So, last week I was in Chicago with Uni.
Chicago, is cool. Damn cool. When everyone tells you that everything is big in America, its a given and you generally nod along in belief thinking thats that 7th time you have been told this fact.
Truth is, words cannot being to justify HOW big everything is. The sheer enormity of the buildings gives you cramp in your neck, and to cross a road brings new meaning to "getting to the other side safely".
Food portions are astronomical. I still can't understand how people can eat such large portions for meals and not feel ill or sick afterwards or suffer from heartburn. Which could explain America's Current obesity problem. Although saying this, we didn't see any obesity- except maybe when we went to the Pizza Resturant.
It's a shame that we couldn't spend more time in Chicago, the city is so vast you can't possibly cover it all in the time frame we were given.
An aspect I loved of the City was Wicker Park area. It oozed charm and had an arts scene that permeated sophistication and chicness that was somewhat elitest. Despite this, there was some cool record shops, galleries, vintage clothes shops, street art and potentially the best cafe.... EVER.
No joke, best burger and fries I have ever eaten in my life ever...
Long live the messy Burger. Comprising of black bean burger, cheese, caramelised onions, mustard dressing and peppercorn dressing and spicy fries.
Oh my days, I never wanted the meal to end...ever. My friend had a steak sandwich with fries. I don't convey a word of a lie when I say there was the best of half a cow between the bread.
Something that continues to shock me and baffle me about America is that amount of poverty that is around. Away from the slick sky scrapers and haute cuisine of the resturants, there is the streets of the poor, where they struggle to make ends meet and gang culture is the norm. We walked streets and streets of some of the poorer neighborhoods and soon realised that America is not always the land of dreams it always wants to portray itself as.
On every street corner, musicians cling to the dream of the Jazz music following which gave some meaning to black working community in bygone eras. The jazz scene, although still existant, is now somewhat jaded and only exists for the tourist population. There is a sadness to it when you see a drummer drumming to try and recreate the magic of what once was, but the spell is broken, and no matter how long you drum, its will never come back.
However, the America dream and ceremony exists still is some parts of the city. One of the best places I saw this was the United Centre when we saw the Blackhawks Hockey Team play a match.
Everyone stands to sing the National Anthem and pomp and pride that most Americans have in this country is something to marvel at and admire. I doubt I would see the same amount of Patriotic fervor in this country.
All in all I really enjoyed myself and saw a multi-faseted view of Chicago that deviates from what the Guidebook suggests.