When I visited Chicago just couple weeks ago, for the very first time, I went through two (non) cultural shocks. that and annoying hungry sparrows.
1. It is pronounced [Shi-ka-go], as if the old lady who can not make any harder sounds tries to pronounce it. Not sexy, bold, appealing [tʃi-ka-go] like in chess..
just realized how exhausting it will be to express phonetical frustration on paper.
anyway, it is quite interesting how sounds and phonetical elements of the word are glued so intense into our minds that it is almost impossible to accept new ways of pronunciation. so I guess i will continue Italian gang style, chicago:)
2. Who said Chicago is like New York (or rather, visa verse but doesn’t really matter)? “Ah, you love NYC? You will love Chicago even more!! ” Nope. The first 5 hours I was there I was jumping, happy-go-lucky, with wide eyes and not less wide open mouth– architecture heaven, same narrow streets with reach-the-sky churches and yay, I found another NYC for myself!! Taking into account I lived in NYC for almost 6 months few years ago, you have all the rights to lift the brow (no, do both of them) onto such statement. Yes, the second half of the very same day I devoted to a very slow realization that Chicago is not the same. It is gangster, mob city. And it is the city of neighbourhoods (maybe 2-3 in total you would want to visit) which are limited to just dozen blocks.
But I still would love Chicago as any city which forces me to look up and up..
Chicago has an open train system- mostly above the ground. This offers fantastic views– not only on the city itself, but also on the whole composition of the city along with rail tracks. Somehow this old, ugly, rusty reddened massive ironmongery blends into the city landscape very harmonically. The lines of skyscrapers, the whole beautiful geometry of colours and styles would just collapse without those rail tracks…
How about some crazy colours splashing over Chicago? With nice weird effect of prism filter. Although, using colours, I honestly transferred my cheerful coming to terms with the city, yet I could not stop gut feeling it was deserted. Maybe it was part of the long weekend, maybe hot summer days.. I would never imagine Chicago as ghost town– although quite often it felt like one. Some say, it’d file for bankruptcy like Detroit. So not sure if this was just very obvious result of yet another crisis in the row.
Now: Why Lincoln statue has a chair?.. Anyway he stands, so why it was so absolutely necessary to put up the chair there? I understand when the ‘greatest ones’ are featured in work of art with some element they always carried along– hat, glasses, book, naked angry cat — but chair…???
Well, and least but not last… Meet Chicago real local mob:))