The Art Institute of Chicago

A world famous art museum is located in Grant Park, Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago. The Art Institute of Chicago is famous for many reasons; however, one of the main reasons is due to the fact that it has one of the world’s most notable collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in its collection permanently.

The size of the art museum is one million square feet, which makes it the second largest art museum in the United States. The Art Institute of Chicago is managed by Director and President Douglas Druick, and is associated with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

An interesting fact about the Art Institute of Chicago is that the museum’s collection of art encompasses more than 5,000 years of human expression from cultures all around the world. Today the art museum possesses works of art from as early as the Japanese arts to the most updated American art. In other words, the Art Institute of Chicago obtains art ranging from way back in history all the way to the most modern art of today. Taking time out of the day to visit the Art Institute of Chicago is definitely worth anyone’s time!

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Every summer, Chicago hosts a huge music festival called Lollapalooza. This massive music festival could not be located in a better place: 300 East Congress Parkway in Grant Park, Chicago. You are probably wondering how big Lollapalooza really is. Well, let’s just say that over 160,000 people come to this three-day period music festival. That many people at a music festival means that one can expect to see or experience a lot of crowd surfing!

Lollapalooza features a large variety of music, which includes many extremely popular bands and artists. For instance, some of the highly respected bands and artists that were 2011’s lineup included: Bright Eyes, Arctic Monkeys, Ok Go, Black Lips, and many, many more. Even Lady Gaga performed at Lollapalooza in the year of 2010! Reagan Payne, a fellow Chicagoan, went to Lollapalooza while Lady Gaga was performing. When I asked Reagan what it was like seeing Lady Gaga at Lollapalooza she replied, “I couldn’t believe how interactive she was with the audience; it was so cool!”

Many bands have highly benefited from Lollapalooza because of the fact that the music festival helped expose and popularize them towards to public. In other words, many famous bands of today were given the opportunity to be recognized by performing at Lollapalooza.

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Navy Pier

Over Chicago’s shoreline of Lake Michigan lies a 3,300-foot long pier called Navy Pier. The pier got its name in 1927 in honor of World War I veterans. Navy Pier was built in 1916 and was originally made to be a cargo facility as well as a docking space for passenger excursion steamers; however, today Navy Pier is known as the number one tourist attraction in Chicago.

Perhaps all of the attractions that Navy Pier obtains is the reasoning behind its popularity among tourists. For instance, there are multiple companies that provide sight-seeing tours located at the pier: Seadog Ventures, Shoreline Sightseeing cruises, Water Taxi service, and the Tall Ship Windy. In case the name of these tour companies didn’t already give it away, but all of these tours take place on boats!

Another attraction that makes Navy Pier a popular place to visit is the fireworks. There are firework shows every Wednesday and Saturday night during the summer, and Saturday nights during the fall. Even if there is no special holiday going on, Navy Pier makes those nights exciting anyway!

Navy Pier’s Ferris Wheel is one of the most attention-grabbing attractions of the entire pier. Juan Rubio, a resident in the Chicago area, explained his first experience on the Ferris Wheel as, “Unbelievable. It was such a great view that I literally forgot that I am terrified of heights!” The first The Ferris Wheel is 148-feet high, so it gives visitors a wonderful view of Chicago when they reach the top!

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The Willis Tower

Chicago obtains the tallest building in the Western hemisphere, as well as, the seventh-tallest freestanding structure in the world. This famous 108-story building is called the Willis Tower (formerly named the Sears Tower). The construction of the Willis Tower was completed in 1973; during that time, it was actually the tallest building in the entire world.

The Willis Tower is so popular among the tourists in Chicago, that literally over one million people visit its observation deck each year. Tourists tend to go to the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower where the Skydeck located. The Skydeck is simply just the name of the Willis Tower’s observation deck. Tourists love how they can literally experience the building swaying on the windy days. Being 1,353 feet above ground allows tourists to be able to see far over the plains of Illinois and across Lake Michigan to Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.

An extremely exciting renovation of the Skydeck was installed in January 2009 that literally made the Willis Tower even more popular to visit than it already was. This renovation of the Skydeck was to include an installation of retractable glass balconies that extends about four feet from the 103rd floor of the building. In other words, there is now an all-glass box that people can go into and look down from to see the street 1,353 feet below them. Kaitlyn Pascus, a fellow Chicagoan who went inside the glass box, said that her experience in the box was, “A complete rush! It definitely was scary looking down, but it was such a beautiful view at the same time.”


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Chicago Food

Chicago definitely knows how to master great-tasting food. If you have never been to Chicago before, have no fear on finding places to enjoy fantastic meals. If you are unsure of what exactly you want to try and eat in Chicago then you are in luck…Every summer there is an outdoor food festival called, “Taste of Chicago” that showcases the diversity of Chicago’s dining community. This festival gives people a perfect opportunity to try Chicago-styled food from the best restaurants in Chicago without forcing them to empty their wallets.

Pizza has always seemed to be the food that Chicago is most famous for. Chicago styled pizza is also known as deep-dish pizza. In other words, it is a pizza with a buttery crust that is stuffed with loads of cheese and ingredients, and then topped with a chunky tomato sauce. When I asked Juan Rubio, a fellow Chicagoan, what he loves about Chicago styled pizza he responded, “Not only does it taste like heaven, but it also fills you up after literally one slice!” Chicago styled pizza has been this popular ever since it was invented at Pizzeria Uno, located in Chicago, in 1943!


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Millennium Park

July 16, 2004 marks the date when one of the most popular sites in Chicago was opened. Millennium Park is without a doubt a must see for people visiting Chicago. The public park is located in the Loop community area of Chicago, and was originally made to celebrate the millennium. Perhaps all of the features that Millennium Park obtains are what makes it such an unforgettable experience for its visitors.

One of Millennium Park’s most well known features is the Cloud Gate; however, most Chicagoans just call it “the bean.” The bean is basically a giant bean-shaped sculpture that reflects your image upon it. People love to gather around it and take pictures, because they also capture an image of themselves on it.

I asked a fellow Chicagoan, Molly Carmody, to explain her thoughts on the popularity of the bean and her thoughts were, “Lets just say that I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a picture with the bean; unless of course they have never been to Chicago before.”

In July 2004, another exciting feature to see at Millennium Park was created by designer Jaume Plensa: The Crown Fountain. The Crown Fountain obtains two fifty-feet tall towers that display interactive art by using special lighting called light-emitting diodes to portray digital images. The fountain’s use of water is perhaps one of its most unique aspects. Plensa designed the Crown Fountain’s use of water in a way that promotes physical interaction between the public and the water. People can even sign up to have their face displayed on one of the Crown Fountain’s towers. No wonder The Crown Fountain is such a popular place to visit!

When Chicago’s extremely cold winters are finally over, Chicagoans love to visit their revolutionary outdoor concert venue: The Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Not only is this pavilion a great place to experience live music, but the architecture of it is amazing to look at as well. The Jay Pritzker Pavilion stands 120-feet tall and has brushed stainless steel ribbons framing the stage. It also includes 4,000 fixed seats and has a great big lawn that accommodates an additional 7,000 people. In other words, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion is a perfect place to listen to music on a nice sunny day in Chicago.


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