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My list of travel oversights in the US is long and extensive. Like many people, I’ve kept my travels to the outer corners of the country, with a special emphasis on the northeast and southwest.
What about the great big expanse in between? Specifically, the midwestern states? Chicago is the shining jewel in its crown, and yet I still have not made it there yet.
For me, the biggest Chicago attractions are food-related. I’ve eaten my way through plenty of US cities — cannolis in Boston, Korean food in New York, Tex-Mex in San Antonio and cheesesteaks in Philadelphia — but Chicago represents a whole new level of gluttony.
Deep dish pizza? I have no idea how people eat it, but I’ll take their word that it’s amazing. I also saw an episode of Man vs. Food that featured a pastrami pizza that was roughly the size of a parachute. It took about 15 men to decimate that one. (All I have to say is — just give me the chance. Please.)
And don’t forget that hot dog place where at 10:30 PM the staff go from sweet and good-natured to angry and yelling at you. Between that, a big plate of pastries and several Thai courses, I’m sure I could eat happily in Chicago for a long time.
Chicago is a city that is so rich in art. The Art Institute of Chicago is home to so many works of art that I’ve studied in my art history courses in collage, like American Gothic and Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.
It’s a bit silly, but I could see myself taking a million photos in front of the Bean. It could probably give you a fisheye effect from plenty of different angles.
And don’t forget the easiest way to enjoy art in Chicago — taking in the architecture! Chicago is filled with a fascinating city center for an architecture nerd like myself, and I’m definitely going to take a boat ride along the river so I can see it from the best view possible.
I’ve always lived within a short drive of the ocean, and it blows my mind that Chicago has the whole beachfront atmosphere down — but with no ocean. It even has waves. If I visited during the summer (and I don’t think you could convince me to visit Chicago during the frigid winter), you would definitely find me sunning myself on the beach or just off shore.
And that’s just the beginning of what Chicago has to offer. Next time I make it back to the States, I’m going to see if I can make a visit to this fabulous city finally happen.