This post is a tribute to my home, the city of Chicago –
one of the finest cities in the world.
This tribute stems from an evening when I was leaving work and climbing the stairs to the “L” (Chicago’s Mass Transit – The Chicago Transit Authority or CTA) and I heard a 20-something female tell her friend on the phone say:
“I’m just getting off the L”
The wheels began turning in my head. Only since November 2009 have I lived on the north side of the city near the iconic Wrigley Field home of the Chicago Cubs that I realized how great of a city Chicago is.
I’ve lived in Chicago my whole life, but spent my entire childhood, less ages 1 to 4, in the suburbs, I never realized Chicago’s full potential. I have never been anywhere else in the world that is a better place to be than Chicago in the summer time. There is a bar or restaurants every other business, patios and parks galore, incredible deep dish pizza, the ~20 mile lake front path filled with people exercising from sunrise til after sun set.
North Avenue Beach Volleyball Tournament – Chicago hosts several professional beach volleyball tournaments each year & weekly competitive tournaments.
This is my favorite view in the city – from North Avenue Beach where I spend most of my time in the
summer playing beach volleyball – looking southbound at the Chicago Skyline – highlighted by the
100+ story (1,127′ – almost a quarter mile tall) John Hancock Building.
There is beach volleyball and intramural sports galore! Below is a view of Northerly Island compliments of Players Sports Facebook page from its annual Luau grass volleyball tournament overlooking Chicago’s museum campus, one of its harbors, and the skyline.
Other sites to see include Chicago’s Downtown, known as “The Loop,” offers some of the best architecture in the world. It also is home to the famous Michigan Avenue and the Magnificent Mile. The Sears Tower (as Chicagoans will always call it), Trump Tower, the John Hancock building and its restaurant on the 96th floor over looking the lake.
“The Bean” in Millennium Park after I finished the Chicago Marathon with my friend Rachel. It reflects the city skyline from all angles creating amazing photo opportunities.
There is Navy Pier with its tourist traps, the incredible Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), State Street, and the entirety of Millennium Park.
State Street in April
Post the Shamrock Shuffle – The World’s Largest 8K by Buckingham Fountain with the Sears Tower in the background.
Free Concert at Millennium Park – biweekly, all summer.
Chicago offers free concerts at Millennium Park, an incredibly large and diverse running community and host to one of the largest marathons in the world, with over a million spectators each year! Chicago also has the largest 8K race in the world with 45,000 participants which is a site to see itself throughout the Chicago downtown districts each March.
Courtesy of Bank of America – Chicago Marathon
This image is post the Men’s Health Urbanathlon – a 10 mile race I completed in 2011 with 7 obstacle
courses and a 46 story equivalent stair climb within Solider Field – Home to the Chicago Bears.
There are neighborhoods of every imaginable ethnic background, and if I wanted to experience various cultures throughout the world, I could easily be a tourist in my own city and find authentic cuisine from dozens and dozens of backgrounds. In addition, Chicago’s museum campus is second to none, and Chicago sports…you might have heard of them…just maybe.
- Pre-Game for Chicago Bears Game
During my past travels over seas in remote areas where little to no English is spoken, I have said that I am from Chicago, and their response is almost always either “Michael Jordan” or “The Windy City”. It’s such an honor to be traveling over seas and to be able to say, “I’m from Chicago,” never once have I received a negative response.
Michael Jordan – Chicago Bulls
Wherever you may live in the world, I cannot encourage you enough to visit Chicago on your next trip to the States or if you are a domestic reader to plan a visit to Chicago as well. It may not receive the hype of New York City or L.A., but what it lacks in that hype, it more than makes up in character and personality. The people from the Midwest are as friendly as can be and willing to help you out around any turn. I’ve personally had friends visit from England and Germany and each could not stop raving about how much they love the city.
“Wolf Point” of the Chicago River, Merchandise Mart to the left, and the sky scraper Trump Tower in the background
Come see for yourself, I promise you it will be worth it. Chicago is unreal, I will miss it, however, I’m so proud to call it home and know that I can return at anytime – to the warmth, pleasure, and joys of The Windy City.
Kinzie Bridge and Sears Tower
I’ll miss you Chicago, you are the finest city in the world
and I’ll always call you home!