Some of the United States' most regarded real estate is revered in Chicago's Noble Near North Side: home to both the iconic John Hancock Tower in the desirable "Streeterville" neighborhood as well the only downtown landmark public building "Water Tower" (of stone construction) to survive the "Great Fire of 1871," standing to this day alongside Michigan Avenue- that renowned bisection of the meticulously manicured "Magnificent Mile," boasting the Midwest's finest retail shopping, hotel accommodations and fine dining. Just south of "Near North" is a diverse collection of ethnic restaurants and original trendy boutiques found in this neighborhood eponymously honored with namesake after Chicago's largest open public space, Luxurious Lincoln Park. Treasured for its classic collection of row houses near elegant high rise co-op skyscrapers all adjacent the cherished Park's lakefront, denizens delightfully dote upon yacht clubs, marinas, the zoo & museums plus bucolic biking & jogging paths, beautiful baseball fields, seasonally spectacular ice skating and even a leonine lagoon serving as local rowing club's deckhouse! Northwest of downtown, several gentrified neighborhoods have attracted significant population influxes over the last two decades developing eclectically creative oases in Chicago's Wonderful West Town neighborhoods bearing famous monikers such as "Wicker Park," "Logan Square" and "Bucktown:" home to Chicago Cubs' historically happening Wrigley Field! Due north of "West Town" approaching Chicago's northern political boundary, Lincoln Square serves as the crossroads of "Old World" German charm and exciting international cuisine along that quaint cobblestone stretch of Lincoln Avenue most people associate with sheik storefront boutiques supplying hip threads & accessories. However, local gastronomes also gather together here for authentic German taverns' fare while more remote Chicagoans travel for miles to indulge locally, especially at the legendary "Brauhaus!"
Jesuit Missionary Pierre Marquette and his geographer Louis Joliet would first popularize this area's propitious "Chicago Portage" waters and within just one dozen years of the Erie Canal's opening (connecting the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Erie), a land speculation boom exploded near here found short traverse over North America's "continental divide" hence allowing commercial navigation between the directionally opposed Great Lakes and Gulf Coast drainage basins! Over the next one-hundred years, millions of the working poor largely consisting of laboring immigrants would execute to materialization that visionary leadership intuited by Chicago's home grown pillars of American industry and innovation bearing names like William Butler Ogden, Potter Palmer, Gustavus Swift, Montgomery Ward, Marshall Fields, Jane Addams as well impossibly forgetten luminaries Louis Sullivan & Frank Lloyd Wright who would all in turn perfect their advancements here indelibly modernizing this community and civilization over little more than one-hundred years of incorporation thus forever branding metropolitan Chicago: "City of the Century." Chicago's city limits actually incorporate more than fifty percent of Commanding Cook County's topical surface area! Cook County borders Lake County and Mc Henry County to the north; Du Page County and Kane County to the west; and Will County at the far southern terminus.
"It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago. She outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them." - Mark Twain, 1883
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