Chicago, Windy City, Chi-Town… Whatever you may call it, everyone’s heard of it. Chicago is one of the most influential cities in America, regarding music, film, and almost every art form imaginable.
But if you’re sick of the same old places everyone goes to, and you want to experience Chi-Town from a different perspective, be sure to check out these special places, which make the very essence of Chicago’s soul.
Robert J. Quinn Fire Academy
When you walk into this firefighter training academy, you can see a plaque that marks where the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 began. There’s also a monument to the volunteers who have fallen in the line of duty, as well as photos and historical info on landmark fires and inventions, like the sliding pole which was invented right there in Chicago in 1878.
Unlike today’s sliding poles, the first one was made of wood. What’s also interesting about the hallway of the Academy is that its candidates are allowed to walk through it once they first start training, and not again until they graduate.
The breathtaking Humboldt Park itself is a part of the “Emerald Necklace” of parks and boulevards, designed by Chicago’s very own planner Daniel Burnham.
Gardens, playgrounds, fields, lagoons (even one that’s chlorinated for swimming), and numerous architectural gems are a beautiful backdrop for locals who hang around and show off their custom cars and cruisers.
Right in the beautiful Humboldt Park neighborhood, two huge, arching, steel Puerto Rican flags mark either end of the district known as Paseo Boricua.
Apart from being the world’s largest monument to any flag, this monument sort of marks the territory of salsa music, murals and vibrant street life. Grab a guava-cheese pastry, try the passion fruit martini with fresh-squeezed juice, and salsa the night away!