Last few days I traveled to Chicago, visited museums and historical places and served as a part time sevak in Dhamma Pakasa near Rockford, Illinois. It was till now my best time in United States of America. Full of life, colorful encompassing indelible and eternal memories. Chicago is undoubtedly one of the top quintessential cities both globally and in America and loved my experience during my very brief stay. Inset photo: Nish popularly known as American Amigo (dashing and dynamic quintessential dude) and future most eligible bachelor in US. Chicago is the most populous city of Illinois, full of life and culture with majestic places to visit including world class museums especially Art Museum of Chicago, Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Museum of Science and Technology, Shedd Aquarium among other. Chicago also has one of the tallest buildings the world; renowned Sears Tower with Sky deck wherein you get a mindbogglingly and breathtaking panoramic view of the city. It always better to visit Skydeck if you have city pass since you get into the place quickly through VIP line. There is heavy rush so its much better for tourists to make use of the opportunity.
I met my cousin brother after 16 years and got feel of one of the major cities of US ever since I came to US for higher education in University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The best way to visit the marvelous places around Chicago would be to but a CityPass @ http://www.citypass.com/chicago. Its for only $98 and you have the option to visit 5 historical places over a few days. This includes a discount of 53% and in my mind investment of a lifetime.
Most of the places are around Downtown Chicago and within 2 mile of radium including Millennium Park. The world renowned Union Station (remember Untouchables) starring Sean Connery, Kevin Costner and Any Garcia with Robert DeNiro as Al Capone. One of the epic scenes in the movie was shot here.
Millennium Park is a huge park wherein concerts and other live shows take place although in winter the scenic beauty is limited. It has a ice skating ring and numerous other treasures. I visited some of these places with my cousin nephew Varun with whom I shared some of my perspectives which I am not sure if he understood.
I visited the places over two days once with my nephew and once alone. I wanted to get the feel of the city myself and loved my interaction with Americans as I visited my favorite Adler Planetarium. It would take two more articles to cover museums, aquarium and other historic places.
Photo: Pic Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium
The places were amazing but the real experience were the people whom I met in my dream country. The spirit of any country is driven by its people and my experience in Chicago was superlative. I am deeply touched by the people of Chicago, by their warmth and intellectual sophistication. I remember the elderly lady who dropped me to the track from wherein I had to catch the train back to suburbs, the person who walked me till Art museum to the African American who rolled out a cigarette for me when I asked him for one and refused to take any cash to the wonderful family from Michigan whom I met at Sky Desk and had a very vivid chat about spirit of America. I am so happy that I visited Chicago.
I also met one of the most handsome guys on train who hailed from Tennessee and we discussed about his experience in Tennessee and Chicago. We developed an instant liking for each other and with unsurpassed respect for each other. (Inset pic: Volunteer @ Adler Planeterium). Would like to let you know have met some of the most intellectual, handsome men and beautiful women full of character from southern states in US. I feel southern states is where the future of America lies. Two days at the great city refreshed and invigorated the spirit of American culture which I grew up admiring. Ever since I came to US I thought maybe I respected Americans too much but feel vindicated now. At the end of my second day visiting Chicago museum, I had broken my mobile charger. I frantically was looking to charge my mobile in a coffee shop and met a soulful person who went out of the way to help me. As I was leaving the coffee shop, I thanked everyone and requested if I could take everyone’s photo. The girl smiled and said Nish you are an awesome guy. I smiled back in gratitude and magnanimity of the young lady…I was thankful for the hospitality. As I walked back after a very entertaining and insightful yet tiring day, I walked with sudden calmness, aplomb and new found hope. I knew I was in city of my dreams. Chicago did not hit me like Hong Kong instantly but it just grew on me like Mumbai although Chicago grew at an accelerated pace of Usian Bolt. I realize my immense love for American way of life ( minus excesses in lifestyle )and thinking, its immense value as a truly American city, a city which epitomizes American spirit, culture and history but also a city wherein I had won hearts of people.
Deja vu best describes my first impression of the city and knew I had finally entered a city which I have deep connection, a city in the state of Illinois…the state of great Abraham Lincoln. I knew this is the city wherein I will grow both as a person professionally and personally. This is the city where I will meet my women of dreams…I know I was in Quintessential city of our times. The city where the whole of America melts…A city in the middle way…a place not given to the extremes like Los Angeles and New York yet vibrant, cosmopolitanism and multi dimensional.
A city from where many glorious things will come forth…City will be over the next few years become the world’s foremost global city… A Triumph of America and the World…A city which dares you to dream…dream holistically…encompassing indefatigable spirit, creativity and intellectual pursuit…I left Chicago with a heavy heart and sadness but I knew I will be back…will be back soon…
Coming Up…Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum...Check out Nishworld on
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