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Christa Loecher
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« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2009, 04:22:23 am »



Map of the neighborhoods of Chicago. Author: Office of United States Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Illinois)
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Christa Loecher
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« Reply #31 on: April 26, 2009, 04:23:21 am »

Culture and contemporary life

The city's waterfront allure and nightlife has attracted residents and tourists alike. Over one-third of the city population is concentrated in the lakefront neighborhoods (from Rogers Park in the north to South Shore in the south). The North Side has a large gay and lesbian community. Two North Side neighborhoods in particular, Lakeview and the Andersonville area of the Edgewater neighborhood, are home to many LGBT businesses and organizations. The area surrounding the North Side intersections of Halsted, Belmont, and Clark is a gay district known as "Boystown". The city has many upscale dining establishments as well as many ethnic restaurant districts. These include the Mexican villages such as Pilsen on 18th street and "La Villita" on 26th street, "Greektown" on South Halsted, "Little Italy" on Taylor Street, just west of Halsted, "Chinatown" on the near South Side, "Little Seoul" on and around Lawrence Avenue, a cluster of Vietnamese restaurants on Argyle Street and South Asian (Indian/Pakistani) on Devon Avenue.
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Christa Loecher
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« Reply #32 on: April 26, 2009, 04:25:18 am »

Entertainment and performing arts

Chicago’s theatre community spawned modern improvisational theatre.[31] Two renowned comedy troupes emerged — The Second City and I.O. (formerly known as ImprovOlympic). Renowned Chicago theater companies include the Steppenwolf Theatre Company (on the city's north side), the Goodman Theatre, and the Victory Gardens Theater. Chicago offers Broadway-style entertainment at theaters such as Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre, Bank of America Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre, Auditorium Building of Roosevelt University, and Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place. Polish language productions for Chicago's large Polish speaking population can be seen at the historic Gateway Theatre in Jefferson Park. Since 1968, the Joseph Jefferson Awards are given annually to acknowledge excellence in theatre in the Chicago area.

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Christa Loecher
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« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2009, 04:25:36 am »

Classical music offerings include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, recognized as one of the finest orchestras in the world,[32] which performs at Symphony Center. Also performing regularly at Symphony Center is the Chicago Sinfonietta, a more diverse and multicultural counterpart to the CSO. In the summer, many outdoor concerts are given in Grant Park and Millennium Park. Ravinia Park, located 25 miles (40 km) north of Chicago, is also a favorite destination for many Chicagoans, with performances occasionally given in Chicago locations such as the Harris Theater. The Civic Opera House is home to the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

The Joffrey Ballet and Chicago Festival Ballet perform in various venues, including the Harris Theater in Millennium Park. Chicago is home to several other modern and jazz dance troupes, such as the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.

Other live music genre which are part of the city's cultural heritage include Chicago blues, Chicago soul, jazz, and gospel. The city is the birthplace of house music and is the site of an influential hip-hop scene. In the 1980s, the city was a center for industrial, punk and new wave. This influence continued into the alternative rock of the 1990s. The city has been an epicenter for rave culture since the 1980s. A flourishing independent rock music culture brought forth Chicago indie. The city has also been spawning a critically acclaimed underground metal scene with various bands gaining national attention in the metal and hard rock world[citation needed]. Annual festivals feature various acts such as Lollapalooza, the Intonation Music Festival and Pitchfork Music Festival.

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Christa Loecher
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« Reply #34 on: April 26, 2009, 04:26:28 am »



The Chicago Theatre
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« Reply #35 on: April 26, 2009, 04:27:23 am »



A Chicago jazz club
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Christa Loecher
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« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2009, 04:28:07 am »

Tourism

Chicago attracted a combined 44.2 million people in 2006 from around the nation and abroad.[6] Upscale shopping along the Magnificent Mile and State Street, thousands of restaurants, as well as Chicago's eminent architecture, continue to draw tourists. The city is the United States' third-largest convention destination. Most conventions are held at McCormick Place, just south of Soldier Field. The historic Chicago Cultural Center (1897), originally serving as the Chicago Public Library, now houses the city's Visitor Information Center, galleries, and exhibit halls. The ceiling of Preston Bradley Hall includes a 38-foot (11 m) Tiffany glass dome. Millennium Park, initially slated to be unveiled at the turn of the 21st century, and delayed for several years, sits on a deck built over a portion of the former Illinois Central rail yard. The park includes the reflective Cloud Gate sculpture (known locally as "The Bean"). A Millennium Park restaurant outdoor transforms into an ice rink in the winter. Two tall glass sculptures make up the Crown Fountain. The fountain's two towers display visual effects from LED images of Chicagoans' faces, with water spouting from their lips. Frank Gehry's detailed stainless steel band shell Pritzker Pavilion, hosts the classical Grant Park Music Festival concert series. Behind the pavilion's stage is the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, an indoor venue for mid-sized performing arts companies, including Chicago Opera Theater and Music of the Baroque.

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Christa Loecher
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« Reply #37 on: April 26, 2009, 04:28:28 am »

In 1998, the city officially opened the Museum Campus, a 10-acre (4-ha) lakefront park surrounding three of the city's main museums: the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Shedd Aquarium. The Museum Campus joins the southern section of Grant Park which includes the renowned Art Institute of Chicago. Buckingham Fountain anchors the downtown park along the lakefront. The Oriental Institute, part of the University of Chicago, has an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern archaeological artifacts. Other museums and galleries in Chicago are the Chicago History Museum, DuSable Museum of African-American History, Museum of Contemporary Art, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Polish Museum of America, Museum of Broadcast Communications and the Museum of Science and Industry.

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« Reply #38 on: April 26, 2009, 04:29:21 am »



Navy Pier, 3,000 feet (900 m) long, houses retail, restaurants, museums, exhibition halls, and auditoriums. Its 150-foot (46 m) tall Ferris wheel is north of Grant Park on the lakefront and is one of the most visited landmarks in the Midwest, attracting about 8 million people annually.[33]
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« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2009, 04:30:24 am »



The Magnificent Mile host numerous shops and landmarks such as the Chicago Water Tower.
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« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2009, 04:31:09 am »

Parks

When Chicago incorporated in 1837, it chose the motto "Urbs in Horto", a Latin phrase which translates into English as "City in a Garden". Today the Chicago Park District consists of 552 parks with over 7,300 acres (30 km²) of municipal parkland as well as 33 sand beaches along Lake Michigan, nine museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons and 10 bird and wildlife gardens. Lincoln Park, the largest of these parks, has over 20 million visitors each year, making it second only to Central Park in New York City.[34] Nine lakefront harbors located within a number of parks along the lakefront render the Chicago Park District the nation's largest municipal harbor system. In addition to ongoing beautification and renewal projects for existing parks, a number of new parks have been added in recent years such as Ping Tom Memorial Park, DuSable Park and most notably Millennium Park. The wealth of greenspace afforded by Chicago's parks is further augmented by the Cook County Forest Preserves, a network of open spaces containing forest, prairie, wetland, streams, and lakes that are set aside as natural areas which lie along the city's periphery, home to both the Chicago Botanic Garden and Brookfield Zoo.

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Christa Loecher
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« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2009, 04:31:55 am »

Parks

When Chicago incorporated in 1837, it chose the motto "Urbs in Horto", a Latin phrase which translates into English as "City in a Garden". Today the Chicago Park District consists of 552 parks with over 7,300 acres (30 kmē) of municipal parkland as well as 33 sand beaches along Lake Michigan, nine museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons and 10 bird and wildlife gardens. Lincoln Park, the largest of these parks, has over 20 million visitors each year, making it second only to Central Park in New York City.[34] Nine lakefront harbors located within a number of parks along the lakefront render the Chicago Park District the nation's largest municipal harbor system. In addition to ongoing beautification and renewal projects for existing parks, a number of new parks have been added in recent years such as Ping Tom Memorial Park, DuSable Park and most notably Millennium Park. The wealth of greenspace afforded by Chicago's parks is further augmented by the Cook County Forest Preserves, a network of open spaces containing forest, prairie, wetland, streams, and lakes that are set aside as natural areas which lie along the city's periphery, home to both the Chicago Botanic Garden and Brookfield Zoo.

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« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2009, 04:32:43 am »



Portage Park on the Northwest side and Washington Square Park on the Near North Side.
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« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2009, 04:35:55 am »

Cuisine

Chicago lays claim to a large number of regional specialties, all of which reflect the city's ethnic and working class roots. Included among these are its nationally renowned deep-dish pizza, although locally the Chicago-style thin crust is also popular; featuring a thinner than normal crust. There are very few pizzerias that specialize in true Chicago-style deep dish, the most prominent being Lou Malnati's, Gino's East and Giordano's. The number of "authentic" Chicago pizzerias specializing in the thin crust version is much higher, with many being "Mom and Pop" style shops. Among the largest chains in Chicagoland with this area of specialty are Home Run Inn, Rosati's and Aurelio's. The Chicago-style hot dog, typically a Vienna Beef dog loaded with an array of fixings that often includes Chicago's own neon green pickle relish, yellow mustard, pickled sport peppers, tomato wedges, dill pickle spear and topped off with celery salt. Ketchup on a Chicago hot dog is frowned upon.[35] There are two other distinctly Chicago sandwiches, the Italian beef sandwich, which is thinly sliced beef slowly simmered in an au jus served on an Italian roll with sweet peppers or spicy giardiniera, and the Maxwell Street Polish, which is a kielbasa — typically from either the Vienna Beef Company or the Bobak Sausage Company — on a hot dog roll, topped with grilled onions, yellow mustard and the optional sport peppers. Portillo's is one of the most dominant chains among local restaurants specializing in Chicago-style cuisine. McDonald's even adds its own downtown flavor, with their Rock-n-Roll McDonald's.

The grand tour of Chicago cuisine culminates annually in Grant Park at the Taste of Chicago, the largest food festival in the world which runs from the final week of June through Fourth of July weekend. Chicago features a number of celebrity chefs, a list which includes Charlie Trotter, Rick Tramonto, Jean Joho, Grant Achatz, and Rick Bayless, Chicago has in recent decades developed into one of the world's premiere restaurant cities. Some of the most notable restaurants in Chicago are Gibson's Steakhouse, The Berghoff, Harry Caray's Steakhouse, Ditka's Steakhouse, Hard Rock Chicago, and Goose Island Brewery.

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« Reply #44 on: April 26, 2009, 04:36:45 am »



Polish market in Chicago.
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