Here at Cheap Insurance, we will periodically post articles about some of our favorite cities, pointing out attractions and events that we (and hopefully you) find interesting.
The poet Carl Sandburg, a native of Illinois, devoted much of his work to the “windy city”, describing it as “Stormy, husky, brawling, City of the Big Shoulders…” (from Sandburg’s poem “Chicago,” first published in 1914). His words paint a picture of the city as a tumultuous place, full of larger than life characters, big dreams, and hard-working, industrious people. Chicago may be the quintessential American metropolis.
Founded in 1833 by fewer than 200 people, it grew to be the 5th largest city in the world by the close of the century, reaching a population of 3.3 million in it’s first hundred years.
The Home Insurance Building, constructed in 1884 was the world’s first sky-scraper and, although it was demolished 50 years, its legacy is still seen in Willis Tower (formerly known as Sear’s Tower), which, until 1998, was the tallest building in the world.
Chicago has been a fixture in automotive manufacturing for a century, beginning with Brass Era touring cars (“horseless carriages”), and continuing today with Ford’s recently modernized Chicago Assembly (one of the world’s oldest continuously operated assembly plants).
Chicago’s lakefront Lincoln Park is almost as famous as New York’s Central Park, and contains a zoo, multiple harbors and beaches, the Chicago History Museum, a nature museum with a live butterfly house, and miles of trails.
The Museum of Science and Industry is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere and features a full-size coal mine, a German U-boat captured during WWII, the Apollo 8 spacecraft, and various other aircraft and models.
Annual events include the Pitchfork Music Festival and Lollapalooza, each drawing hundreds of thousands of music lovers. Then there is Taste of Chicago, an annual food festival which draws millions of visitors and is the world’s largest food festival. Over 70 food vendors set up shop, offering anything from cheap hot dogs, to international delicacies.