Impressions of Chicago[list][*]It's flat.[*]The skyscrapers, and fascinating architecture are just there to give some sort of interest to an otherwise rather bleak environment.[*]<b>They have single use recycle bags!</b>[*]The existence of three, separate but totally American cultures was a surprise to me. One - the white, Anglo-celtic and European group - is familiar from most movies, and television. Another - the African-Americans - is also familiar, yet the completely different rhythms in speech and manner are uncommon in mainstream US media. The third - a large Spanish speaking group - seems totally absent from anything I have seen except Cheech&Chong movies, and Sesame St.[*]The grass is burnt dry in the summer, almost every tree loses its leaves: there is very little green anywhere in the city. The roads are sprayed with salt when it snows, and this covers almost everything with a grimy film. By Christmas, the city is dirty and sad looking. Suddenly, the bright lights that seemed garish and tasteless while blinking in the bright Australian sunlight, become a perfect and welcome antidote for the Christmas blues. The southern hemisphere needs to come up with an excuse to string coloured lights in June.[*]The pizzas are expensive.[*]I miss Australian Pizza. Pappa Gino's, Tower, La Porchetta even: my soul cries out![*]Servings in some restaurants are huge![*]Americans can't tell Australian accents from English.[*]While I had a great visit, and found it fascinating, Chicago is the first big city I have visited that I can't imagine living in.[/list]Anyway, here are some photos, and, inevitably, <a href="../../Pictures/Panoramas/chicago.html">Chicago Panoramas</a>

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