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Old 08-18-2014, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
3,451 posts, read 3,400,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
If you want an All-American city, then definitely Chicago. The Midwest is the most All-American part of the U.S.

But if you've never been to the U.S., I would definitely go with NYC. They're both great cities, but NYC is arguably greatest city on the planet. Visiting Chicago first would be like visiting France the first time and deciding to go to Marseilles instead of Paris or visiting the UK and going with Manchester instead of London.
Agree on both counts - clearly, Chicago is more "Middle America," partially because that's exactly where it resides, and partly because it just is. By the specs the OP laid down, clearly Chicago would be the call. However, if I had only one to choose, and maybe it's partly because Chicago has always been just down the road from me, NYC wins for sure.

So - for what you're looking for, probably Chicago; for the city with the most overall impact, NYC.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:35 PM
 
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If you are into criminal history, especially politicians, then Chicago is the place. The last two governors of Illinois are currently in prison and the U.S. papers are full of stories on the current crime plague sweeping the city; lots of shootings.

How long are you visiting the U.S.?
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,344,637 times
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New York, with a side car trip of a few days (assuming you can drive) to about 2 - 3 hours out of the city, perhaps to a scenic town in upstate NY, to "drink in" the local culture. Make sure you attend a local high school game, eat at a local cafe, catch a pro or collegiate game at the local sports bar, and go prowling around the local mall/Walmart or Target (those are the types of places normal "middle Americans" go to).
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:53 AM
 
2,025 posts, read 2,354,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
If you want an All-American city, then definitely Chicago. The Midwest is the most All-American part of the U.S.

But if you've never been to the U.S., I would definitely go with NYC. They're both great cities, but NYC is arguably greatest city on the planet. Visiting Chicago first would be like visiting France the first time and deciding to go to Marseilles instead of Paris or visiting the UK and going with Manchester instead of London.

Except for the fact that Chicago is a mega city almost as large as London/Paris and many times larger than Marseilles/Manchester. You can't really go wrong with either destination but if you go to New York, the hordes of tourists will be from all over the planet...not much different vibe than London or Paris when it comes to the sightseeing energy. Whereas in Chicago, you are much more likely to be surrounded by American tourists. And if you pass through Union Station, you might even get a glimpse of Amish-Americans...apparently it serves as a sort of mid-country transit hub for them, as they don't drive cars. Curious City: The Amish find Chicago's Union Station a hub for Amtrak train travel | WBEZ 91.5 Chicago

And if you do go to NYC, I'd recommend a few day trip to nearby Philadelphia...the original Americana city.
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:41 AM
 
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I travel to both often for work...

NYC is more chaotic... more "extreme"...in the sense u feel as if you're in the center of the universe when walking around Manhattan... everyone is moving, shaking, and the energy is just frenetic... It's truly a unique city... Also, quite beautiful in a sense.

Chicago is also quite busy and with lots of really cool architecture. I dont think either one is more "American" (ie county fairs, apple pie, etc) than the other. . To be honest u wont find much apple pie or county fairs in either....

Both are very diverse... and filled with ppl from all over the world, so one does not feel more home-grown American than the other IMO.

Chicago is more dangerous than NYC... perhaps consider that too as u plan your travels.
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Old 09-09-2014, 03:45 PM
 
Location: East Central Pennsylvania/ Chicago for 6yrs.
2,539 posts, read 2,466,709 times
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Adding my reasoning.... I'd chose Chicago cause of your interest. Chicago is called the Most American city for a reason. It has a world renowned downtown that is one of the cleanest in America. If your wife likes high end shopping and fine dining Chicago won't disappoint . Shopping on its Magnificent Mile and boutique shops on its north end and a Beach also at its start. Oak street beach right downtown always impresses. Hotels are also cheaper with deals found on Expedia or Priceline. You might even find a cheaper flight from the UK to Chicago. Take a boat tour into Lake Michigan if you can. They even have Fine Dining Cruises. Chicago lacks merely Quantity of NYC, not Quality. On State St, Chicago's original shopping street downtown is now Macy's . For most of its over 100+ years life though, it was Marshall Fields. It still is the Harrods's of Chicago. The crime factor is deceptive, cause of its mostly gang on gang on their own turf and few notorious neighborhoods. I have been both impressed and disappointed in Manhattan. Garbage on streets due to NYC has no alleys takes away. Also blocks of steel gated storefronts made it less impressive and a bit scary. But you can't take away the level of intensity it offers, especially if money is no object or do both if your stay is a week. I am sure there is no need to see Colonial in the US. Because it is UK originating styles anyway. You have plenty at home.

PLEASE LEAVE US KNOW HOW YOUR TRIP WENT AND CHOICE.
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:24 PM
 
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As a foreign visitor, you HAVE to see NY. Maybe Washington DC too, if you're into history. NY is pretty much the Capital of the World.

Chicago is an amazing city too, you really can't go wrong with either.

The REAL question is which one has better pizza?
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:55 PM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,176,306 times
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Chicago in a way is a slice of americana NYC is amazing and the premier city in America (some or many argue the world)

I dont think you can go wrong with either to be honest.

Depending on how long you are coming for you could actually visit a NYC and Philly (or even boston though further) especially if you like history (even DC is only a 2.5 hour train ride from NYC ; Philly an hour or 1.456 hour bus only ten dollars on Bolt bus etc.)

At any rate I don't think you could go wrong with either. NYC is closer to other cities if you want a little diversity

Best of luck on your decision and hope you enjoy your trip
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:00 AM
 
2,154 posts, read 2,665,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thefallensrvnge View Post
I also find Chicago's history fascinating. I don't think you can go wrong with either city. I think Chicago is a bit more off the beaten path in the sense that it doesn't have a large amount of international icons like NYC (Empire State Building, Lady Liberty, Times Square, etc), so Chicago is interesting to foreigners because they're not quite sure what to expect. From my experience, most enjoy their time in Chicago. The city represents a part of the American soul that is not as prevalent in American media as the coastal regions.

If your lucky enough to have the option, visit both!
I would agree with the above. Overall, NYC is the more interesting of the two, primarily because it is older and so much larger (NYC is three times the size of Chicago... and Chicago is huge) but frankly, it's pretty close.

But, you'll probably find Chicago to be cheaper (w/ exception of airfare). Hotels, dining and whatnot. The dining, museum and cultural scene is on par with NYC, there's just less of it.

Contrary to what some other people posted above, I find NYC's history more interesting than Chicago's, but both cities have a neat story to tell.

For the comment above about safety in Chicago, you won't run into any problems where you will be staying (probably downtown I assume) so I think that is a non-starter.

Can you do both (3 days in NYC and 3 days in Chicago?)? Even though they're both somewhat alike, they are both large enough to offer nearly insurmountable level of activities and options. They both have a significant woah factor.

Last edited by BigLake; 09-10-2014 at 09:14 AM..
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:15 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,122 posts, read 35,061,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
If you want an All-American city, then definitely Chicago. The Midwest is the most All-American part of the U.S.

But if you've never been to the U.S., I would definitely go with NYC. They're both great cities, but NYC is arguably greatest city on the planet. Visiting Chicago first would be like visiting France the first time and deciding to go to Marseilles instead of Paris or visiting the UK and going with Manchester instead of London.
I go with this.
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