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Old 08-24-2010, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
166 posts, read 579,831 times
Reputation: 188

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Just came back from the Windy City for the second year in a row. I seem to love this city more and more when I go back. The housing architecture, the food, the people, the world class elegence.

Just from actual Chicagoans, what do you think makes Chicago different from New York, LA, Dallas, Philly, DC, Boston, Miami, or any other major city in the U.S.? What makes it stand out from the rest of the nation?
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
1,966 posts, read 4,834,749 times
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I think it's unique because it's the clear alpha dog of the Midwest. Middle American and cosmopolitan at the same time. It's also one of only a handful of cities in the United States where you can live a truly urban lifestyle.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:46 AM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,543 posts, read 28,133,339 times
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It is Chicago! It is more than the tourist attractions. It gritty yet urbane. It is not coastal. It producted three US Presidents, it has the largest shipping port on the Great Lakes. It has one of the largest airports in the world. But it is the people and the neighborhoods that makes it very hard to compare Chicago to any othe city in America..
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Kent, Washington
10,255 posts, read 20,164,262 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linicx View Post
It gritty yet urbane. It is not coastal. It producted three US Presidents

Illinois produced three presidents but Chicago can't claim Lincoln and Grant.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,587 posts, read 25,138,792 times
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Chicago can claim Lincoln just as much as it may claim BO.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Kent, Washington
10,255 posts, read 20,164,262 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avengerfire View Post
Chicago can claim Lincoln just as much as it may claim BO.

Not really; Lincoln never lived in Chicago and spent very little time here.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Can it claim the only actual Illinois-born President? After all, Reagan used to do the radio play-by-play for the Cubs.
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,587 posts, read 25,138,792 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
Not really; Lincoln never lived in Chicago and spent very little time here.
BO ain't much better.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Chicago - Logan Square
3,396 posts, read 6,684,005 times
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In terms of the built environment of Chicago - it is very unique.

It grew after the introduction of railroads and streetcars and was built on a grid layout - so it doesn't have the congestion of older parts of Boston, NYC, SF, and Philadelphia. It also was laid out with parkways, and more importantly - alleys. So the trash can be kept off the streets, unlike older cities. It was also built up before the introduction of the automobile so it has a much higher density than many newer western and southern cities, and can continue to support the public transit options it has and retain the urban feel of older cities. I've always felt that it hits the sweet spot in terms of density. It has a really nice balance where a car can be used (unlike NYC or Boston) but you can also use public transit or bike.

Chicago also has an industrial history, and wide swaths of land leftover from that history. There is still room to grow and adapt to new land use within the city. Many of these areas are in the thick of things - the Southern edge and SE corner of West Town, the Clybourn Corridor, the land along the South Branch of the Chicago River, etc... These areas can continue to be used as industrial areas or can be adapted for retail, office, residential, or park usage as needed. It is a classically urban city that is built out, yet still has room to grow in whatever ways it needs to.

Note: Some other Midwestern Cities do share some of these features, but sadly many of them have failed, and are not showing any signs of ever recovering. Other than Detroit none of them ever reached anything approaching the size of Chicago. Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and St. Louis have the potential to do the same thing on a smaller scale, but being significantly smaller with less density what they do will ultimately be very different for at least the next century.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Chicago - Logan Square
3,396 posts, read 6,684,005 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avengerfire View Post
BO ain't much better.
Years Lincoln lived in Chicago: 0
Years Obama Lived in Chicago: 20

I see that as being VERY different.

Lincoln did have strong connections to Chicago through friends, peers, and politics - but there is no way you could ever call him a Chicagoan. Barack Obama spent 20 of his 47 years in Chicago when he was elected President, while having spent no more than 8 years (Hawaii) in any other place during his life.
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