Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A note on 'The Windy City'

While DC was known area to both me and Fabijana, Chicago is all new territory for both of us. Of course we had read a bit about the city before going (Lonely Planet USA is a big, but helpful friend) but we have been blown away (literally) by the friendliness of people and the number of extreme skyscapers.

Home to almost 3 million people, Chicago is the largest city in the American Midwest. We have already come to love the 'L' - the elevated metro system of the city which for a 2 dollar fee will take you just about anywhere. Furthermore, we have seen the 'Magnificent Mile', will take you to to just about any store you could wish for.

While many people know that Obama has a long history in Chicago - not only as a senator, but also as a community organizer in the city's South Side - it kind of surprised me that the city's love affair with the Democratic party dates much further back. The city has not elected a Republican mayor since 1927 and has been consistent in supporting a Democratic president since 1992. As a consequence, Chicago is known as one of the largest Democratic strongholds in the United States.

Obama's future politics were built and shaped in here, where his community involvement meant that he came in contact with a diverse array of people. There is no doubt that the presidential candidate was formed by his stay here, and the NPR has made a nice analysis of his way up the ranks.

The first few days in Chicago have been so great and the fact is that all the people telling us how great this city is - well, they were right. Today we've been up and down the 'Magnificent Mile' - a mile of pure, good shopping; we've seen the 'Millennium Park', which hosts the famous bean (here's for you Kristina..).

We also got to go to the famous Sears Tower, which for some 24 years was the world's tallest building. We finished off a great day by having the fantastic deep dish pizza, which Chicago is known for.

Contrary to what we thought, today we figured  that despite the fact that Chicago is a pretty windy city, due to the near proximity of lake Michigan, the nickname actually stems from the 'long-winded politicians' - interesting huh?


1 comment:

Kristina said...

Thanks! :-)

I have just put Chicago on the top of my list of places where I want to go!