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Happy Birthday, Chicago!

Courtesy of Shutterstock.

Courtesy of Shutterstock.

Today marks Sweet Home Chicago’s 180th birthday. Born as a town in 1833 and becoming a full-grown city in 1837, Chicago is a city that’s always thriving. After being completely burned to the ground in 1871, facing the crippling stock market crash of 1929, and marching through the current heat of the political climate, Chicago always finds a way to rise from the ashes, greeting each dawn of a new day with fervor and pride. For 180 years, Chicagoans have embraced this very spirit with robust determination and a vivacity that has created a city known for its  lively art scene, means-business savvy, and rainbow of cultures.

The Chicago flag, created by Wallace Rice in 1917. The blue and white stripes represent the city's geography (oriented along Lake Michigan and the Chicago River), the four red stars commemorate historical events/landmarks (Fort Dearborn, The Great Chicago Fire, The World's Fair, and The Century of Progress Expo).

The Chicago Flag, created by Wallace Rice in 1917. The blue and white stripes represent the city’s geography, oriented along Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. The four red stars commemorate historical events/landmarks: Fort Dearborn, The Great Chicago Fire, The World’s Fair, and The Century of Progress Expo. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

In celebration, the City of Chicago is hosting a birthday party today at the Chicago History Museum (1601 N Clark St). There will be live music, remarks on the wonders of our beloved city, and free lemonade and birthday cake (courtesy of Eli’s Cheesecake). Festivities kick off at 11am and run through the day.

There are so many things (and ways) to celebrate the city. Chicago is made up of an array of renowned landmarks including The Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, Lincoln Park Zoo, Navy Pier, The Chicago Botanic Garden, and The Willis (Sears) Tower. It has a beautiful conglomerate culture in music (jazz, hip-hop, soul), visual arts (public sculpture, surrealism, The Museum of Contemporary Art), architecture (neo-classic, Miesian skyscrapers), film (Chicago International Film Festival, Music Box Theatre), live theatre (Goodman, Shakespeare and 200+ storefront theaters), literature (Sandburg, Bellow, Algren, Brooks, Printer’s Row Lit Fest), food (Chicago-style hotdogs, Italian beef, deep-dish pizza)—all of which we pay homage to in our pages here at Third Coast Review.

Chicago has been called the “Heart of America,” from which we’ve adopted our publication’s very name—you’ve got the east coast and the west coast, and then you’ve got Chicago, the Third Coast, in the very center of it all.

Chicago’s weathered some rough times (and we Chicagoans sure know how to handle them), but today we’ve been given a beautiful sunny day. So get out there and show your city some love by living up the skyline.

Cloud Gate (AKA "The Bean") by Anish Kapoor at Millennium Park. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Reddington/Shutterstock.

Cloud Gate (AKA “The Bean”) by Anish Kapoor at Millennium Park. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Reddington/Shutterstock.

 

Looking for something to do? Check out today’s birthday bash (mentioned above) or peruse our pages to keep up to speed on Chicago culture and events. You can also follow Third Coast Review on Instagram and Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our newsletter (see above left column).

Categories: Front page, Lit

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