Thanks to the work of some of the world’s greatest architects, Chicago is a uniquely beautiful city, where sparkling blue-and-white towers mirror the colors of nearby Lake Michigan. And in between those towers are the dimly-lit bars where the sounds of America’s greatest musical legacy – the tradition of jazz and blues – can be heard every night. Chicago has produced countless musical legends: the likes of Elmore James, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, and Howlin’ Wolf. Because of its central location and large population, Chicago is a kind of crossroads of American culture, where a visitor can experience something of everything.
Chicago is also the home of the Obama family. Their simple home in the Kenwood neighborhood lies at the intersection of two different worlds. Just south of them is the University of Chicago campus, a great center of learning and the 8th-ranked university in the world. Their neighbors are mostly professors, students, economists, and highly-paid University administrators. However, the neighborhoods immediately north and west of Kenwood are low-income and almost exclusively African American. This confluence of very different communities is emblematic not only of President Obama’s diverse background, but also of the broad variety that defines Chicago and the United States as a whole.
Culturally, Chicago is a prime example of the low-key American Midwest, yet is just as diverse as New York or Los Angeles. The city is quintessentially American in its love of football, craft beer, and rock & roll. But it also proudly displays the heritage of its many immigrant communities, especially their food!