The “L” Train and The Magnificent Mile, Chicago, Illinois, USA

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My first encounter with the famous Chicago “L” train was when I boarded the train from Midway Airport all the way to the Loop. It was my first time in Chicago and my first time to use the train.

What I assume will be an ordinary train ride will eventually somehow become an obsession.

Aboard the train on my way to the HI Hostel at East Parkway, I remembered smiling so excitedly particularly when the train maneuver in a corner, sandwiched in between two buildings, I know right there and then that I would love Chicago.
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The “L ” or “EL”, an elevated (hence the nickname) subway system with color-coded routes and train stops is an inexpensive way to travel and a distinctive feature of the city. I lived in Japan for two years where train system is such an integral part of daily life, maybe an analogy that applies as well to the “L” train and the city of Chicago.
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The view of the “L” train is what I see when having breakfast at the hostel common area and the same view in the window from my room, and all I could think of is who would have thought that such a simple mean of transportation will add so much character to the city, if only they can construct the same thing on other cities too.
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As much as I love riding the “L” and seeing the city on elevated view, another great way to see Chicago including its famous architecture is to walk around.
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It is the city that presented the world its first skyscraper and the city that continues to provide some ambitious design.
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Around the Loop area are famous buildings such as the Art-Deco styled Chicago Board of Trustees and the fortress like Rookery. While further walks will take you to the skyscrapers surrounding Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue including the famous shopping strip of the Magnificent Mile.
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I suppose there is simply no specific style or collective term to use when classifying what Chicago architecture is.

Each building occupying a spot has their own influence of style, however, they collectively adapts and compliments not only each other but the surrounding itself, offering a view to behold against the multilevel streets, bridges and the Chicago River.
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And when the day turns into night, there is no better way to see the city lighted up, but to ascend to the 103rd floor Skydeck of Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower), the once tallest building in the world.
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