Monday, February 8, 2010

Chicago Beginnings

The Windy City, the City of Big Shoulders, the Second City, and The City That Works are some of Chicago’s nicknames according to their official tourism website, Chicago’s multiple titles match its well-known diversity. With over 200 theatres and art galleries, more than 7,300 restaurants, the lakefront, and 77 community areas with even more neighborhoods, it is impossible to be bored in this beautiful city.

As a new comer myself, the endless possibilities can be slightly overwhelming. Beginning my semester as an intern downtown I had several expectations of Chicago and what I would learn in my first few days. Already Chicago has exceeded these expectations. Public transportation makes it very easy to get around the city and to visit so many different locations. In addition to this, there are numerous incredible resources to narrow down what you would like to experience.

Walking up to Hostelling International’s second floor information booth, I immediately began searching through the brochures. With the help of the volunteer, I walked away with quite the stack; I find myself very eager to experience all that Chicago has to offer; my fridge already has a long list of “to do’s”!

Even though I have only been in Chicago for two weeks, some things on that list have already been crossed off. Within the first week I had already been to several local restaurants and seen a show at the iO Improv Theatre in Wrigleyville. The Improvised Shakespeare comedy was hysterical and provided a great Friday night activity! Next on my list was the Museum of Contemporary Art (admission is free on Tuesdays). Despite the fact that I know very little about art, the museum was fascinating and there was such a variety. Don’t miss the Hide and Seek Exhibition! Lastly, I spent a day at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Even though it is cold, there were still plenty of exhibits and animals inside. My personal favorites were the penguin and monkey houses. I spent a considerable amount of time simply watching in amusement!

So, if you are a newcomer as well and are at a loss for where to start, here are a few other places that I am also very excited to visit: the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum, Chinatown, the Hancock Observatory, the Adler Planetarium and Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago. And there are so many more to discover! So grab your coat and gloves, and hit the streets of Chicago! Happy Exploring!
-Erika Ter Louw, intern

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Thanks for the insights Erika! Keep us updated on your explorations. ;)