been to Chicago, I've had a camera but it's always been a 35mm point-and-shoot. This year will be the first time I've ever taken my digital, so I'll finally be able to upload Chicago photos to the web.

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tamias6    16

I like Chicago for its architecture, skyline, a unique urban energy, and most of all, food. You have not eaten good food until you eat in Chicago.

However, here's how Chicago won my affection. Its the only city I've ever lived in or know of which local grocery stores sold milk in glass bottles. It's been many years since I've moved away from the Windy City so I don't if they still do that. But I miss it because the milk tasted so good and kepted longer than cartons and plastic bottles before souring.

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Just curious on your opinions...

Why do you think Chicago(land) is a great city?

My thoughts:

- Shopping

Chicago seems to have an enormous amount of malls throughout the Chicago (and Chicagoland) area. As well, there are outdoor malls like Oak Brook and Old Orchard.

- Transportation System

Besides the fact that you have to pay toll, Chicago has an extensive roadway system with 5 major interstates running through it. Metra is also an easy way of getting downtown.

- Services

Chicago has almost every kind of service available, as well as many tax-funded programs.

On a very pragmatic and historical level, Chicago is a great city because of its location. Indeed, Chicago is the transportation hub for the mid-Continent and was/is the focal point of our nations rail system, World's largest inland port, and also via transportation by air. The Great Fire of 1871 gave to Chicago the new vision and opportunity to rebuild the city within the context of world class grandeur. I think she succeede in spades!

What makes Chicago attractive today? Well, the above still applies but Chicago's distinct urbanity, it's magnificent shopping, cultural opportunities and museums, many institutions of higher learning, research and development, artists, energy.... all these things make Chicago a world class city. Personally it is my favorite city in the entire world. Simply mind boggling.

I think most who experience her would concur. HOWEVER, what is so often the case, when we speak of Chicago as being a great city we are often referencing only the downtown area and the Gold Coast neighborhoods. Unfortunately, it is the case that much of Chicago is a vast wasteland and ghetto and so Chicago offers two extremes. I wish the quality of life in so many of those neighborhoods was better. But, you know, one can visit and find plenty to keep them busy solely within the context of the glass and steel managerie which is the Loop and all such neighborhoods and this leaves quite an indelible mark on people and rightfully so.

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