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Friday, November 13, 2015

GAWA Day #58: Chicago

I have three concerns today.  First, it is Friday the 13th.  While it probably has more relevance than the existence of a God or a possible afterlife, the threat is minuscule.   Second, you really need to spend a whole week, or two, to see Chicago and all its attractions, and I'm here for only one free day.  Third, the temperature will remain in the low 40's today with wind gusts to 40 MPH--for it is known as the Windy City--making the effective temperature in the 20's.  It would be a lot more comfortable just resting in my hotel room.

About Chicago itself, it was first incorporated in 1837 and now has a population of 2.7 million, but 10 million when you consider the metropolitan area.   It is the third largest city in the USA.  The mayor is Rahm Emanuel The city has 15 professional sport teams, is known for deep-dish pizza and has many firsts:
  • 1864:  Pullman sleeper car for trains (George Pullman)
  • 1868:  vacuum cleaner
  • 1872:  mail-order retail (by Aaron Montgomery Ward)
  • 1884:  skyscraper (right, 10 stories, spurred by their Great Fire of 1871)
  • 1886:  dishwasher
  • 1887:  softball
  • 1893:  open-heart surgery
  • 1893:  Ferris wheel (civil engineer George Ferris Jr., for world expo of that year)
  • 1893:  zipper
  • 1915:  yellow cab
  • 1924:  gay rights group
  • 1937:  U.S. blood bank
  • 1942:  nuclear reaction (Enrico Fermi)
  • 1943:  deep-dish pizza
  • 1953:  Hugh Hefner's Playboy
  • 1955:  wireless remote control for your TV (Zenith)
  • 1959:  Second City (Alan Arkin, David Sternberg, Robert Klein, Peter Boyle, Harold Ramis, John Belushi, John Candy, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, George Wendt, Shelley Long, James Belushi, Rachel Dratch, and many more)
  • 1960:  birth control pill
  • 1960:  televised political debate (John F. Kennedy vs Richard M. Nixon)
  • 1970:  Soul Train!
  • 1973:  cell phone (Martin Cooper of Motorola)
  • 1998:  Linux (alternative to Microsoft Windows, by Linus Torvalds)
You can read about the city here, as I only spent a few hours walking about.  I initially thought I would dine at the original Morton's founded in 1978, but they only serve dinner, so I went to one of their 69 other steakhouses, this one located only a few blocks away and much closer to the Washington Station stop on the Blue Line.

Caesar salad, tomato bisque soup and ribeye, with a Hendrick Gin martini (I asked what is the standard Friday lunch first drink in Chicago) and a glass of Raymond Cabernet Sauvignon.  Lunch was wonderful.

I then walked down Michigan Avenue (if I went up, I would have gone in the direction of the Magnificent Mile, but would have frozen) to Millennium Park (designed by the same architectural firm associated with Ken from my posting yesterday) and Wrigley Square, where you're compelled to photograph The Bean, more officially known as Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor:

If you look closely, you will see me.  Here is Frank Gehry's Pritzker Music Pavilion, located in the Lake Michigan direction of The Bean.

Well, the cold was not really all that oppressive, and I was tempted to wander further, but it gets dark fast here and the El back to O'Hare was an hour away from where I was standing, so that's all for Chicago.  Tomorrow, on to Las Vegas.


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