Chicago, Chicago that toddling town
Chicago, Chicago, I’ll show you around
I love it bet your bottom dollar you’ll lose the blues
In Chicago, Chicago
The town that Billy’s Sunday couldn’t shut down
On State street, that great street I just want to say
They do things they don’t do on Broadway
They have the time, the time of their life
I saw a man he danced with his wife in Chicago
Chicago my home town
First stop on our US road trip was, you guessed it, Chicago. Now over in Europe we know it’s nicknamed the Windy City because of the winds blowing in from the lake. For us it meant we had the best weather we could possibly have, sunny, warm but with a nice little breeze. It made the open bus tour we took to look around in the city a great experience, taking in all the sights the city had to offer. The Navy Pier, the Adler Planetarium, the shores of Lake Michigan, the Willis Tower, the Millenium Park…all places to remember.
Before I actually visited the town myself I used to think of a specific episode from The Original Series of Star Trek when I heard Chicago mention. It was called “A Piece of the Action” and it definitely formed the way I looked at Chicago and it’s mobster history. I still picture Kirk and Spock in their suits and hats! Have you seen that episode? The Enterprise is ordered to investigate the planet Sigma Iotia II where the space vessel Horizon disappeared a hundred years ago. The Iotian Bela Oxmyx promises information about the Horizon and invites the crew to come to the planet. So, Kirk, Spock and McCoy transport to the planet surface.
They find a city that looks just like Chicago in the 1920’s, complete with gangsters carrying Tommy guns openly on the street and they even witnes a drive by shooting. It turns out that the crew of the Horizon left a book behind on the planet titled “Chicago Mobs of the twenties”. It would seem the original inhabitants of the planet copied it to the letter. Of course Kirk and his team manage to trick both mobster leaders, Oxmyx and Krako into entering an arrangement that might just work to keep the peace. And in old mobster style, it also promises the Federation “a piece of the action”. I wonder though if we will see the Federation going back there to claim it!
The last thing that I was reminded of about Chicago was Frank Sinatra’s song with the lyrics that opened this blog. We saw the Theater Chicago at State Street in all the splendor of its Neo-Baroque-French-revival style. I didn’t know that’s what style it was, had to look that up on Wikipedia. The theater has been around a long time, since 1921, and in its first 40 years of operation it was a popular place with live entertainment, big names and lots of jazz being played.
In later years they tried keeping it open as a picture theater, but failed to do so: in 1985 it was closed. The Chicago Theater Preservation Group took over, and returned it to its former style. It re-opened a year later with a gala concert of Frank Sinatra, who had performed there too in the ’50’s. As I’m sure I mentioned before, my father was a huge fan of Sinatra, so he always has my special attention.
Chicago will be a city that I remember fondly. Lots of high buildings of course, but also a lot of beautiful vistas like along the river, close to our hotel. Lots and lots of Pokéstops of course, even in our hotel room we were surrounded by four of them, and people obliged by putting lures on all of them. It made catching the critters quite fun, without even leaving our room!