Chicago boasts two major commercial airports in O'Hare and Midway, so lots of airplane lights add to the star trails in this time lapse. Chicago O'Hare ranks in the world's top five busiest airports, behind cities such as Beijing, London and Tokyo.
Chicago – Been There

Why is Chicago called the “Second City”?

Photo by Ed Graham

Chicago – Been There Why is Chicago called the “Second City”?

The term “Second City” was popularized as a derogatory nickname in a 1952 article for The New Yorker by A. J. Lieblin. But Chicagoans have since taken hold of it.

Ed Graham
Ed Graham

Instead of implying secondary status to New York, “second city” is now seen in a positive light as a tribute to the city's rebuilding after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. As a sign says at one of the world’s busiest airports, Chicago O'Hare: “If you have enough water, you can make steel and concrete grow.”

While skyscrapers are synonymous with the city today, things might have looked very different had it not been for the fire. Most of Chicago’s buildings were made of wood in the early days of the city’s growth and the fire burned most of them to the ground. Only a few buildings survived the blaze, and those that still stand offer a glimpse of what Chicago might have looked like if the fire never happened.

By far the most well known example is the Chicago Water Tower in the middle of the heavily visited Magnificent Mile. It looks oddly out of place now, considering its next-door neighbors are all modern skyscrapers.

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Oak Street, backed by Olive Park and looking out on the Gold Coast historic district, has long been one of Chicago's most popular beaches due to its location close to downtown. It houses a chess pavilion and the temporary "Oak Street Beachstro" restaurant every summer. Photo by Philippe Renault / Alamy

Philippe Renault

Philippe Renault

Agency
Alamy

Oak Street, backed by Olive Park and looking out on the Gold Coast historic district, has long been one of Chicago's most popular beaches due to its location close to downtown. It houses a chess pavilion and the temporary "Oak Street Beachstro" restaurant every summer.

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