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I arrive to Chicago from Buffalo, New York. Is a big city with a lot of things to do as New York city, but in the other hang, have the negative things of the bigs cities, a lot of traffic, difficulty to find parking, ....

Chicago is the largest city by population in the state of Illinois and the American Midwest. It is a dominant center of finance, industry and culture in the region. The city, for much of its history, has been known informally as America's "Second City." It is currently ranked as the third-most populous city in the United States after New York and Los Angeles, with a population of nearly 3 million people. The Chicago metropolitan area has a population of over 9.7 million people in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, making it also the third largest metropolitan area in the U.S.Adjacent to Lake Michigan, it is among the world's twenty-five largest urban areas by population, and rated an alpha world city by the World Cities Study Group at Loughborough University.

Me with the Sears Tower, The tallest in America

Incorporated as a city in 1837 after being founded in 1833 at the site of a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed, it soon became a major transportation hub in North America and quickly became the transportation, financial and industrial center of the American Midwest. Today the city's attractions bring 44.2 million visitors annually.

Chicago was once the capital of the railroad industry and until the 1960s the world's largest meatpacking facilities were at the Union Stock Yards; currently the city is home to the nation's second busiest airport, O'Hare International. Chicago became notorious worldwide for its violent gangsters in the 1920s, most notably Al Capone, and for the political corruption in one of the longest lasting political machines in the nation. The city has long been a stronghold of the Democratic Party and has been home to many Democratic presidential candidates. photo photos pictures fotos United States Estados Unidos US USA travel trip
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the USA, after New York City and Los Angeles. Its metropolitan area, sometimes called "Chicagoland," is the 27th most populous urban agglomeration in the world, the largest in the Great Lakes Megalopolis, and the third largest in the United States, home to an estimated 9.8 million people spread across the US states of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Chicago is the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States, after Los Angeles County, California.

Chicago was incorporated as a town in 1833, near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed. Today, the city retains its status as a major hub for industry, telecommunications and infrastructure, with O'Hare International Airport being the second busiest airport in the world in terms of traffic movements. In 2008, the city hosted 45.6 million domestic and overseas visitors. As of 2010, Chicago's metropolitan area has the 4th largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) among world metropolitan areas.

The city is a center for services, business and finance and is listed as one of the world's top ten Global Financial Centers. The World Cities Study Group at Loughborough University rated Chicago as an "alpha+ world city." In a 2010 survey collaboration between Foreign Policy and A.T Kearney ranking cities, Chicago ranked 6th, just after Paris and Hong Kong. The ranking assesses five dimensions: value of capital markets, diversity of human capital, international information resources, international cultural resources, and political influence. Chicago has been ranked by The Atlantic as the world's 4th most economically powerful city, and by Forbes as 5th most powerful. Chicago is a stronghold of the Democratic Party and has been home to many influential politicians, including the current President of the United States, Barack Obama.

The city's notoriety expressed in popular culture is found in novels, plays, movies, songs, various types of journals (for example, sports, entertainment, business, trade, and academic), and the news media. Chicago has numerous nicknames, which reflect the impressions and opinions about historical and contemporary Chicago. The best known include: "Chi-town," "Windy City," "Second City," and the "City of Big Shoulders." Chicago has also been called "the most American of big cities.
During the mid-18th century, the area was inhabited by a native American tribe known as the Potawatomi, who had taken the place of the Miami and Sauk and Fox peoples. The 1780s saw the arrival of the first known non-indigenous permanent settler in Chicago, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, who is believed to be of African and European (French) descent. In 1795, following the Northwest Indian War, an area that was to be part of Chicago was turned over by some Native Americans in the Treaty of Greenville to the United States for a military post.

In 1803, the United States Army built Fort Dearborn, which was destroyed in the War of 1812, Battle of Fort Dearborn. The Ottawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi had ceded additional land to the United States in the 1804 Treaty of St. Louis. The Potawatomi were eventually forcibly removed from their land following the Treaty of Chicago in 1833. On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was organized with a population of around 200 at that time. Within seven years it would grow to a population of over 4,000. On the 15th day of June, 1835, the first public land sales commenced with Edmund Dick Taylor as U. S. receiver of public moneys. The City of Chicago was incorporated on Saturday, March 4, 1837.

The name "Chicago" is derived from a French rendering of the Native American word shikaakwa, translated as "wild onion" or "wild garlic," from the Miami-Illinois language. The first known reference to the site of the current city of Chicago as "Checagou" was by Robert de LaSalle around 1679 in a memoir written about the time. The wild garlic plants, Allium tricoccum, were described by LaSalle's comrade, naturalist-diarist Henri Joutel, in his journal of LaSalle's last expedition.
As the site of the Chicago Portage, the city emerged as an important transportation hub between the eastern and western United States. Chicago's first railway, Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, opened in 1848, which also marked the opening of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. The canal allowed steamboats and sailing ships on the Great Lakes to connect to the Mississippi River. A flourishing economy brought residents from rural communities and immigrants abroad. Manufacturing and retail sectors became dominant among Midwestern cities, influencing the American economy, particularly in meatpacking, with the advent of the refrigerated rail car and the regional centrality of the city's Union Stock Yards.

In the 1850s Chicago gained national political prominence as the home of Senator Stephen Douglas, the champion of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and "popular sovereignty" approach to the issue of the spread of slavery. These issues also helped propel another Illinoisan, Abraham Lincoln, to the national stage. Lincoln was nominated in Chicago for the nation's presidency at the 1860 Republican National Convention and went on to defeat Douglas in the general election, setting the stage for the American Civil War.

Chicago experienced some of the fastest population growth in the world, requiring infrastructure investments. In February 1856, the Chesbrough plan for the building of Chicago's and the United States' first comprehensive sewerage system was approved by the Common Council. The project raised much of central Chicago to a new grade. While raising Chicago out of its mud and sewage, and at first improving the health of the city, the untreated sewage and industrial waste now flowed into the Chicago River, thence into Lake Michigan, polluting the primary source of fresh water for the city. Chicago responded by tunneling two miles (3 km) out into Lake Michigan to newly built water cribs. In 1900, the problem of sewage was largely resolved when the city undertook a major engineering feat. The city reversed the flow of the Chicago River so that water flowed from Lake Michigan into the river, instead of the water flowing from the river into the lake. It began with the construction and improvement of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and completed with the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal leading to the Illinois River which joins the Mississippi River.
After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed a third of the city, including the entire central business district, Chicago experienced rapid rebuilding and growth. During its rebuilding period, Chicago constructed the world's first skyscraper in 1885, using steel-skeleton construction. Labor conflicts and unrest followed, including the Haymarket affair on May 4, 1886. Concern for social problems among Chicago's lower classes led Jane Addams to be a co-founder of Hull House in 1889. Programs developed there became a model for the new field of social work.

During the 1870s and 1880s, Chicago and the state of Illinois together attained national stature as leaders in the movement to improve public health. City and state laws that upgraded standards for the medical profession and fought urban epidemics of cholera, small pox and yellow fever were not only passed, but also enforced. These in turn became templates for public health reform in many other states. The city invested in many large, well-landscaped municipal parks, which also included public sanitation facilities. The chief advocate and driving force for improving public health in Chicago was Dr. John H. Rauch, M.D., who established a plan for Chicago's park system in 1866, created Lincoln Park by closing a cemetery filled with festering, shallow graves, and helped establish a new Chicago Board of Health in 1867 in response to an outbreak of cholera. Ten years later he became the secretary and then the president of the first Illinois State Board of Health, which carried out most of its activities in Chicago.

In the 19th century, Chicago became an important railroad center and in 1883 the standardized system of North American Time Zones was adopted by the general time convention of railway managers in Chicago. This gave the continent its uniform system for telling time.

In 1893, Chicago hosted the World's Columbian Exposition on former marshland at the present location of Jackson Park. The Exposition drew 27.5 million visitors, and is considered the most influential world's fair in history. The University of Chicago was founded in 1892 on the same South Side location. The term "midway" for a fair or carnival referred originally to the Midway Plaisance, a strip of park land that still runs through the University of Chicago campus and connects Washington and Jackson Parks.

August 2008

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