As a native Detroiter, it's hard not to resent the reality of living in the Windy City's shadow. There's only one problem with scorning Chicago's vast aesthetic accomplishments: the city is, quite simply, fucking gorgeous. Chicago was able to capitalize on its waterfront location better than just about anywhere, from Lakeshore Dr running along Lake Michigan with miles of urban beaches and bike paths on one side and the towering, glittering skyscrapers on the other, to the Chicago River that runs right through the city's center (and on which you can catch one of the city's popular architectural boat tours -- how appropriate).
Chicago is full of 19th/20th-century skyscrapers from the "Chicago School" of architects -- yes, their architectural talent was so impressive that it has an entire aesthetic movement named after it -- including the Chicago Building, Willis Tower, and the John Hancock Center. There is also the very recognizable Crain Communications Building (aka, the "Vagina Building"); the dramatic Neo-Gothic Tribune Tower; and Marina City, two circular towers that look like the cars parked on the lower levels are going to fall out the sides at any time.
And we haven't even talked about all the tucked-away parks, of which the city has tons. Or the 24.5-acre Millennium Park, which in the decade since it opened, has become Chicago's premier outdoor venue and boasts a bandshell designed by Frank Gehry. Let's just say that for discriminating aesthetes, Chicago is the most satisfying city in America.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.
Nicole Rupersburg lives in Las Vegas, where the identical tract housing is made from cardboard and spit and everything else is casinos. Even thousands of miles away from Detroit, she still has Chicago envy. Check out her IG @eatsdrinksandleaves, where she posts lots of pictures of mountains.