The Windy City
Chicago is always a novelty. It is never the same city you visited last time. The birthplace of the modern skyscraper, a cruise down the Chicago River highlights the evolution of architecture from the great fire to present day. The architectural wonders on the river banks are the parents of architectural thought and design the world over.
Here stands the Sears Tower, tallest building in the world till a few years ago. It sparked off a revolution in building big and tall that is going stronger than ever. From its observation deck, the true majesty of Lake Michigan comes to light. Around its shores stand numerous Chicago attractions such as the Field Museum, Millennium Park, and one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world, Soldier Field.
This is where Rockefeller and Al Capone left their marks respectively. Al Capone defined the prohibition era with his gangsters, bootlegging and speakeasies. Capone’s legacy however is all but erased from the city though Rockefeller’s legacy remains. Rockefeller’s University of Chicago remains among the best in the world and the railroad industry which he pioneered still has its vestiges next to the iconic Art Institute of Chicago. A reminder to all for what endures and what does not.
“Massachusetts has been the wheel within New England, and Boston the wheel within Massachusetts.
It has therefore been the source and fountain of the ideas that have moved and made America, and is, in a high and honourable sense, the hub of the New World”
— Foster Barham Zincke
“I love Los Angeles, and I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.”
— Andy Warhol
“The missionary comes after the whiskey — I mean he arrives after the whiskey has arrived; next comes the poor immigrant, with ax and hoe and rifle; next, the trader; next…
…All these interests bring the newspaper; the newspaper starts up politics and a railroad; all hands turn to and build a church and a jail— and behold, civilization is established for ever in the land.
But whiskey, you see, was the van-leader in this beneficent work. It always is.”
— Mark Twain
“And it is awful here, there is no other way to say it. But I believe that Detroit is America’s city. It was the vanguard of our way up, just as it is the vanguard of our way down. And one hopes the vanguard of our way up again.
Detroit is Pax Americana. The birthplace of mass production, the automobile, the cement road, the refrigerator, frozen peas, high- paid blue-collar jobs, home ownership and credit on a mass scale. America’s way of life was built here.”
— Charlie LeDuff
“My advice for aspiring writers is go to New York. And if you can’t go to New York, go to the place that represents New York to you, where the standards for writing are high, there are other people who share your dreams, and where you can talk, talk, talk about your interests. Writing books begins in talking about it, like most human projects, and in being close to those who have already done what you propose to do.”
— Walter Kirn