Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's Not So Windy

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's Not So Windy

Article excerpt

Byline: By Amy Cartmell

Chicago is known as the Windy City so for a five-day break in October, I packed a winter coat and scarf.

But I was pleased to discover that America's second biggest city got its nickname in the 19th Century because of its long-winded politicians and not for, as many people suppose, gale-force weather all year round.

When our group arrived, there was a clear blue sky and sunshine, although still a chilly breeze coming off Lake Michigan - the largest expanse of inland water in the US.

Even from the 1,450ft Sears Tower (Chicagoans claims it's the tallest building in the world), it was impossible to believe it was just a lake.

We stayed at Fitzgeralds, a luxurious four-star Irish hotel just off the shopping street North Michigan Avenue - known as the Magnificent Mile.

I felt like a VIP padding around my 21st-floor room in the white fluffy slippers and hotel bath robe, although by the end of my stay I was suffering from altitude sickness.

Our itinerary was packed with visits to shopping centres, museums and restaurants.

In Chicago you can find huge designer and department stores such as Louis Vuitton, Niketown, A Polo Ralph Lauren flagship store and Bloomingdale's.

And just west of Michigan Avenue is Oak Street, which has an array of speciality stores and upmarket boutiques, including Versace and Prada.

There is more shopping to be had further downtown in State Street at the heart of Chicago's theatre district. It is home to the world's first ever department store, Marshall Field's.

For something a bit different, shoppers can catch an "El Train" out to Bucktown - where Nick Hornby's book High Fidelity was filmed.

For a real American experience, a visit to American Girl Place is essential. Described as an "entertainment destination" for little girls and it is where grandmothers, mothers and daughters go to buy the brand doll. The store is the only one in the US and girls can take their dolls to have their hair done and there are special seats for dolls in the restaurant. …

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