This quintessentially American City has gathered many followers as it has transformed itself into a modern day world-class location. Commonly known as “The Windy City”, Chicago has an abundance of organizations, groups, support centers and charities. These have drawn like-minded individuals from far and wide to join in the happy-go-lucky way of life here. Similarly amongst residents you will find zero attitude, regardless of your social, sexual or religious ideals.
If you are in search of capturing the skyline and the streets below that are abuzz with lively pursuits, head to the top of the Sears Tower or the John Hancock Centre. The shopping scene below is equally fruitful, with haute-couture boutiques to be found along the “Magnificent Mile”. Sassy individual designers and lifestyle shopping can be found in abundance if you make tracks to the West Town at Wicker Park.
Lake Michigan, considered Chicago’s link to the wider world offers daily cruises so avid boaters can take pleasure in the beauty that hugs the coastline. North Avenue Beach has an action-packed calendar of events including daily volleyball matches that draw quite a crowd. Another first-class addition to this organized city, are the facilities for cyclists. Hire a bike from one of the many rental shops dotted around, and potter along the cycle routes taking in the waterfront and ozone-friendly parks.
Boystown, situated within the neighborhood of Lakeview, is home to one of largest LGBT communities in the country, and is celebrated for its leading position as a Worldwide Cultural Center. Halstead Street and Broadway are the two hippest hangouts in this alluring area. There are rows upon rows of welcoming restaurants, bars and nightclubs, all with their own come-hither appeal to sample a piece of the action inside.
Festivals and festivities are Chicago’s forte and the boiling point of these kick off in June; Gay Pride Month. There is something for everyone and everything under the sun. Sporting events, street parades, food tastings, musical broadcasts and street shows to name but a few. In the third week of June things really hot up when the main Pride Parade takes place. The streets are overrun with 70’s style headiness, rubbing shoulders with like-minded individuals, and rainbow flags waving in the hands of this illuminating congregation. This is a top-notch event not to be missed by any visitor to this captivating destination.
Chicago has the third largest gay community in America, and this is clearly reflected in each and every aspect of the city. It has open doors for everyone and a cheery smile to go with it. A highly recommended destination in a league of its own.
Photos: City of Chicago