It’s me again

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Oh man, oh man, long time no see, huh? How long is it ago that I published my last article? 2 or 3 months?

I can’t even recall that. Yeah, I know, why the heck is he writing again? One would claim it’s totally senseless updating after such a long time. BUT, whatever, a little update never hurt nobody. Plus, I’ve been asked for new articles on my blog several times now.

Wow, I’ve just checked back. The last article I wrote was about my car. Yes, my car still exists and I am very positive it will last the upcoming 6 months very well too.
So, well, let me just quickly think back to figure what has happened during the last 3 months.

Hmm, yeah I got to know Chicago quite well. I know a few things about tourism and of course explored the nightlife every now and then.
Let’s start with the daytime touristy stuff doable in Chi-Town. Okay. You live in the NW Suburbs of a great city. How do you get there most convenient? There are 2 possibilities which I’d like to bring to your awareness. FYI.

1. Train: In Chicago and the Chicagoland area there is a public transportation company operating the close distance commuting called “Metra”. Friday’s to Sunday’s night you can get a weekend ticket for $8,50. That’s a great deal. That ticket allows you to travel limitless back and forth all weekend long. Weekdays a one-way ticket is $6,50.
One that decides to take the Metra should calculate well and expect to spend some time in the train since these trains aren’t actually the fastest ones. Btw, fun fact, trains and their tracks, to which most the major cities owe their growth, haven’t quite developed since the 50’s. Weird, huh? I guess because the American infrastructure relies more on those terrifying highways I’m going tell you about in a bit.

2. Car: I prefer taking the car to go downtown. Yeah, fully integrated after only 6 months, haha. It’s just so much more convenient and comfy and surprisingly even cheaper thanks to those amazingly low gas prizes. Of course, if you plan on going by car you got to know what you’re doing merging into the terrifying traffics of totally anarchic highways. People that get scared driving, for instance as passenger should brace their selves. Streets in downtown itself are hopelessly over packed and made characteristic by confusingly huge intersection systems and one way streets. Parking can be on the expensive side, if you don’t know where and how to park best. But after a while in Chicago you’ll as well figure out and even be able to find temporarily no cost parking lots.

Haha, sound horrifying what I just wrote about going by car. But believe me, it’s way better than it sounds like.

Well, finally arrived in downtown, what to do? No matter how you decided to commute there Chicago of course is a big ass city in a big ass country and you got to know how to proceed to your destination. Once arrived in the desired neighborhood you can use them good ol’ feet to walk around. But, how to get there?

There plenty possibilities to continue the journey. Countless busses, taxies, Ubers, and as well the world famous and for Chicago’s face most characteristic “EL” (Elevated Lines) leave their marks in the streets. Yeah, this wonderful city’s subway operates above ground. Actually about approximately 5+ meter (16+ feet) above street level. The El in my opinion is the best und easiest way of commuting through the city. I’m a big fan. The only minus for it on my scale is that it doesn’t operate everywhere in the city. Its routes are a bit limited, which is why at some point there is no way around choosing the bus or a cab. Taking the bus while rush hour is like no good option. It’s really crowded and non-transparent making it for tourists or people that aren’t using it on a daily basis to a great adventure. Taxis or the in Germany prohibited private driver system Uber are compared to other possibilities on the more expensive side but incredibly convenient and still affordable.

Alright, okay. So we are in Chicago now. What’s there to do? Man, there is plenty of things to do. I know that I’ve done quite a lot so far, but by far not even close to everything. I started of course out with the most popular and recommended things to do.

It feels like this city has as many museums as inhabitants and each one is better than the other. Plus, it’s always a neat thing to add something to your general education.
The ones that I’ve seen so far are as well a few of the best ones. I’ve been to MSI (Museum of Science and Industry) and to the Shedd Aquarium. Somewhere I haven’t been yet, but totally would love to go is the planetarium right next to Shedd.

Anyone that is close to the Shedd should definitively consider to take a ride on one of the water taxis heading to Navy Pier that are offered right on the docks for little money. From the waterside you’ll have an outstanding view onto the city’s skyline and enough time to take marvelous pictures. Navy Pier itself is marked by great restaurants that are one of the more popular tourist attractions.

What else is there to do? Something else I like to see every now and then or just to hangout and have a great leisure time is Lincoln Park Zoo. It’s a free Zoo and even though I have the feeling that many of the enclosures are way too small for the animals it’s nice to see and spend the afternoon. There are many unique parks around, for instance the famous Millennium Park with the Chicago Bean and the Amphitheater as well as a little further south the great Buckingham Fountain.

Anyone that isn’t afraid of heights should go and check out the Skydeck in the 103rd floor of the Sears Tower (I know its name is Willis Tower now, but if you’re a real Chicagoan you don’t call it that way) or the bar with view of the skyline in Hancock Tower.
Chicago ‘s the city of food. No matter what’s your favorite thing there will always be a Chicago style version of it. It starts with Chicago style pizza (Deep Dish Pizza) goes through Chicago style hotdog and end with Chicago style cheese and caramel popcorn.

Another great thing I’d like to recommend and which I’ve done in every city I’ve been in so far is a “free walking tour”. These tours are offered in nearly every bigger city. Joining such a tour you’ll be guided through streets and into corners by men and women living in the city knowing and telling you about sophisticated little details of history, buildings, environment and people. You’ll get to know stuff no bus tour can ever bring close to you and you are experiencing the city closer at its pulse. So far I’ve been very satisfied with each of the tours I have done. The best thing of these tours is in the end you pay whatever the tour was worth in your eyes, but of course if you want to be a good representative for your country and fellow humans you pay them a reasonable amount of money since these tours are really incredible.

NIGHTLIFE!!!

Yeah, Party time. Always in favor of a good party I of course as well explored the nightlife every now and then and am able to tell you a couple of things about it. One thing that I had to get used to is clubs and bars close and parties end compared to other countries I lived in so far kind of early. US-Americans tend to start coming together quite early and visit the bar earlier in the evening. It’s not unusual that at 2 or 3 am you’ll get send home by the bouncers because the club is closing.

Celebrating in Chicago really is connected with a lot of fun. Of course in downtown you have to expect a little higher prices for drinks then in the burbs. The nicest areas to visit at night are Clark Street close the Chicago Cubs Baseball Stadium Wrigley Field, Rush Street or the Loop. If you’re a fan of blues and jazz born in Chicago and want to experience unique and really great musicians making music I recommend to visit Kingston Mines like I did with my girlfriend Juliana, the other night. A little west from Chicago is Rosemont. As well a nice place to spend your night.

Alright this should be enough for now. I bet you got bored a little reading all this already. Haha.

See you in 3 months,

Maurice

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