The Sky Deck isn't recommended for those who suffer from acrophobia. T eng he poet Carl sandburg called Chicago "city of the big shoulders." To Frank sinatra, "my kind of town, Chicago is." historically, it is also known as the home city of Us presidents abraham Lincoln and barack obama. It is the second City in the Us, after new york, and the Windy City, as much for its blustery politics as its weather. Media mogul oprah Winfrey and basketball legend Michael Jordan call it home. Chicago is the birthplace of the skyscraper, and an evolving urban experiment for artists, designers and architects. Many think of Chicago as the most american city a sprawling metropolis in the heartland, with its patchwork of ethnic neighbourhoods and its endless supply of Midwesterners who seem relentlessly cheerful and polite. but whatever their definition of what "the most american" means, everyone agrees on one thing. Chicago is not just a city with something for everyone, but a city with many things for everyone. 40 bLue wings may 2011 a view from the top For a real overview of Chicago literally, looking down at the city of three million people and metropolitan area of ten million a great place to begin is the sky deck on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower, which was the world's tallest building when it opened as the sears Tower in 1973 (The-skydeck.com). In the 1986 teen comedy classic, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, the mischievous main character and his buddies came here to gaze down on the city that would be their kingdom for the day. enter the building from the Wacker drive entrance, where you are greeted by one of Chicago's many pieces of large public art alexander Calder's abstract, rotating sculpture, The Universe. Looking down from the clouds, there's the sparkling blue of Lake Michigan, one of america's Great Lakes, and the vast open public spaces of the glorious lakefront: parks, museums, marinas, piers, amphitheatres, beaches, gardens, giant sculptures, and paths for running, biking and jogging. beneath your gaze are the baseball and football stadiums; the theatres, blues and jazz clubs; the saloons and steak houses that are little changed from the days when the Untouchables, a special police unit, were chasing legendary gangster al Capone and raiding his illegal alcolhol operations. Fans of '20s and '30s crime history can book a themed tour at www. gangsTerTour.com. There's the site of the notoriously dangerous Cabrini-Green housing projects in the northeast, now levelled and being redeveloped. They were spawned by the Great Migration of the early 1900s, when tens of thousands of african-americans left the agrarian south and its history of slavery to find work in the factories and meatpacking houses here; it was this migration that established the foundation of Chicago as a blues capital. over there is the spot where Mrs. o'Leary's cow supposedly kicked over a lantern and started the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. It burned down four square miles of the city, left one in three Chicagoans homeless and, in turn, led to a burst of rebuilding and urban reimagination that continues today. The city's mix of architecture is striking, from the prairie homes of Frank Lloyd Wright to the world's first skyscrapers,
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