Chicago – City That Feels Like Home

In the state of Illinois, Chicago is one of the most populous cities. Chicago was formed as a city in 1837 near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed and then saw a rapid growth in the 19th century. In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed most of the city and left about 100, 000 people homeless. But, the city made a synergetic effort to rebuild all the destroyed property. With this development in the construction, Chicago then also saw a growth in its population in the following decades.

 Today, Chicago is an international hub for finance, culture, commerce, industry, education, technology, telecommunications and transportation. Chicago is also the site for creation of the first standardized futures contracts. Today, it is one of the largest and most diverse derivatives market in the world.

In the United States, the gross metropolitan product of Chicago is the third largest, which is about $670.5 billion. Chicago shows a high level of diversification and has been rated to have the most balanced economy in the United States. In the year 2014, the Chicago metropolitan area also recorded the highest number of new or expanded corporate facilities in the United States.

The city is also known to be the base of commercial operations of industrialists like John Crerar, John Whitfield Bunn, Richard Teller Crane, Marshall Field, John Farwell, and Julius Rosenwald and many more who have laid the foundation of global industry. Chicago is also known to a home to 12 Fortune Global 500 companies and 17 Financial Times 500 companies.

Chicago is considered as a major world financial center and is also the second-largest central business district in the United States. It is a home to Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and also has prime financial and futures exchanges. These include the Chicago Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, and Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (the Merc) along with the Chicago Board of Trade is owned by Chicago’s CME Group. The city is also a home to Dow 30 companies and also the aerospace giant Boeing that moved its headquarters from Seattle to Chicago in 2001.

Other major industries include manufacturing, food processing, printing, publishing etc. Headquarters of some of the prominent food companies are based in Chicago. These include Quaker Oats, US Foods, and McDonald’s etc. The city has also been a hub for the retail sector since its early development. Not just the industries, but Chicago also ranks third in the world as a convention destination. A number of conventions are held in Chicago every year.

The Culture and Contemporary Life of Chicago –

Apart from being a home to several headquarters of prominent industries, the city of Chicago is also a cultural centre. The city’s waterfront location and the vibrant nightlife have attracted people from over the world. Chicago has several deluxe dining options and also ethnic restaurants across districts. Some of the famous restaurants include the Little Italy along the Taylor Street, the Chinatown in Armour Square, the Little Seoul in Albany Park and Desi area along the Devon Avenue.

Downtown the city of Chicago is most famous for the city’s financial, governmental, cultural and commercial institutions. “The Loop” is the city’s eight by five-block area which is encircled by elevated rail tracks. The areas adjoining The Loop have many famous skyscrapers, restaurants, museums, shopping centres and many more.

The Hyde Park is a neighbourhood in the South Side, which is also the home of former President, Barack Obama. The University of Chicago, world’s first ranked university is also situated in the same neighbourhood. There also is the Museum of Science and Industry.

Chicago – A Tourist’s Favourite

As of 2014, Chicago was a hotspot for around 50.17 million domestic leisure travellers, 11.09 million domestic business travellers, and 1.308 million overseas travellers. What draws tourists around the world to Chicago are the upscale shopping centres like the Magnificent Mile and State Street. But it is not just about shopping, the several restaurants around the city are a food lover’s paradise.

The Willis Towers is another famous destination for the tourists. There is an observation desk on the Willis Towers which is open for the tourists all year round. People generally like enjoying the high overlooking views of Chicago and Lake Michigan form up there.

The other thing that attracts tourists is the cuisine of Chicago. The city offers a wide variety of different cuisines that reflect its ethnic and working-class roots. Some of the dishes that are renowned nationally include the deep-dish pizza, the Chicago style, the Italian beef sandwich, which is a distinctly Chicago style sandwich and many more. The city is also a home to one of the world’s most decorated restaurants which is a recipient of three Michelin stars, Alinea. Many of the well-known chefs have had their restaurants in Chicago. Chicago thus not just an important economic, but also a famous cultural in the United States with so much more to explore!

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