Upon hearing a city’s or places’ name, we instantly form a mental picture of the area, boiling down all we have heard about it to a distorted, at worst, or an oversimplified, at best, version of what the site actually is or stands for. Venice is full of overcrowded canals, London is teeming with expensive shops and Paris with romantic spots and lavish restaurants.
Such statements though, even when they scratch the surface of truth, are often as misleading as your image on a bronze mirror. And a city with such a rich history and countless legends like Chicago could not be an exception. The only way to really know such places is to spend some time there and learn their secrets.
And since you plan on visiting Chicago in the near future and get a glimpse of its wonders, why not learn few of its well-hidden secrets? That way your overall idea of this magical place will be much more profound and knowledgeable.
- Millennium Park’s Hidden Garden
Few people know that the Millennium Park is actually a gargantuan roof garden!
Prior to its construction, this whole area was occupied by railroad tracks. In fact, the Millennium Station train depot remains on the spot, as well as one of the massive underground parking garage and the Harris Theater – both of which stand right beneath the Park!
So, if you come to think of it, the Millennium Park is actually a gigantic roof garden, standing on a few feet of topsoil and Styrofoam – which are robust enough to hold its massive green space.
- Millennium Park’s Fountain is Great for Showering!
Just to get things clear, we do not mean you can get your shampoo and start lathering up under Crown Fountain’s waterfall! Instead, move to the Park’s northeast corner, to McDonald’s Cycle Center, and you will find a nice little watery haven to take s snappy shower after checking out the area. In fact, the site is included to our Segway tour, so you can just ride your two-wheel vehicle, put your valuables in the handy lockers installed there, and enjoy a nice relaxing shower (with shampoo and everything) and then continue your Tour around the city!
- Could you Discover Chicago’s Secret Symbol? It is Everywhere – Provided you have the Eyes for It
Chicago’s banner consists of four red stars and two blue stripes – and locals love it and put it almost anywhere it can be put. Still, the city has another symbol, much less known to Chicagoans and tourists alike.
Created right before the dawn of the 20th century, this symbol is known as the “Municipal Device,” bearing a Y-shaped figure within a circle and symbolising the point where the branches of the Chicago River converge. A trained eye can spot it all over Chicago. What about you?
- Chicago’s Lakefront (Very) Strange Origins
When your Segway tour gets you to Chicago’s magnificent lakefront, you will already know the funny story of how it came to be. Aaron Montgomery Ward, an old crabbed Croesus that made his money from a mail-order catalogue business, spent his last years by legally destroying any poor fellow who even thought of building something on the lakefront, based on the city’s original plan for Chicago, which afforded the lakefront the status of public ground. Ward’s overall expenses from these consecutive legal fights were vast, but he firmly believed that the lakefront belonged to Chicago’s poor populace, not to millionaires.
As soon as go there, you will realise there has never been a fortune better spent in the city!
- The Bean (Cloud Gate) is Hollow!
The Cloud Gate, best known as the “Bean”, is made from a metal alloy that expands and contracts throughout the year, depending on ambience temperatures. What few visitors get to know is that inside there is a wooden frame supporting this massive 110-ton structure, as well as an architect’s desk and workspace – which of course were never seen again after the exterior welding was finished! It is a genuine time-capsule!
Fascinated by these small secrets? There are plenty more out there! Join now our Chicago Segway tour and learn and see all there is to know and see in this place of wonders!