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Chicago is a major metropolis located on the shore of Lake Michigan in Cook County, Illinois. It's the third-largest city and metropolitan area in the United States, after New York and Los Angeles.
An exciting city, Chicago is noted for its Lake Michigan shoreline and downtown skyline, considered by many the most picturesque skyline in the world.
Downtown (The Loop, Near North, Near South)The center of Chicago for work and play, with shopping, skyscrapers, and the city's most famous travel sights.
North Side (Lakeview, Boystown, Lincoln Park, Old Town)The city's best theaters, a ton of bars and clubs, one of the largest LGBT communities in the nation, and the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.
South Side (South Chicago Shore, Bronzeville, Bridgeport-Chinatown)The historic Black Metropolis, brainy Hyde Park/Kenwood and the University of Chicago, Chinatown, and the White Sox.
West Side (Wicker Park, Logan Square, Greektown, Maxwell Street)Ethnic enclaves, dive bars, and hipsters abound.
Far North Side (Uptown, Andersonville, Lincoln Square, Rogers Park)Ultra-hip and laid-back, with miles of beaches and some of the most vibrant immigrant communities in the country.
Far Southeast Side (Historic Pullman, South Shore, Chatham, The Port of Chicago)A residential section with one large tourist draw: the historic Pullman District.
Southwest Side (Back of the Yards, Marquette Park, Grand Crossing, Midway Area)Former home to the massive meatpacking district of the Union Stockyards, current home to the real Chicago blues.
Far Southwest Side (Beverly, Mount Greenwood)Home to a large Irish community, a huge St Patrick's Day Parade, and a ton of Irish pubs.
Far Northwest Side (Avondale, Irving Park, Portage Park, Jefferson Park)Polish Village, historic homes and theaters, and some undiscovered gems in the neighborhoods near O'Hare International Airport.
Progress and modernization rule in Chicago. The old Chicago with its smoke-spewing factories and quarreling politicians - not to mention machine gun-wielding gangsters - is mostly gone, having given way to a new Chicago known for architecture, world-class museums, and tourism in general.
Chicago is known as The Windy City. Popular myth has it that this nickname for Chicago was coined by Charles Dana, the editor of the New York Sun, in 1893. Chicago was competing with New York to host the 1893 Columbian Exposition and Dana allegedly coined the name as a derogatory moniker. Supposedly the term is not a reference to the winds off Lake Michigan as one might suppose, but rather refers to the Chicagoan habit of rabid boosterism and shameless boasting. To a New Yorker like Dana, Chicago was full of hot air.
The story simply isn't true. The name dates to at least 1885, and clearly refers to the breezes off the lake. 1885 references include "city of winds" as well as "Windy City." This isn't new information either. Mathew's Dictionary of Americanisms, published some 50 years ago, includes an 1887 quotation of "Windy City", but the myth persists--largely due to newspaper reporters and editors who repeat the tale without checking the facts.
Chicago is also known as The Second City, which refers to its rebuilding after the famous Chicago fire. The current city of Chicago is literally the second city. Some also believe it refers to the city's historical position as the United States' second largest city, after New York City, though it has long since been surpassed in population by Los Angeles. Chicago, however, is still the second largest financial center in the country, ahead of Los Angeles.
Carl Sandburg called Chicago the City of the Big Shoulders, referring to its tall buildings. Chicago was the birthplace of the skyscraper.
The best-known song about Chicago, written in 1922 by Fred Fisher, calls it That Toddlin' Town. Since then many different well known artists, including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and of course Chicago, have sung their versions of the song.
Finally, the city is sometimes called the The City That Works, which is a local promotional campaign by the administration of current Mayor Richard M. Daley. It refers to the long labor tradition as well as the long hours worked by residents, as well as a stable, municipal government which provides numerous services to its inhabitants.