Friday, April 10, 2020

Chicago, Illinois - see the real America

A while back I saw a funny meme of how the outside world sees America. There was a map of the States, and just three words, which left to right read “Vegas - Yeehaw - New York”. Of course, we’ve all heard of the flyover states, sitting there in the middle of the country, growing corn and having county fairs and using words like prairie and y’all. But this is reducing tens of millions of people and a range of ways of life to a comedy quip, which is most unfair. That’s why this time we’re not going to focus on the usual American hotspots that get all the attention, and we’re going to look at Illinois. Or specifically, Chicago. Chi-town. The birthplace of Kanye West, Harrison Ford, Jennifer Hudson, Bill Murray, Gillian Anderson, Melissa McCarthy, Robin Williams, Cindy Crawford, Karlie Kloss, and although he wasn’t born there, Barack Obama now lives in Chicago. That’s a strong list.

Remember, if you’re traveling to the United States, you need insurance and valid travel documents (have the number of your embassy to hand in case of a lost or stolen passport). Also remember that laws may differ from what you are used to - if you face legal matters following an incident such as a car crash, see car accident lawyer in Aurora IL.

Massive shiny bean 

You’re not going to believe this until you see it for yourself, but right there, in plain view, smack dab in the middle of Chicago is a tourist attraction like no other. It can only be described as a supersized baked bean that’s been dipped in a mirror. Called the Cloud Gate, this giant piece of public art measures 10m x 13m x 20m. That’s bigger than a really big bus. Although technically welded together from 168 separate stainless-steel plates, the finish is flawless. It’s also been rolled and perched on its two points like a face down a banana, so you can actually walk under it, too (which is part of the attraction, because a special mirror has been put under there that warps your reflection).

Art Institute of Chicago

Ever seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? No? Stop what you’re doing immediately and go watch it - Matthew Broderick at his best. A classic. This is the gallery where those famous scenes were shot. See Georges Seurat’s ‘A Sunday on La Grande Jatte’ and feel a part of cinematic history. There’s also a room filled with miniaturized art and a restaurant with a view of Millennium Park, but realistically, Ferris is the main attraction.

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