In the spirit of Pack Expo, which starts this Sunday, I wanted to take a glimpse at the city that will be hosting the event. For those who have been to Chicago, those that are planning on attending the show (and hopefully stopping by booth N-3345) and those who will eventually visit the windy city, I wanted to give you some conversation candy, fun facts and what I will call, Five Cool Things About Chicago.
- The Chicago River - Cutting through the heart of the city, this river may be best known for its customary green dye on St. Patrick’s Day. Even more interesting may be the history of the river’s flow. In a masterful feat of civil engineering, the flow of the river was actually reversed from its natural orientation. Originally, the river fed due east into Lake Michigan. However, due to pollution, sanitation and public health issues stemming from Chicago’s booming industrial district, a change was eventually needed. In 1900, the flow was reversed. Engineers constructed the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to reverse the river's natural flow from eastward to westward. It has since been deemed one of the seven engineering wonders of the United States. (Source: cityofchicago.org)
- Soldier Field and Da Bears! – The Chicago Bears are one of the most storied franchises in the NFL. Founded in 1919, they have won eight NFL Championships and Super Bowl XX. They currently hold the record for most Hall of Fame inductees and have recorded more regular season wins than any other NFL team. Originally playing at Wrigley Field, they now call Soldier Field home. An awesome looking structure situated next to Lake Michigan, it looks like a space ship landed on top of an art museum. It is well known for the infamous “fog bowl” playoff game in 1988 between the Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles. Another piece of trivia for the music fans out there: Soldier Field is the site of Jerry Garcia’s last concert performance with Grateful Dead before his death in 1995.
- Food – Well known for its iconic deep dish pizza, Chicago is home to a lot of great eats. There are plenty of fine dining establishments to mention as well as pizza shops obviously, but I want to highlight one place in particular called Lucky’s Sandwich Shop. Located in Wrigleyville, this place is home to sandwiches that are stuffed with your choice of meat, cheese, fresh cut fries, coleslaw and tomatoes. It is a beastly looking sandwich and was highlighted on the Travel Channel's show Man v. Food. Hit the link and take a look at that sandwich. Tell me you don’t want one!
- McCormick Place – Ah, our home for next week, the site of the show! Originally built in 1958, it has undergone numerous expansions and stands today as the largest convention center in North America and third largest in the world.
- Chicago Golf Club- OK, so it’s been a dozen blogs by now, and I haven’t mentioned golf yet, so it’s time. I took a look at Golf Digest’s “Top Courses in America" and found Chicago G.C in Wheaton, IL. I’ll take their word for it here. Having played many of the other courses listed, if they say it’s the best in Chicagoland, then it is. It is the oldest 18-hole golf course in North America and is one of the five clubs which founded the United States Golf Association in 1894. Good luck playing it though... It is ranked 5th on the most exclusive clubs in the world and only has 107 members. Cog Hill in Lemont, IL is the ranked highest on the “courses you can play” in the area.
- Honorable Mention - The Curse of the Billy Goat. This is the dreaded curse on the Chicago Cubs, who have not won a World Series in over 100 years. It’s a hilarious story but ask a Cubs fan, they’ll tell you it exists.
I hope you enjoyed my snapshot of a world class city, I certainly enjoyed writing it. Please, if you have anything to add, other fun facts, places to go or see, leave your thoughts below.
If you are in the Chicago area between October 31st and November 4th be sure to stop by McCormick Place and see Arca Automation at Booth N-3345!
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