A Town Like No Other - Chicago | woman at work

A Town Like No Other

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If I knew the windy city was as fabulous as it turned out to be, I would  have visited the city over and over again. Chicago was one of the cities  I had penned down to visit on my bucket list and my visit to the city  was long overdue. I had visited all the neighboring states but I was just  never motivated enough to visit Chicago until recently.

I finally took the plunge and  arrived at O’Hare airport. On my drive  from the airport it looked like almost  any drive from the airport of most of  the major US cities and I was not sure  I had made the right decision.  But as a self acclaimed  connoisseur of a lot things and an avid  lover of the finer things that life has to  offer, I was not going to give up. The  visit to downtown started with The  Loop, the central business district of  Chicago which is bound at the North  and West by the Chicago River and  the East by Lake Michigan. Things  just started to get better from here.

In retrospect, the most favourite part  of my trip (if I am forced to choose  one) was the architectural tour on the  Chicago River.  It was amazing learning about  the history of Chicago, the history of  the major buildings that make-up the  beautiful skyline of this beautiful city,  its architectural styles and more. Some  of the architectural beauties, popularly  known as skyscrapers, stood tall in  all their majestic grandeur. Some of  my personal favourites are the John  Hancock Center, the Willis Tower  (formerly known as the Sears Tower)  the Neo-Gothic Tribune Tower and not  forgetting one of the new additions to  the skyline, the Trump International  Hotel & Tower.

If you visited Chicago without  visiting the tallest building in the  Western Hemisphere, with its eyepopping  views of Chicago and  beyond, then you have to visit  Chicago again. When we got there and  I saw the queue of humans, snaking  around the block then I understood  the essence of getting there early (we  were in the queue for over an hour)  since my friend had been rushing me  all morning. Over 1.3million people a  year visit the Willis Tower (formerly  called the Sears Tower) and take the  super fast elevator ride to the Skydeck.  The Skydeck is located on the 103rd  floor of the Willis Tower. It is one of  the most breathtaking sights I have  experienced.

You can see a lot of the  major Chicago Landmarks and view  the horizon as far as your eyes can  endure. If you are bravehearted like  me, you can step out onto the Ledge.  The Ledge is a glass enclosed balcony  that pops out from the building letting  you have a clear view like no other to  the bottom.  Since I am a lover of arts, I had  to make a trip to the Art Institute of  Chicago. The Art institute of Chicago  is one of the top places to visit if you  find yourself in Chicago. It is known  for one of the largest impressionist  collections outside Paris. You will see  works from Van Gogh, Degas, Monet  just to mention a few. Among its  permanent collection are masterpieces  like Van Gogh’s ‘The Bedroom’, Pablo Picasso’s ‘The Old Guitarist,  and my personal favourite Georges  Seurat’s ‘A Sunday afternoon on  the island of La Grande Jatte’.

The  art institute expanded in 2009 and  opened the Modern Wing and the  galleries of this wing feature art from  ancient Greece, Japan, Africa and the  Americas.  Another place you should visit  especially if you find yourself in  Chicago during the summer is ‘The  Navy Pier’. It occupies more than  50 acres of prime lake front real  estate and is home to the Chicago  Shakespeare Theater and also houses  a lot of restaurants, parks, gardens  and museums. There was an amazing  live band playing in one of the open  air joints where I had an opportunity  to show my dance moves.

I was also  fortunate to catch the 2015 Chicago  Air and Water Show. In its 57th year  this annual free event showcases  military and civilian aircraft and boat  teams.  You can take a walk down the  ‘Magnificent Mile’ starting from  Michigan Avenue to Oak Street. I  felt like I was on a movie set since  everything seemed surreal from the  amazing public art and sculptures  literally littered around the city. I had  the opportunity to see these human  creations from the Cloud Gate by  Indian-born British artist Anish  Kapoor, to the big head sculpture  ‘Looking into my dreams, Awilda’  by Spanish artist and sculptor Jaume  Plensa’s, The Crown Fountain.  Chicago with is numerous  nicknames and home to some of the  most popular Americans – President  Barack Obama, Michael Jordan,  Oprah Winfrey- was indeed a  splendor. If you find yourself in the  mid-west of the North American  Continent , take my word, a trip to  Chi-town will be like no other! 

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Mayokun Aduwo is an avid traveler and a full time HR professional with IBM, based out of India. When she is not busy with corporate deadlines, she is busy exploring the world, literally. This is a personal account of her
travel tales.

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