Spending One Day Sightseeing In Chicago (Part 1 of 2)

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Took the iconic Chicago ‘L’ (short for elevated) train to get to town today to first meet up with my ex-colleague before doing more sightseeing. The oldest sections of the ‘L’ started in 1892, so that explains why they’re not willing to give up the wooden boardwalk feel to the lines!

We arrived at the Chicago Board of Trade and this is really where trading really began. It’s all due to farmers and merchants wanting to buy/sell and ensure best prices for their stock, even before they’re harvested. Yup…that’s how Futures started.

CME is very proud that they’re the only exchange left with the open cry system and we could see many traders taking a short lunch break near the fountain. How do we know that they’re traders? By their colourful jackets and tags, of course! 😉

The view from my ex-company’s Chicago office gave us an almost 360 view of the heart of Chicago. We could see the planetarium (above) as well as the prison (below).

Why the heck is there a prison in the middle of the city?!?! The prisoners get to play basketball and exercise with an even better view than most Chicago locals can afford! Moreover, the scary thing was that a week before our arrival, 2 inmates managed to make a hole in the wall and escaped! They even managed to take a cab! We could even see the area on the building where they patched it up.

My friend explained that the prison is there probably because the High Court was there so that they could house the prisoners there while they await trial before they go to the higher security prisons. Oh dear. Hmm.

Does this remind you of Gotham City? If it does, you’re not imagining things as “Dark Knight” was filmed here and the Chicago Board of Trade is so iconic that wedding photos are even taken here!

We walked a little further towards the Chase Tower Plaza and I love it when there’s art in the city! This here is the mosaic wall named “Four Seasons” by Marc Chagall.

Proof that I’m in Chicago! LOL. This is another icon of Chicago and yes, that’s the exact same sign used in Chicago – the musical’s original artwork. It actually is the Chicago Theater’s sign. So that explains why it was used in the musical!

We finally found a place where we wanted to have lunch at – Shake Shack! So ironic that it started in New York but we were unable to eat it in NYC due to the incredibly long queues. You can read my review on their burgers on my food blog here.

No bull this time. Just cows. But I’m still grabbing its horns. Just like what I did in New York. May I have bull runs with no bull shit.

Love random art strewn across the city. There was another cow near our apartment but I didn’t get the chance to take a photo of it as there were flash floods for both nights that we were in Chicago.

After lunch, we headed across the road to Millennium Park because I just wanted to see The Bean!

Cloud Gate aka ‘The Bean’

From under ‘The Bean’

Art plays an important role in Chicago and this amphitheatre within Millennium Park boasts of free rehearsal ‘concerts’ by the Chicago Orchestra every week. Even when we were there, I saw posters about free movie screening and plays within the park. 

Mission accomplished! Haha…I just wanted to see ‘The Bean’! Anyway, no trip to Chicago is done without a visit to Garrett’s popcorn!

Look at the freshly popped pop corn! Pardon the reflections.

I didn’t buy any popcorn but Joanne bought the Chicago Bears one. It was really quite cute but I couldn’t imagine lugging it with me to Wisconsin and then Singapore.

Anyway, this post is getting a bit too long so I’m going to continue onto the more architecture part of our sightseeing in the next post!

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