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How to help the Wikitravel Chicago project

The Chicago article is a showcase for Wikitravel. The coverage is extensive, perhaps more so than for any other city. Updating and refining existing content is still needed, but before adding new content check that the information is not already in the article, and that there aren't already some examples of what you are adding. We want to avoid a guide that is too bloated or crowded, and we don't need to list every hotel, bar or restaurant to have a excellent guide. In addition the maps are so saturated that it may be difficult to add further listings to them.

If you are seeking to help, check the to do list. We need help to keep information current, so if you have current knowledge of a section of town, please scan the appropriate district article for out of date information, e.g., listings for businesses that have closed, outdated contact information, CTA station closures, etc.

If there is something important that is omitted, feel free to raise it on the discussion page, if you have found a hidden gem in your Chicago travels, let us know about it.

But above all, please do join the effort to keep this the best travel guide to Chicago there ever was.


To Do List[edit]

Here's what I think we need:

  • Itineraries for districts outside the city center
  • Improved coverage of Little Village shopping
  • Improved coverage of "do" activities in the Southwest Side


Many suburbs are covered on the Chicagoland page and have only one attraction of note. However, there are a few that deserve fuller coverage as a complement to the Chicago set of articles, and need work accordingly. Post 'em here (but only if you're willing to work on them).

Last updated by Peter Talk 04:04, 20 May 2009 (EDT)

CTA rates are out-of-date. 19:47, 4 March 2013 (EST)

Feel free to Plunge forward and change them. Thank you! IBAlex 20:05, 4 March 2013 (EST)

Article status[edit]


Re: [1], my guess is that the IP thought that the word "idea" was a little bland after using such evocative phrases as "truth of jazz" and "heart of comedy". (But at least it keeps the parallel construction, so I agree that it's better than having nothing there at all.) Is there a loftier noun that could be used to describe the skyscrapers? Engage a pun by saying "height of architecture" or something like that?

(On a related note, the lack of a descriptor before "blues" also rubs me the wrong way as it sounds clunky when it's followed by those "___ of ___" constructions.)

-- LtPowers 08:37, 5 January 2010 (EST)

It's the home of the blues? That's actually the adage from which the following metaphors are inspired.
I rather like "idea," and Marc's nicely built some continuity with that phrase elsewhere in the guide. If I were going to try and find fault with one of the descriptors, it would be "truth," but I think we should resist the urge to wikittack the few turns of phrases on site that aspire to "speak above a whisper." It's extremely easy to do, but I don't think we'll benefit from it. (Lest I be misunderstood, I'm not at all pointing fingers, just making a point.) --Peter Talk 14:49, 5 January 2010 (EST)
I was reading it as "is the home of the blues and [the home of] the truth of jazz" rather than "is the home of the blues and [is] the truth of jazz." Honestly, I don't even know what the latter would mean. =) As for "idea", it's fine if you like it; it just strikes me as more pedestrian than the abstractions that precede it. LtPowers 15:47, 5 January 2010 (EST)


Chicago's summers are not disgustingly hot. They are hot and humid at times. "Disgustingly hot" would be more identifiable with Phoenix, or pretty much any South Texas city or South Florida city, like Houston and Miami. I have been in Chicago in the summer when it was just 81 degrees, and I have been there when it was 91. But every day or every summer in Chicago is not like that, so by definition that does not make their summer's disgustingly hot. Phoenix, Miami, and Houston, however, ARE like that every day of the summer for every year. Therefore, their articles should have the term "disgustingly hot". This needs to be changed. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

I'm inclined to agree that it should be changed. The lake keeps things pretty nice for people used to far worse summers. The fact that swimming is a good cool off option makes it all the more an appealing part of the year from my perspective. (I can't believe, btw, that you are still pushing that taxi madness—you need to explore the city a bit more, my friend.) --Peter Talk 21:39, 12 January 2010 (EST)
The fact that this anonymous user keeps trying to insert false and frankly dangerous information about taxis casts aspersions over the worth of everything else he or she has to say. Nevertheless, while this article need not be married to the term "disgustingly hot" if there's a better descriptive, there is more to climate than 'degrees' — the reason all the old folks go to Phoenix is because it's a dry heat, cool in the shade, low humidity. And the argument that Chicago can't be called hot because other cities are hotter is absurd. If that's true, why would we describe Miami as hot when Mexico City is so much hotter? Why would we describe Mexico City as hot when Vientiane is so much hotter? Answer: because the articles are independent of each other. Gorilla Jones 23:13, 12 January 2010 (EST)
It should also be noted that the anonymous user has employed inaccurate terms above — the article does not say that "Chicago's summers are disgustingly hot." It says that "Many days in July and August are disgustingly hot." So the anonymous user has built an argument on a false premise and is arguing against a phrasing that does not actually exist. Gorilla Jones 23:21, 12 January 2010 (EST)
Hmm, you are correct as usual. I'm tempted to add a little non-weather-related plug for the summer in that section, though. Summer, especially late summer, is the one time of the year when I feel unambivalently happier to be in Chicago than anywhere else in the world. --Peter Talk 23:48, 12 January 2010 (EST)

First of all, I never insert false information. If you walk away with nothing else, at least walk away with that. I did not say Chicago cannot be called hot in summer. It can be called "hot and humid at times in the summer", that phrasing would be better. I said it shouldn't be called "disgustingly hot" because if you use that term, you have nowhere else to go when describing the summers of cities like Phoenix, Houston or Miami, which are actually "disgustingly hot" in the summer (dry heat or not for Phoenix).

And as far as the taxi situation, ok here we go: The article states "outside of the downtown, North Side, Near West, and Near South sides you will likely have greater difficulty hailing a taxi directly from the street". Well look at a map of the city of Chicago. All those aforementioned areas added together constitute roughly half of the city's land area! Then add to that several upper-class and middle-class neighborhoods on the South Side and Southwest like Hyde Park, Kenwood, Chatham, and Beverly, to name a few, where hailing taxis are easy too. Plus the upper and middle class sections of the Northwest Side and you technically have covered almost the entire city. Now of course, there will be several lower class areas where taxis themselves may not be as numerous in numbers, but when they do ride through the streets of those lower class areas, they still will sometimes stop if hailed. This is no different than New York City where taxis can be hailed, and are more numerous in Manhattan but less so in the Bronx, Queens, or Staten Island. New York City's article doesn't state "outside of Manhattan taxis may be more difficult to hail from the street", so there should be no reason Chicago's article should have wording stating its difficult to hail a cab outside what really is a large portion of Chicago. In fact, it may be easier to hail a cab in the entire city of Chicago versus the entire city of New York because taxis are freely hailed in about half of Chicago's land area, and in New York City taxis concentrate on Manhattan only, which is not half of New York City's land area. Chicago, New York City, and Washington D.C. are considered American cities where taxis can be hailed from the street. Sorry for the long reply, but you asked.

As usual, your arguments seem irreconcilable with reality as I understand it. I've made a map of the city (about 30, actually), you can view it here. What you are calling roughly half the city is actually less than a tenth of it... And did you miss my story on your talk page? To recap: taxis won't come pick you up even if you call in vast portions of the city! It has nothing to do with the "class" of the neighborhood, it's just a matter of fact that you won't see a taxi drive by in most of the city outside the center, even waiting half an hour on a main thoroughfare. And yes, that goes for Hyde Park and Beverly too. I'm really bewildered that you are still pushing this, and that you continue to edit war to try and reinsert it. --Peter Talk 22:44, 27 January 2010 (EST)
Indeed, it's wildly inaccurate to claim those areas constitute half or even a quarter of the city, which calls into question the writer's basic familiarity with the city. And, once again, there are presently no plans to describe Miami's weather in the Chicago article, just as there are no plans to describe Jakarta's weather in the Miami article, which would require us to describe Miami's weather as mild. The terminology has no relationship. I fully expect that a complete New York article would say that city has the best pizza in the nation. So does this one. Doesn't matter. Gorilla Jones 23:45, 27 January 2010 (EST)

If you are looking at your Chicago maps correctly, you will see that the downtown area, the North Side, Near West, and Near South sides added together do not constitute just a tenth of the city's land area. The Near North Side and the North Side stretch from Division all the way to the Howard border at the city's northern limits with Evanston. The Near South Side would go as far south as 35th Street and the Near West Side as far west as Western Ave. That entire land mass added together is not just a tenth of Chicago. Look again. An area that large doesn't deserve the terminology "outside the downtown, North Side, Near West, and Near South sides you may find it difficult to hail a cab" because, although that may be true, you are giving the reader an inaccurate perception of hailing cabs off the streets of Chicago. It is not hard to do; anyone in Chicago will tell you that. Look at it this way: New York City's article -doesn't- state "outside of Manhattan (or perhaps some areas of Brooklyn) you may find it difficult to hail a taxi off the street", although that statement is true. People who live in the Bronx, Staten Island, or Queens find it more difficult hailing a taxi off the streets than people in Manhattan. So if you want to keep that terminology in Chicago's article, New York's article should have the same terminology. If you didn't find it necessary to state it's harder to hail a cab off the streets in the Bronx, Staten Island, or Queens versus Manhattan, there was no need to put that type of terminology in Chicago's article when referring to the South or West Sides. Keep it consistent.

Good gracious man, that map is labeled. You can click on any of the individual district articles to view the district maps, and thus see that what you are stating is the opposite of what is fact. This discussion is surreal.
With regards to taxis, my inclination is to think that you haven't really spent any time in the areas you are talking about. You are just as likely to be able to hail a cab in Chatham (as you assert) as you are to find MLK Jr. Highway in NYC (as you invented). Statements like "several upper-class and middle-class neighborhoods on the South Side and Southwest like Hyde Park, Kenwood, Chatham, and Beverly, to name a few, where hailing taxis are easy too" make it very clear to me that you are making assertions about areas you know next to nothing about, and likely have never been to. --Peter Talk 17:21, 28 January 2010 (EST)

Point blank. It is not hard to hail a taxi off the streets of Chicago. In most American cities, you must call a taxi to come pick you up. Chicago and New York City are exceptions to that rule. But both cities have areas where it's easier to hail a cab and areas where it may be somewhat more difficult yet not impossible to hail a cab off the street. For Chicago, the easier areas are downtown, North Side, Near South, and Near West Sides. The harder areas in Chicago may be the West Side, and some parts of the South Side. In New York City, the easier area is Manhattan. The harder areas are the Bronx, Staten Island, and parts of Brooklyn and Queens. So if they both are comparable in that regard, my arguement is that when you read the Chicago article it gives the reader the impression that it's virtually impossible outside a small area, whereas the New York article doesn't give that impression, yet the same is true for both cities. That's what I'm saying.

I don't know why you persist in thinking the New York article is a model for this one, since that article is (generously) at 'usable' status, two levels below this one. (Also, nobody from Chicago gives a crap how New York does anything.) Nevertheless, I have 25 years of experience of not being able to hail a taxi off the street up by Howard Street or anywhere in the vicinity of it. So you're objectively wrong. Gorilla Jones
In Chicago, Howard Street is the city limits, so that sentence doesn't hold water as you're virtually out of Chicago at that point and into the suburbs. One may say its hard to hail a cab off the streets when you're in the Bronx at the border with Yonkers, but that didn't stop anyone from stating its easy to hail a cab in New York, now did it? —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)
Are you sure it's a good idea to be restarting arguments from over two years ago? LtPowers 21:46, 10 July 2012 (EDT)

New discussion (2012)[edit]

I've moved some of the IP's new comments down here because they didn't thread well above. Apologies. LtPowers 21:46, 10 July 2012 (EDT)

Disgusting heat[edit]

How can it be stated that I employed an inaccurate term because I said Chicago's summers shouldn't be described as disgustingly hot? You pointed out that the article actually states "many days in July in August are disgustingly hot". Okay, I took July and August to mean summer as summer doesn't start until June is basically over, so that leaves July and August. So the article was stating the first three weeks of September -which is the only part of September that is summer- isn't disgustingly hot; alright, fine. But yet, you do exactly what you accuse me of after that: Above, Gorilla, you said that "the argument that Chicago can't be called hot because other cities are hotter is absurd". When did I say that? I said Chicago shouldn't be called "disgustingly hot" -that's what I said- and I never said it can't be called hot because other cities are hotter. That wouldn't make sense. So isn't that you purposely pulling the same tactic you thought that I was trying to pull? It seems to me that you are the one who is trying to build an argument on a false premise and is arguing against a phrasing that does not actually exist. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)


Cabs do ride the main thoroughfares of Beverly and Hyde Park, especially Hyde Park. In Beverly, it's down Western Ave and down 95th St. In Hyde Park, kind of all over. No cabs riding the streets in Hyde Park? Laughable. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

216., you should go ahead and make whatever edits see fit to the Wikitravel Chicago article, and be assured that I will not revert or alter them. Cheers! Gorilla Jones 10:34, 19 August 2012 (EDT)

Lede (again)[edit]

I found the lede to this article to be misleading. Chicago is not the birthplace of jazz and the blues; those are from the South. Moreover, the local music scene isn't really the most important thing to the city's identity. My suggested rewrite was reverted; no particular objection to the content was specified. It is reproduced below. -- Beland 01:08, 18 May 2010 (EDT)

Chicago [2] is the hub of the American Midwest, its identity partly formed as a gateway to the agricultural heartland of the country, and partly as a teeming metropolis of cultural expression and innovation. Economically, it has thrived as a central North American transportation nexus, whether in the age of ships, railroads, or airplanes.
The city is easy to find — its picturesque skyline calls across the waters of Lake Michigan, a first impression that soon reveals world-class museums of art and science, miles of sandy beaches, huge parks and public art, and perhaps the finest downtown collection of modern architecture in the world.
Culturally, Chicago has become the adopted home of jazz and the blues, and a center of comedy and theater. It has shopping of an international caliber, while maintaining a local flair in architecture and food. The hustle and bustle of big city life have barely put a dent in real Midwestern friendliness.

What's a lede?--Burmesedays 01:15, 18 May 2010 (EDT)

Read back to the discussion above. Apparently the argument goes that "home of" does not equate to the "birthplace of". Apparently the blues, like a petulant teenager, has found its true home distant from its birth. --inas 01:26, 18 May 2010 (EDT)

That's... pretty boring, overall. The current version is interesting to read, whereas "teeming metropolis of cultural expression and innovation" feels like a jumble of buzzwords saying nothing about Chicago in particular. — D. Guillaime 01:33, 18 May 2010 (EDT)

wikipedia:wikt:lede#English defines "lede". It's a variant spelling of "lead" that is used only to refer to the opening section of a written work, like an encyclopedia article or a news article. And yes, I reverted Beland's contribution because it was dry and encyclopedic instead of lively travel writing. And because this is a star article, and reached star status with its current lede, I felt that any changes to the lede ought to be discussed here first, especially when they change the Tone so much. LtPowers 08:57, 18 May 2010 (EDT)
OK, here's another try, avoiding misleading claims (not the birthplace of jazz and the blues, meat packing is no longer a big industry) while trying to keep a livlier style. -- Beland 13:39, 19 May 2010 (EDT)

As the hub of the Midwest, Chicago [3] is easy to find — its picturesque skyline calls across the waters of Lake Michigan, a first impression that soon reveals world-class museums of art and science, miles of sandy beaches, huge parks and public art, and perhaps the finest downtown collection of historic and modern architecture in the world. Here, the age of railroads found its center and spawned a huge meatpacking industry; in more recent decades, airplanes have swooped in to connect the city to the world and carry its faith in social progress.

Known for its blues, jazz, comedy, theater, shopping, and fine dining, the hustle and bustle of life in America's "Second City" (a title now contested with Los Angeles) have barely put a dent in its genuine Midwestern friendliness.

I'm a little confused regarding what exactly is "misleding." The article neither claims Chicago is the birthplace of jazz or blues, nor that meat packing is currently a major industry.
Marc's version is one of the most dynamic intros we have on the site—it's about the last one I think would be worth much effort tinkering with, when there are so many lifeless "X is in Y" bits floating around. It's possible to quibble endlessly about originality in writing, especially in a collaborative wiki environment. But I think we should resist the urge to eye "the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme," and instead focus on improving the vast quantities of legitimately poor writing on the site. --Peter Talk 14:01, 19 May 2010 (EDT)
Well, as a tourist visiting Chicago, I read that lede and I interpreted it as saying that Chicago was the birthplace of jazz and the blues. I had to do my own research before I was certain this was factually incorrect. I don't think this travel guide should sacrifice factual accuracy in the name of being "dynamic". I tried to fix only that part of the intro, but that change was also reverted. It was requested that I discuss the issue here, so that's what I'm doing. -- Beland 14:30, 20 May 2010 (EDT)
I just don't see what's misleading about calling it the Home of the Blues (and actually, it says nothing about it being the home, much less the birthplace of jazz). It's not a Wikitravel coinage—it's a well-known city slogan. And regardless, if I say I'm going "home," I mean to my house, not to a hospital in New York. Further down the article at Chicago#Jazz and blues, the process by which the blues came to live in Chicago is explained.
And you're most certainly not doing anything wrong in discussing it here. I just disagree with you ;) --Peter Talk 18:19, 20 May 2010 (EDT)
Well, I was personally misled, because I thought the article was claiming that Chicago was the birthplace of the blues and jazz. I'm sure it reads differently to people who live in Chicago vs. those who don't know anything about it. If it's a well-known city slogan, the article should make that clear to people who have never heard it, as in "Chicago calls itself 'The Home of the Blues'". -- Beland 15:12, 24 May 2010 (EDT)
Sometimes clarity and poetry are mutually exclusive. The minor negative effects of a misunderstanding (one which, frankly, I don't expect a large number of people to have) are not worth disrupting the flow of the lede, IMO. Is it really a big deal if you were momentarily confused about the true birthplace of the blues? The rest of the article makes it clear that the blues migrated from the South along with several other cultural elements. LtPowers 18:47, 24 May 2010 (EDT)
I stopped reading before I got to the full explanation, and so walked away from the article with the wrong impression. Isn't the whole point of Wikitravel to give people accurate information about the places they visit? After having a discussion on the road, I concluded that this article was simply wrong, which undermines the site's credibility. -- Beland 19:52, 23 June 2010 (EDT)
Sorry, but that's your mistake, not the article's. Home ≠ birthplace. If it did, we'd all live in hospitals. Gorilla Jones 20:04, 23 June 2010 (EDT)

Hyperbole in the lead[edit]

The lead sounds like it was written by the Chicago Tourism Bureau. It is not the "home of the blues," only electric or Chicago-style blues. I don't know what "the truth of jazz" means. New York has a stronger association with skyscrapers. It's midwestern friendliness is noted, so no need to insult other cities as surly in the next sentence. The first sentence should note that Chicago is the third biggest city in America and the capital of the midwest. The features of the city should be noted without sounding so cheesy. Hyperbole destroys an articles credibility. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Yeah, and dry encyclopedic writing destroys an article's readability. I agree that "the truth of jazz" is a pretty meaningless phrase, but it sounds good and fits with what you'd find in any good travel article. LtPowers 13:30, 26 July 2010 (EDT)

"any good travel article" doesn't need to exagerate to be colorful. Look at the articles for New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Los Angeles, or Berlin. They lead with the information a traveller would want, not meaningless praise. We can have a readable lead that people will like. There have been many changes, but the Chicago Tourism Bureau keeps changing it back.

FYI, a good half of the Chicago Tourism Bureau has moved to D.C., but does miss his 26th St style pizza at Connie's quite dearly. --Peter Talk 17:06, 15 August 2010 (EDT)
I just think it's a shame that the New York Tourism Bureau chooses to keep conducting itself like this. Gorilla Jones 23:33, 15 August 2010 (EDT)

You betray your bias. I was citing the other cities not to bring conflict, but to show that Chicago's lead is in no way typical. It is an off-putting, over-exciting lie. I'm sorry your "book" contains the hyperbole lead, but lets make this online article easier to read and use. We don't need Chicago-patriots screaming their cities praise. Travel is about putting prejudices aside. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

There clearly isn't any consensus to tone down the lead, so I've reverted the latest changes until there is some agreement. While I'd tend to agree that the current lede does stray a bit into hyperbole, trimming it down to cold, boring facts is IMHO going too far in the opposite direction. Wikitravel:Tone encourages lively writing, so given the choice between the current version or a stark recitation of fact I'd prefer the status quo. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:35, 21 August 2010 (EDT)
The other cities cited were at guide status, while this was the first huge city star article. Just for fun, lets quote the top of Wikitravel:Tone right here:
Every dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc-mange plain porridge unleavened literature, licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme. -Ray Bradbury
--Peter Talk 17:42, 21 August 2010 (EDT)
I agree. This whole article reads like a travel brochure. People don't go to wikitravel to be convinced to go to a place. They've already decided to go and want clear, no-nonsense information about everything city related. Great cities speak for themselves. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)
Don't tell us what people come here for. I think everyone here would agree this may be the best article on the site. It is the article to which the rest of us aspire when writing our own articles. It has been turned into a book that has a perfect review score on Amazon and sells better than Frommer's Chicago and Chicago for Dummies. We are writing travel guides both for people who want to know where to go and what to do, as well as people who already know where they're going and what they're doing. We cater to both markets; deal with it. LtPowers 11:49, 31 January 2011 (EST)

I'll second the concerns about this page reading like a travel brochure. I found myself being skeptical about this article, which defeats the point of having the article in the first place. Let's not confuse hyperbole with engaging prose.

I've been using wikitravel for almost half a decade, and most pages are written in a credible manner. Kart (talk) 21:10, 27 December 2014 (EST)

Willis / Sears Tower[edit]

There have been numerous edits to the Chicago articles in the past year to change "Sears Tower" to "Willis Tower", most of which have been reverted. At some point "Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower)" is going to be the most common name. If we aren't there yet, then "Sears Tower (officially Willis Tower)" might be a decent compromise that will stave off further well-meaning edits. I don't know Chicago well enough to know which is better, so can anyone provide some input so that those of us watching this article know what to do with edits to the tower's name? -- Ryan • (talk) • 10:52, 24 August 2010 (EDT)

I think it is important to call it both "Sears Tower" for historical recognition and "Willis Tower" for the sake of being completely up-to-date (and for interesting trivia). I agree that "Sears Tower (officially Willis Tower)" accomplishes this perfectly.
The name appears many places throughout the Chicago pages though, most notably in Architecture, Buildings, and Skydeck. I would suggest noting the name change only in its first appearances on the Architecture and Buildings sections to avoid unnecessary confusion. By the time someone navigates to the Skydeck listing hopefully it will already be apparent to them. --Jtesla16 11:48, 24 August 2010 (EDT)
I suppose that's a reasonable compromise; the edits I made earlier today were merely to enforce what I saw as the existing consensus, that the building is still called the Sears Tower. I don't claim to be an expert. LtPowers 15:37, 24 August 2010 (EDT)
There is an infobox explaining the name change in the main article, but I think it would be fine to put the parenthetical after the first mention in the architecture section, for anyone who is confused, and missed the infobox. It's anecdotal, of course, but I was talking about the Sears Tower today (comparing it to the height of the ridiculously high Burj Khalifa) with people who neither familiar with Chicago nor terribly interested in skyscrapers or architecture, and it never even crossed my mind or theirs to refer to it as anything else.
I don't think that the Willis name is catching on, nor do I think it will, as the Sears Tower, unlike, say, Chicago's Standard Oil Building, is an icon with worldwide name recognition. Similarly, if the Eiffel Tower was whored out under corporate naming rights as the GazProm Tower, people would keep on calling it the Eiffel Tower. The notable exception, of course, is Wikipedia, where I'd say they are violating their own policies, by asserting without much evidential basis that Willis will become the more widespread usage. --Peter Talk 16:40, 24 August 2010 (EDT)
This edit to the Skyline guide, as well as one to the USA article, are actually what prompted the discussion, since I've seen such edits reverted and was curious whether we had an agreement on this. It sounds like the parenthetical is a decent compromise to ward off those trying to "fix" the name. As to "Sears" vs "Willis", it sounds very similar to when San Francisco tried to claim that "Candlestick Park" was actually "3Com Park" or " Park" - aside from the guys in the broadcast booth I can't recall ever hearing anyone utter the new names, and if they had the scorn directed in their direction would have been fast and heavy. It got to the point that in 2004 there was actually a ballot measure passed to prevent the city from trying to rename the park again. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:50, 24 August 2010 (EDT)
I'm not sure what policies Wikipedia is violating by calling their article wikipedia:Willis Tower. They have wikipedia:WP:COMMONNAME, of course, but it's my opinion that the plainest reading of it doesn't necessarily mean "what do most people on the street call it", especially for things that do have official names. Most of the most reliable sources -- such as news articles and official sources -- will call it the Willis Tower, so that's a perfectly reasonable name for the article's title. (Our purposes, of course, are different; in our case, we definitely should prefer what most people call the building, so that travelers can better find it.) LtPowers 17:03, 24 August 2010 (EDT)
I'd be happy to wager that most official sources and news articles still call it the Sears Tower. --Peter Talk 17:05, 24 August 2010 (EDT)
I'm fine with 'Sears Tower (officially Willis Tower)' at the first mention. I spoke to a Chicago Architecture Foundation docent recently, and he said that they refer to it as the Sears Tower on their tours, but usually include a brief (and derisive) reference to Willis. As for Wikipedia, they had the name change in place the day the contract called for it, before any meaningful reading of wikipedia:WP:COMMONNAME had been met. To be fair, though, it's obvious from their talk page that it was a small group of users who rammed it through, not the result of any consensus. Gorilla Jones 18:38, 24 August 2010 (EDT)

Bus table[edit]

I'm moving this here for discussion — I'm not sure we should devote this much space to bus transit between Chicago and a scant two cities. Gorilla Jones 18:20, 26 September 2010 (EDT)

A summary of bus fares to Milwaukee and Minneapolis frequencies and services including the lowest internet fare, the walk-up ticket price and how often the buses run:

Milwaukee lowest Milwaukee walkup Milwaukee frequency Minneapolis lowest Minneapolis walkup Minneapolis frequency wifi 110v outlets
Amtrak² $22 $22 7x day $56 $56-$74 1x day No Yes
Greyhound $6 $16 8x day $27 $65 5x day No No
Ind. Trails  ?  ? 1x day Yes Yes
Megabus $1 $20³ 4x day $1 $24³ 3-4x day Yes Some
Wisconsin $26 $26 14x day No No

²Train. AAA, ISIC, SA, Senior (walk-up) discounts: Milwaukee $18, Minneapolis from $47. ³Tickets must be purchased via internet or telephone($3 fee).

Coyotes downtown?[edit]

Not sure whether or where this might fit it in the article. Seemed worth posting, though: Pashley 05:37, 25 November 2010 (EST)

Heh, that article mentions "nuisance problems, like mice, rats, and rabbits." Chicago does have an unusually large number of weird nocturnal urban bunnies, but I never thought of them as a nuisance. --Peter Talk 11:27, 25 November 2010 (EST)

Lead needs more color[edit]

The lead was so boring before. Everyone knows that blues and jazz are centered in Chicago, that people are super-friendly there unlike every other city that size, and that there is days weeks and months of stuff to see in Chicago.

But there might be some foreigners reading this and we need to convince them to come to Chicago! We should add more color to the lead. I added some real colorful stuff. It's not all true, mind you, but color is more important than truth. Chicago!

"Color" is not more important than truth, and your edits were nothing but vandalism. Besides, if someone were to visit based on their love of "pubic art" and the "ambiguous sexuality" of Midwesterners and Subway Restaurant employees, they would likely be highly disappointed and they'd go home and tell their countrymen that Chicago is overrated and not worth the visit. ChubbyWimbus 04:24, 28 February 2011 (EST)

I agree that truth is more important than color. But legitimate concerns about the lead's bombastic claims were repeatedly brought up and shouted down by people who said "we need color, your edits are boring." Some of the people round here think its dull writing if it doesn't have a bunch of meaningless color that isnt based on reality.

Satire, not vandalism.

We need to calm down the lead and bring it in line with the helpful, informativie, and interesting nature of the rest of this site. Not a "Chicago is awesome" banner. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by‎ (talkcontribs)

As the article's history and this talk page shows, this anonymous user is trolling; please revert any further contributions. While there are legitimate points to be made about the article being too promotional, feeding the trolls is counter-productive. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:28, 28 February 2011 (EST)

Can we have a discussion about making the lead appealing and informative without being so grabby? With consensus, huh? —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Sure. First, what do you mean by "grabby"? LtPowers 09:49, 13 March 2011 (EDT)

I think the lead is laying on the gravy a bit heavy. Let's have some biscuits.

The first paragraph could be shorter. The last two sentences could be one. "World-class luxury mingles with real Midwestern friendliness in a city that likes to swagger." How about that?

We can replace the whole first paragraph with...

"Ready to laugh, cry, sing the blues and swagger through the third-biggest city in America? Chicago has been there for trains, planes, hog-butcherin', and skyscrapers. World-class luxury mingles with real Midwestern friendliness. Because around here, everything is done "Chicago style!"

Or no? I wanna work with you guys. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

It would help if you registered for an account; your IP address changes a lot and that makes it hard to contact you. Anyway, it's difficult to talk about changes to the lead without identifying what you feel is wrong with it. Is it just that it's too long? I don't think it is; we don't need to ramble, but the lead should be substantial enough to give the reader a good idea of what they'll find in the rest of the article. LtPowers 21:25, 13 March 2011 (EDT)

Ok, I'll think about this account thing. Bear in mind that I did "hyperbole in the lead" and this and that's it.

You are right that the lead should be "substantial enough to give the reader a good idea of what they'll find in the rest of the article." The rest of the article is very good, great even. Concise, complete, and with some helpful swagger in the writing too.

The lead isn't concise. It is coming from too many places at once, like an Illinois twister.

"Chicago is where blues went eletric and jazz found its swing. Comedy and cuisine adapted and were adopted again by the rest of America from this skyscraper metropolise. Hogbutchering and moonshining are gone, but the Second City hasn't lost its downhome charm."

That mentions blues, jazz, comedy, food (bbq, pizza, etc), skycrapers, The Jungle and gangsters, Second City, along with its downhome charm (I wanted to say swagger, but didn't).

It cuts out some of the lesser-known references from the first paragraph, but will leave it stronger. Plus the "downhome" segways into the second paragraph. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Well if you don't get an account, at least sign your posts. =)
I'm starting to see what you mean, but I think we might be able to tighten up the focus without actually shortening the lead. I think it's really the perfect length on a page this size; three good-sized paragraphs provides a nice introduction. If there's any place to err on the side of verbosity, it's in the lead, which is supposed to grab a reader's attention. LtPowers 19:59, 14 March 2011 (EDT)

I agree about grabbing a readers attention. I think we can be more informative without loosing flavor. I like my line "Chicago is where blues went electric and jazz found its swing." We can play up the "Second City" theme, in that Chicago puts its own style on Americana.

Before I went at the lead with my own take, someone was graffiting the lead consistantly and with some stuff that was pretty obscene. There are other examples. I think people are graffiting because they are bothered by the unabashed lead.

Well, I have to be honest that it's hard to defend words I didn't myself write, and it seems the main authors of this article are busy elsewhere. My feeling, more or less, is that while encyclopedias might be able to be written by committee, when it comes to lively, creative writing such as this, it's going to have to come down to one person just taking it and running with it. So I'm reluctant to try to assemble something "better" rather than leaving the distinctive voice that is already present. LtPowers 20:46, 24 March 2011 (EDT)

Articles don't have "main authors." Bullys protecting their handiwork is not the point of a wiki.

Wikitravel says color and information must coexist.

So, I don't see any ojections around here to me changing the lead, except from the guys trying to sell books on EBAY. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Ah, so the facade of reasonableness drops. Yes, articles do indeed have main authors - or "primary contributors" if you will. A simple look at the page history will make it abundantly clear who has done the majority of work on this article. Also, as you will note, I am not trying to sell anything on "EBAY" [sic]. My concern is that the lively writing authored by the primary contributors to this article will be watered down because an anonymous IP address somewhere in Internet-land thinks it's too promotional. LtPowers 08:30, 1 April 2011 (EDT)

I'm not the only reader who thinks its too promotional. Thats why it is susceptable to graffiti.

I am being reasonable, asking for a reasonable intro, not a meaningless one. "It can't change, its so colorful" is not reasonable. Sure, there are some people contributing more than others, but that doesn't make their opinions more important. As an IP address, my contributions are not less valid than someone who spends alot of time on their user page.

Go to the EBAY (I'll spell it as I like) page and you will see a bunch of ridiculous reviews made by meat puppets. The primary conts are selling a book. If that is the purpose of this site, I'll back off, but I thought its to give quality info to travellers.

So, its "watered down" if it has more info?

I don't know why Chicago residents are so defensive about their city. I think it has to do with an inferiority complex next to LA and NYC. Chicago can stand along side any city in the world with its own merit, it doesn't need invented praise.

Nobody except the Chicago gang has commented in support of the lead. I'm going to make some minor changes and we can go from there.

—The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

You really aren't being reasonable. You've unilaterally declared that this article is too promotional, rather than listening to opposing opinions. You prattle on about "EBAY" -- I'm not even sure what you mean by that: reviews for what? -- and I am not a member of the "Chicago gang", whatever that means. LtPowers 13:11, 3 April 2011 (EDT)

Sorry, not ebay, Amazon, my mistake. Look at the reviews, they are written in the same style as the old lead. "Wow, buy this book, it heals Leprosy!"

Other people bring up the lead and it was always shouted down. If changes were suggested they were labelled bland. My edit isn't bland, its colorful and truthful. It tells people interesting stuff about Chicago.

Did you notice that the lead used to link to I got rid of that. I said it before and I'll say it again, the old lead was written by someone with a vested interest in increasing tourist numbers to Chicago.

I like being flippant and childish on talk pages. I think its fun. But the article exists for the reader. Lets give them good info without being a dusty old tome.

You and me, like the Blues Brothers. We're on a mission from God.

We always link official tourism sites. Why would you remove it? LtPowers 09:23, 4 April 2011 (EDT)
After doing some research, I've reverted the entire change, as it contained a number of inaccuracies: in particular, jazz didn't "find its swing" in Chicago at all. LtPowers 12:43, 4 April 2011 (EDT)

Chicago jazz distinguishes itself from other styles in a variety of ways, and Chicago-style means Swing Jazz. That is not a factual statement, it is a blend of color and information.

Are you saying that it is verifiable that the "truth of jazz" is in Chicago? That is like saying the best jazz is in Chicago. We can say "alot of the best jazz is in Chicago" but your revert is not more true. Which do you prefer, color or truth? —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Don't try to change the subject. The basic point to remember here is that the version you changed had widespread support, and was viewed by many eyes while this article was being reviewed for Star status. That means you better have some really good reasons for changing it, and so far "I don't like it" is about all you've come up with. Try to garner some consensus for your problems with the lead before making any further changes. LtPowers 12:07, 6 April 2011 (EDT)

Widespread support? There is consensus for change. It has been brought up numerous times for improvement and always shouted down by a few individuals. Just like you are doing now.

The widespread defacement of this page can be viewed as adding to the consensus for change.

This article deserves a gold star for its completeness. Many people overlooked the bombastic lead for that reason, I think.

At least part of the lead needs to be changed to make this article easier to use, more informative, and less whimsical.

You've still failed to help improve the lead, only champion it as perfect. I'm not the one saying "I don't like it." I have specific beefs. You have general praise.

So are you gonna get on the trolley of progress?

—The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

It's not perfect. Your changes made it significantly worse. There's no "consensus for change" here; what we have are a bunch of IP addresses who've made few if any edits to our travel guides, and whom (for all we know) could be one person having a laugh. Frankly, we put a lot more stock in the opinions of long-time editors who have a proven knack for writing travel guides rather than visitors who complain rather needlessly about "boosterism". LtPowers 21:36, 7 April 2011 (EDT)

It was made "significantly worse"? So it started out bad. Agreed. I'm changing it back. Can we let it hang a few days, see if we get some criticism? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

To the anon - please either create an account or at least sign your posts with four tildes (~~~~) so that these discussions are easier to follow. Regarding the latest revert, I've been following this conversation and don't have strong feelings about either edit version, but if we're going to use the new version then please stop removing the official Chicago link (see Wikitravel:External links). -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:57, 12 April 2011 (EDT)
Jazz didn't "find its swing" in Chicago; "downhome" is a word no self-respecting Chicagoan would use; these and the gratuitous "Chicago!" at the end of the paragraph all mark the revision as entirely non-serious and completely unacceptable. I'd be interested to see a serious defense of this revision that didn't start with "no one else has objected to it". LtPowers 19:01, 12 April 2011 (EDT)
The Chicago style of Jazz is often called Swing Jazz. It is a more upbeat, dancable big band sound. I think the first line of the new edit is its best strength, especially since the old "home of blues and truth of jazz" was poorly worded.
If you object to the word "downhome," please change it. Maybe Chicagoans don't say it much, but it is a Midwest term. We are trying to say that Chicago is a big city but still has small town friendliness.
I removed the "Chicago!". Ok, maybe that was a bit of a joke. But it would have been appropriate in the old lead.
If you want the link back in, go for it.
I just don't want a "COME TO CHICAGO!" lead. Something more like "Chicago is a great destiniation, here is why" would be more palatable.
Tildy tildy tildy 14:40, 14 April 2011 (EDT)
I always thought of swing jazz as more of a New York thing (even Benny Goodman left Chicago), but I'm no expert, and regardless I'd prefer that phrasing over the moderately incomprehensible "truth of jazz". I'm hoping at least a few other current or former Chicagoans will weigh in, but thank you all for moving back from edit warring to calm(-ish) discussion. – D. Guillaime 20:53, 15 April 2011 (EDT)


I guess the change being proposed here is from:

Chicago is the home of the blues and the truth of jazz, the heart of comedy and the idea of the skyscraper. Here, the age of railroads found its center, and airplanes followed suit. Butcher of hogs and believer in progress, it is one of the world's great cities, and yet the metropolitan luxuries of theater, shopping, and fine dining have barely put a dent in real Midwestern friendliness. It's a city with a swagger, but without the surliness or even the fake smiles found in other cities of its size.


Chicago is where blues went electric and jazz found its swing. Comedy and cuisine adapted and were adopted again by the rest of America from this skyscraper metropolis. Hogbutchering and moonshining are gone, but the Second City hasn't lost its downhome charm.

While I do genuinely appreciate that someone is taking the challenge to heart and trying to write something original (rather than simply neutering existing writing), to me this would seem a clear degradation in style. The only part that works well is the first sentence—which I like. The second sentence is a weak watery construction, serving only to mention the items that would otherwise be forgotten from the existing version (comedy & skyscrapers). The third one is quite cute, and I like it, but "downhome" is a jarring term for Chicago—it's a little too southern; a little too country.

Now on the other hand, the original intro has a lot going for it. The introductory sentence has a neat structure of parallel metaphors touching on Chicago's biggest contributions to the world of American aesthetics/culture—it's a punchy way to lead off the article, and one which serves as a hook, to get the reader to figure out why the city is these things. The next puts the city at the center of the nation's transit infrastructure, which aside from finance is probably the city's most prominent economic role in the country. I'm a big fan of the third sentence, with another punchy line ("butcher of hogs and believer in progress"—c'mon, this is great stuff), followed with what I think is one of the main reasons visitors to the United States really should make a point of visiting—the city has all you could want in terms of urbanity and culture, but still represents the country well in terms of casual American hospitality.

The fourth sentence is IMO a little wanting, as the second clause is kind of an awkward veiled dig at the two cities in the country larger than Chicago, but it still serves as a good concluding line to the lede. I initially suggested that it might work better as an overt shot: "without the surliness of a New York or the fake smiles of L.A." But maybe an even more abstract version would be better? Again, the point being made is worth emphasizing, because I think it's a main selling point of the city.

Lest I be accused of some sort of bias..., I did not actually write the existing version. --Peter Talk 13:45, 7 June 2011 (EDT)

My main concerns with the revised lead are the discounting of New York's contribution to swing and the general limp fit-everything-into-as-few-sentences-as-possible writing. And I agree "downhome" doesn't sound right.
For the last sentence of the current lead, the semi-alliteration between "swagger" and "surliness" could be emphasized to provide a more generic but more poetic contrast.
-- LtPowers 16:02, 7 June 2011 (EDT)
I've thought about this too much, methinks, but how about "It's a big city with a big swagger, but with an uncommon shortfall of surliness or pretense." --Peter Talk 17:47, 18 June 2011 (EDT)

I wrote the "blues went electric" revision. I read your criticisms and tried to give it another go. This one incorporates more from the old version, which I'm starting to appreciate more. But, I took off some phrases that I thought were still over the top (days, weeks and months) and tried to introduce some other flavor.

I put two movie references in, but I think they are appropriate. Ferris and the Brothers both have Chicago as a character in the movie and give people who've never visited there a picture to put in their heads. The last sentence of the second paragraph is new, but touches on the friendliness of people while bringing up comedy and nightlife in Chicago as well as the many sports teams.

Anyway, just trying to find a good tone in the lead for this increasingly excellent article. 03:23, 13 June 2011 (EDT)

The new lead is improved over previous attempts at revision, but it just doesn't flow like the old one does. (And when did Ferris Bueller ever try to tame Chicago's swagger? If anything, he added to it.) LtPowers 21:27, 17 June 2011 (EDT)

I disagree that the old one "flows". Revision is going back up to generate comments from 3rd parties. 18:36, 3 July 2011 (EDT)

We've had several third parties comment, and you're the only one who likes it. LtPowers 21:30, 3 July 2011 (EDT)
This is the place to solicit comments, not the article itself. --Peter Talk 20:24, 6 July 2011 (EDT)

There have been numerous 3rd party comments supporting changes and revisions. If we leave the old one up, we will only get continued vandalism (which is an arguement for change).

Revision needs to be up so that people can comment on the talk page. 19:16, 7 July 2011 (EDT)

What numerous 3rd-party comments. I only see you, and vandals, and I'm still not convinced there's a difference there. LtPowers 10:18, 8 July 2011 (EDT)

I'm trying to make a good intro here. You are trying to stop any progress. On this discussion board the lead has been brought up many times. Once by me, other times by others.

Vandalism is an arguement for change.

The hyperbole lead is too much. It needs change. 15:34, 10 July 2011 (EDT)

While I'm inclined to agree that the intro is too flowery, the current approach of continually re-adding your preferred version with snarky edit comments is one that isn't helping your credibility. I suggest you might have more luck concentrating your efforts elsewhere, and eventually someone who both cares about improving the text and also is more careful not to alienate other contributors will come along to enact the change you profess to want. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:05, 10 July 2011 (EDT)

I don't need credibility. All I need is better material.

You admit it is flawed, help fix it. Get rid of this "Chicago is the best!" attitude, it isn't what wikitravel is about.

Insistence on reverting any attempt at growth is not being a good editor. I don't see the intro written in stone, I see it written with neon. 16:17, 13 July 2011 (EDT)

That ultra-hip, laid-back Far North Side[edit]

The far north side contains two areas that can be reasonably described as hip - the fairly posh Lincoln Square business district and the gay-and-especially-lesbian Andersonville area, which has a more laid back vibe. Neither is all that far north. Most of the far north side consists of aging blue-collar neighborhoods and struggling (although not really poor) immigrant communities. Rogers Park's bohemian past has all but vanished (the Heartland Cafe is still there), and the suburb-like neighborhoods to the west, considered luxurious a half-century ago, are too "modern" to have attracted renovation money and have become somewhat run-down. There are well preserved areas in parts of West Rogers Park and much farther west in Sauganash, Old Edgebrook, and other areas better described as the Far Northwest, not Far North, side. 05:33, 8 August 2011 (EDT)Larry Siegel

  • Old comment but hey I'm new here. With the decreasing population I think it's not surprising that the very fringe is a little deserted and blue collar. But it's still very true that this definition still applies to the Far North / North Central, Ravenswood, and Lincoln Square in general. I do wish there would be some more focus on the immigrant communities though, there's some good stuff there.Calderra (talk) 17:40, 14 June 2017 (EDT)
Thanks for your input Calderra. Please feel free to edit the article and add any information that you feel is missing and could be interesting for a traveller to know about this location. Happy editing! Adzas (talk) 05:22, 15 June 2017 (EDT)

New leadoff sentence[edit]

Chicago is the home of the blues and the truth of jazz, the heart of comedy and the idea of the skyscraper.

Wow, that is really stupid. Here is a better version...

Chicago is where blues went electric and jazz found its swing, the first city of comedy and the home of the skyscraper.

Anyone agree? 04:57, 17 August 2011 (EDT)

Of the four statements, only the first is indisputably accurate. Jazz "found its swing" in New York as much as it did in Chicago, and probably moreso. The Second City is Chicago's famous comedy troupe, so saying "first city" sounds like an aborted pun. And "home of the skyscraper" is as meaningless as the "home of the blues" phrase you think is "stupid"; plenty of other cities have skyscrapers. LtPowers 15:02, 17 August 2011 (EDT)

It is a pun. Chicago is called the home of the skyscraper. You've defended saying that Chicago is the "idea of the skyscraper." Is this different.

I'm changing it back. Your disagreements are lax and show your partisan love of the old. 16:11, 4 September 2011 (EDT)

Once, again, you fail to understand how this works. You must garner a consensus for your changes, not merely a lack of consensus against them. LtPowers 17:41, 4 September 2011 (EDT)

I kinda like that poster's wording: Chicago is where blues went electric and jazz found its swing, the first city of comedy and the home of the skyscraper. That's a great intro. **And I would argue that the blues did in fact take off and are more associated with Chicago than with New York. New York has a lot of citizens so people tend to try and give New York credit for everything, which in many cases is undeserved. Because of New York's population, there's always going to be a segment of the people there doing something. But on a percentage-wise basis it's not the same. In other words, let's say, 500,000 people really love and/or making jazz in Chicago (population approx. 3 million). That's more evident than 500,000 people really loving and/or making jazz in New York City (population approx 8 million). So jazz is more infused with Chicago. **And there's nothing wrong with saying Chicago is the "first city" of comedy even though one of the city's nicknames is the Second City. If it is first in comedy, it is first in comedy; a nickname related to something else has nothing to do with it (remember, Second City comes from the fact that the first city burned down in the Great Chicago Fire; also Chicago was long the second most-populous city). But can Chicago not receive credit on being first in anything because one of its nicknames is Second City? That wouldn't make sense. The sentence could simply read: "and the Second City is the first city of comedy with its famous Second City comedy troupe". **As far as the skyscraper connection, that could read "Chicago is the innovator of the skyscraper"; point blank. --And on a separate note, what is the point of this being a website where information can be added or changed if everything will be reverted back? In some cases, this may be called for, but not in all cases; just wanted to point that out. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

There's nothing wrong with making changes, as long as they're actually improvements. None of the registered, long-time users of this site believe that the proposed change is an improvement, so the change doesn't get made. It's that simple. LtPowers 08:45, 18 October 2011 (EDT)
As an outside suggestion, one could try making tangible improvements to the Chicago article such as double checking whether businesses have closed or changed hours. It's unlikely that accurate edits that clearly improve the value of the guide would be reverted. --Peter Talk 16:37, 18 October 2011 (EDT)

Kind of offensive[edit]

I've noticed little jabbing remarks here and there throughout this article towards Chicago; totally not necessary. Here is something that stands out, a quote: "most Chicagoans live and play outside of the central business district. To understand Chicago, travelers must venture away from the Loop and Michigan Avenue and out into the vibrant neighborhoods, to soak up the local nightlife, sample the wide range of fantastic dining, and see the sights Chicagoans care about most"... This is kind of a compliment and a back-handed attack at the same time. First of all who has proof most Chicagoans play more outside of the central district than inside it? The sentence should read "many Chicagoans live and play..." That way the word many will cover whether most people play outside it or in it. Secondly, it states venture away from the central district to see the sights Chicagoans care about MOST. Uh, who gave the right to Wikitravel to say that Chicagoans do not care about the sights within their central district? The sentence should read "venture away from the central district to see the other sights Chicagoans also care about". That makes more sense. But whenever I change it to read that, some administrator changes it back. This is how I know they are trying to take these undercutting jabs that they do at every city, except New York, because we are all supposed to love New York; something's wrong with you if you possibly like any other city than New York. Bottom line...this is writing, and in writing you must say what you mean, not what you meant. So to say that Chicagoans care more about sights outside the central district than inside it is irresponsible and wrong of Wikitravel. There is absolutely no reason to revert the change I made when I simply modified it to read "venture away from the central district to see the other sights Chicagoans also care about". That's what the edit tab is for; so people can contribute things to the article. The only time things should be reverted back is when it is not true or the sentence doesn't hold up to a certain standard, such as: Chicago has a ka-jillion skyscrapers downtown, or Los Angeles sits in the Pacific Ocean. Other than that, there was no reason to revert back the change I did, especially when the change I made makes it a true statement, and the way it is currently written is opinionated and unprovable. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Considering the text about which you're complaining -- in fact, the vast majority of the article -- was written by Chicagoans, I think your criticism is misplaced. This is not Wikipedia; we are more interested in lively, enthusiastic writing than in laser-like precision of wording. Please read Wikitravel:Tone. You are welcome to contribute, but in general we don't care for dry awkward phrasing or ambiguous bet-hedging when we have a very well-written article already. LtPowers 19:38, 29 January 2012 (EST)

It is your opinion it is well-written. Nowhere in the New York City article does it say you should venture away from Manhattan to see the sights New Yorkers really care about. The bottom line is the statement for the Chicago article should read "venture away from the central district to see the other sights Chicagoans also care about". There is absolutely nothing wrong with wording it this way, nothing wrong. Plus you are not giving the impression that Chicagoans do not care about attractions in their central area, because they actually do care.

I haven't been part of this discussion, have visited Chicago only twice so far (and really liked it!), and don't have an opinion about the matter in dispute, but since you brought up New York, I do want to refer you to Manhattan/Theater District#Get_out. The Loop is nowhere near as big in area as Manhattan. Whether it's analogous to Manhattan's Theater District or not, I would question, but both are sort of "midtown" neighborhoods, so I offer you this by way of very rough analogy, just for you to think about. Ikan Kekek 19:43, 3 February 2012 (EST)
It's not just my opinion that it's well-written; it's the consensus of Wikitravel editors. That's why it's a Star article. LtPowers 19:45, 3 February 2012 (EST)

You are correct, central Chicago isn't as big as Manhattan, as Manhattan is an island. But no downtown/central area of any city in the world is going to be as big as 23 square miles (the size of Manhattan); the same way New York's downtown area isn't as big as the North Side of Chicago. New York City has about 300 square miles, and Manhattan only covers 23 square miles of the city. So my point is that New York's article doesn't tell travelers to "venture out of Manhattan to see the sights New Yorkers really care about". After all, there is still about 277 more square miles to see outside of Manhattan isn't there? Well, Chicago's article simply should not tell people to get out of the central/downtown area and see the sights Chicagoans really care about. This wording implies that Chicagoans don't care about the central area and its attractions, when in fact they do. This is writing; and when you write, your words have to say exactly what you mean, not what you are trying to say or meant to say. Chicagoans love their central area too. The article could state "venture out of the central area to see the other sights Chicagoans care about". There is nothing wrong about this change that is being suggested. We are literally talking about adding one word, but doing so is going to change the whole aesthetics of the entire article?...don't believe that. Also this change would no longer give the reader the impression that Chicagoans don't care about the central area; but in some underhanded way, it makes you wonder if that's exactly what they want the reader to believe. ---Literally, we are talking about adding one word.

I'm sorry that you don't find this article well-written (and conspiratorial?)—an awful lot of effort was put into it by someone whom I would call one of our best writers, as well as by me, and that effort sprung from a love for the city. I think the problem with your proposed change is that it replaces a stronger statement with a more wishy-washy, less interesting one. (This one sentence is very minor issue, though.) I tried my hand at an improvement [4]. --Peter Talk 09:26, 4 February 2012 (EST)

I am not saying the article is not well-written, it would be just an opinion if I thought it was or was not. I am merely suggesting it is not less interesting or wishy-washy to replace the word really with the word other. A one word change inside of an existing sentence is not going to change the scope of the entire article; not to mention the fact it puts the sentence in the proper light. It is simply not fair to direct people to leave Chicago's Central District to see the sights Chicagoans really care about, as opposed to advising them to leave the Central District to see the other sights Chicagoans care about. That's all I'm saying. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

You've spent an awful lot of time arguing about just a "one word change". You implied in your first post that there were other problems with the article and that this one sentence was an example of them; do you have other changes you'd like to see made? LtPowers 13:35, 6 February 2012 (EST)

There were other things I felt were a problem. But I can barely get a one word change from you, so why would I go into the other stuff that will require more than a one word change; when you guys can barely accept the one word change I am proposing? I will comment on those other issues when I am ready. So as for now, I'm just referring to the word other being used as opposed to the word really. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Well, for starters, it'd help if you signed your posts. Use ~~~~ to do so. Anyway, it's amazing what a difference one word can make; are you happy with the change Peter made, or not? LtPowers 15:04, 7 February 2012 (EST)

Crime in Chicago[edit]

It has come to attention some info that I consider totally inaccurate. As a resident of Chicagoland, I can easily say that high crime areas are not, by any means, isolated in two pockets; the high crime area is continuous and non-stop, east of Cicero Avenue from Lawrence Avenue (4800 north) all the way south to Steger Road (south of South Chicago Heights) and continuing non-stop to the lakefront and through Gary, Indiana. In fact, the only safe neighborhoods I know of in Chicago proper are; O'Hare, Dunning, Monteclare, Edison Park, Norwood Park, Jefferson Park, Forest Glen, North Park, West Ridge, Rogers Park, Edgewater, Garfield Ridge, Clearing, and Mount Greenwood. The rest of Chicago proper, including the Loop, is all endless ghetto, and the type of ghetto that would show up as dark orange and red on the crime map all too often shown on the Internet. Between Ogden and Lawrence, the ghetto extends even farther west to Austin Blvd/Austin Avenue. Within that ghetto, what is not covered by street gangs is covered by extremely lethal flash mobs; in fact, there is even a blog on the flash mobs, located at Conserve (talk) 02:18, 19 December 2013 (EST)

I am a resident of Chicago itself, and while some of the previous content understated the crime rate, your edits are ridiculous and describe the entire city as a war zone. Since you say you are a resident of "Chicagoland" rather than Chicago, I'm guessing you live in some suburb and just believe whatever the media tells you. 15:47, 12 May 2014 (EDT)
The city proper especially east of California Avenue is a war zone! Those flash mobs have AK-47s. SWAT teams have even been gunned down and robbed by those vicious flash mobs! As have entire families and groups of innocent people including children. The flash mobs are callous, lethal, and heartless, and they target innocent people purposefully. Everywhere between California Avenue and the lakefront from Lawrence Avenue is totally unsafe, even in broad daylight. I also need to point out that tourism also often consists of guys who are single and may be looking to start a relationship with a woman. Every single woman between California Avenue and the lakefront is dating, or even married to, one of those lethal cop killers with AK-47s, especially that drive stolen luxury stretch limousines, stolen McLarens, and that have enough stolen cash and stolen credit cards to take her on a hundred luxury world cruises. And approaching within less than fifty-five (55) feet of a woman between California and the lakefront is as certain to get a guy blasted to smithereens by a hundred plus AK-47s as beating a hornet's nest is likely to get a person swarmed and stung by a bunch of angry hornets.
Yes, I agree with you, There is no point in stating that some city areas are totally unsafe as this might be an exaggerated and opinionated statement which only scares potential tourists. It's important to stay objective and don't exaggerate. Thanks,| for spotting the articles and edits that needed to be changed. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 15:52, 12 May 2014 (EDT)
Violent crime rates by neighborhood

User:Conserve: It can be difficult walking the tightrope between giving adequate warnings to travellers and scaremongering. It's always problematical when our potential audience is so varied; what would be a hellhole of violent crime to someone coming from Osaka may be a haven of law-abiding tranquillity for an arrival from Baghdad.

What I do know is that removing factual maps and reverting the work of 5 different editors to roll-back to an earlier version that you preferred and, perhaps unwittingly, making changes that flouted the standards we advise with regard to external links, units, sp., style, image sizing, section headings, etc all the while deleting information such as: "As in almost the entire United States, dial 911 to get emergency help. Dial 311 for all non-emergency situations in Chicago." in the "Stay safe" section is probably not the way forward. --Ttcf (talk) 00:54, 22 November 2014 (EST)

From my point of view, Chicago's violent ghetto is bordered by the following streets/borders. On the north side, the shore of Lake Michigan from the longitude of I-65 in Indiana west and north to Lawrence Avenue (4800 north in Chicago porper), and Lawrence Avenue from the shores of Lake Michigan west to Austin Avenue. On the west side, Austin Avenue from Lawrence Avenue south to the BNSF train yard in west suburban Cicero, the BNSF train yard from Austin Blvd to Cicero Avenue, Cicero Avenue from the BNSF train yard south to 95th street, 95th street from Cicero Avenue to South Kedzie Avenue, South Kedzie from 95th street to 127th street, 127th street from Kedzie west to Cicero Avenue, and Cicero Avenue from 127th street all the way south to the Cook-Will county line. On the south side, the Cook/Will County border/Steger Road from Cicero Avenue east to the Indiana border and it's latitude continuing all the way east to I-65 in Indiana. And on the east, I-65 (Indiana) from the latitude of the Cook/Will County border (at around Route 30) all the way north to the shore of Lake Michigan. Within those border areas, it is all high crime areas (averaging either more than 3,000 per 100,000 people, or more than 250 incidents annually per square block) without a single pocket of "safe" areas at all. The crime categories I do for the research are as follows; homicide, shooting, rape, robbery, and assault. Also, within that area, bicycling is totally suicidal at all times of the year; in fact, in that area, you are not even safe on the sidewalk, let alone in a buffered bike lane. Within that whole area, if cars and car doors don't get you, flying bullets will. And criminals in that area don't fire single shots, they'll get right behind you, open fire, and they'll keep firing and firing until you fall off your bike and go crashing to the ground unconsious and bleeding. And then they'll steal your bike and leave you for dead. And it isn't just revolvers and Colt-45s they carry, either. Some carry MAC-10s, some carry TEC-9s, and some even carry AK-47s, too. And while bicycle helmets will save you from most low to medium speed impacts, absolutely no bicycle helmet in the world will ever protect you from flying bullets, which are easily capable of muzzle velocities in excess of 1,000 miles per hour and can easily tear through metal car doors, and sometimes even through cinder block walls! Additionally, Chicago flash mobs are far more lethal than the street gangs. Chicago flash mobs target only innocent people, unlike gang bangers that often target members of rival gangs. Chicago flash mobs carry AK-47s and Tec-9s. They fire their guns and rifles at passing elevated CTA trains and at buses, causing massive injuries and even deaths. They also storm city buses that they attack, sometimes even CTA trains, especially if they cause the train to stop due to either bullet damage to the electrical systems or the killing/injuring of the conductor. They throw people off of CTA train platforms, often onto the tracks, even where they get electrocuted by the third rail. They even attack, injure, and sometimes even kill on-duty police officers. Chicago flash mobs are quite literally cop killers! Also, Chicago flash mobsters are NOT all just black teens!!! They come in all colors; White, Hispanic, Asian, you name it. Some mobsters are black, but not all of them are. And neither are all flash mobsters teenagers; they range in age from as young as 8 to as old as 50. And their "turf" covers the entire lakefront from Lawrence Avenue all the way south, and up to 3 to 5 miles inland; even in places as far west as the United Center. Conserve (talk) 17:26, 22 November 2014 (EST)

Perhaps you could propose some text that would fairly and concisely delineate the problematic areas in your view? If that is too complicated then you will have to draw a map.
I do have a problem with this edit of yours, Conserve, which introduced this text: "Chicagoans in general are not nice or sociable people, so it is best to leave people alone and do not try to interact with them for any reason while in Chicago."
Interacting with strangers is a felony in the State of Illinois! Approaching a group in and of itself is easily grounds, under Illinois law, for up to fifty-five (55) years in prison.
I really feel that statement is untrue in a world context and far too sweeping. I've not come across any WT destination article, not even Paris, where we have anything like that. Careful generalizations are okay, but I think this crosses the line into exaggeration.--Ttcf (talk) 17:47, 22 November 2014 (EST)
Replying to Ttcf: Not just chicagolanders, but Illinoisans in general are not nice or social people! To make it even worse, unlike most other cities where people are usually nicer in the suburbs than in the city proper, people in Chicago's suburbs, especially out in the collar county area (DuPage, Kane, DeKalb, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties), are even more unfriendly than in Chicago proper, especially in fact west of Interstate 294. In DuPage and even DeKalb County, for instance, trying to interact with someone can get you worse than that mean stare; it can cause that person to actually complain to the authorities and even get you arrested and thrown in jail! Also, I have drawn quite a few crime maps myself, but the trouble is how to get those maps onto Wikitravel. As far as I can see, there are no "photo upload" buttons or anything on Wikitravel like there are on Facebook, MySpace, and other social media sites.
Back to safetywise, not only is every single south suburb east of Cicero Avenue and south of 127th all dangerous, but it even seems there are bars and clubs that only cater to hardened gangsters and such. Clubs like, for instance, Club O Gentlemen's Club in Harvey, Skybox Steak & Sports Bar in Harvey, Jimmy's Gentlemen's Club in Chicago Heights, Club 390 in Chicago Heights, and Atlantis Gentlemen's Club in Ford Heights. Whenever I'd post warnings on those clubs' Facebook pages that those clubs sit in bad areas, they block me, and then I'd have to create a new anonymous account. Sometimes they'd even reply, calling me "headcase," "retard," and other nasty things. They'd also even report me to Facebook and have my anonymous accounts disabled (needing to not only enter a code, but then having to use a telephone to receive another code). Especially now that there is an emergency situation with Club O in Harvey. They have a new billboard ad next to the highway, most likely I-80/94. The ad reads; "7 minutes from here. Club O. The ultimate gentlemen's club. We blow the rest away." And then it lists what exit to get off, and then the club's address and phone number. And not only does Club O sit in an extremely bad neighborhood; in fact, Club O sits in a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad neighborhood, but Club O is also less than 300 feet of a huge hive of cop killers, violent fugitives, and drug runners (the vacant Chicago Park Hotel). I have lost several anonymous accounts against Club O alone. And from especially the way that club keeps ruthlessly blocking me and blocking me from their Facebook page, I imagine chances are, Club O itself is likely run by violent gangs and crime bosses, possibly even the MS-13 or even the Los Zetas gang. Club O has also recently remodeled (most likely to cover it's battle wounds), shows no signs of any plans of moving to a safer area, and is unlikely to stop spreading itself around until it's parking lot is a mountain of rotting human corpses stinking up the air for up to 10 miles downwind. Conserve (talk) 18:31, 22 November 2014 (EST)
It's not generally necessary to create a separate section just to reply to someone in another section (unless it's on a completely different subject, of course).
It may actually be a bad idea, since it breaks the thread and makes discussion more difficult. Wikitravel:Using_discussion_pages#Discussion_page_formatting explains how you can simply use indentation to make clear that your post is a reply to another.
I need to cogitate for a while, Conserve before I can give you a substantive reply. Meanwhile I have brought your contribution into this thread...--Ttcf (talk) 19:17, 22 November 2014 (EST)

Side note: Conserve, you are close to being banned from Wikitravel due to your continued disruptive edits and flouting of both written policy and specific instructions from the admin community, as well as undoing reversions of your edits. You are encouraged to attend to your user page where you've been addressed on multiple occasions without a reply. IBobi (talk) 17:23, 24 November 2014 (EST)

External links that violate policy[edit]

There are links to, and in the Chicago: By Car section that I feel violate the external links policy and therefore should be removed. The policy states, no links to price comparison sites and no footnote-style links. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) on 24 January 2014.

You're right about xl format and that's easily changed but I'm not so sure these are not useful to travellers and allowed in the same way we link to bus and train timetable sites. On balance I think they do no harm and would be useful to visitors to Chicago, so I'll restore them. --Ttcf (talk) 17:58, 24 November 2014 (EST)
Mmmm, two of these were generic and not specific to Chicago and we've had a recent discussion on that topic, so I've deleted the two generic ones but let the one specific to the Chicago situation stand. --Ttcf (talk) 18:02, 24 November 2014 (EST)

Crime map[edit]

Chicagoland crime map

Estimated crime rates for Chicagoland, including those swept under the rug.

Chicago proper crime map[edit]

This is what I think Chicago proper would look like on a crime map if violent crimes swept under the rug were included.
Chicago proper crime map
—The preceding comment was added by Bentup (talkcontribs)

Chicago Travel Warning[edit]

Regarding my recent edit being reverted, the travel warning in the Chicago article appears to have been added by a vandal with the username Conserve/Bentup whom was adding warning boxes to other cities which really did not warrant such harsh alerts, such as Harvey, Illinois, and Chicago Heights, Illinois. Given the consensus seemed to have been reached by the vandal, at least according to the Chicago page's history, and given the very harsh wording of the warning for the area intended (south of 127th street isn't all that bad, definitely nothing like esl), I feel it is not needed in the stay safe section of the Chicago article. Do any of you agree? -- 19:50, 11 December 2014 (EST)

I do
- but that should be irrelevant since we have historically decided matters on Wikitravel not by voting but by weighing arguments and counterarguments and then trying to come to a consensus that takes into account all arguments and facts. -- 20:24, 11 December 2014 (EST)
Well, given the warning box was placed by someone who was providing nothing but fear mongering edits to Chicago area articles, and also given how inaccurate the warning is (south of 125th street isn't ghetto at all; the average income in almost all areas warned is well over the poverty line and crime rates are relatively low), I am removing the box. I feel there is no counterargument in this and shouldn't be, and that a consensus has been reached. -- 16:27, 15 December 2014 (EST)

I know why you aren't calling it bad south of 127th Street east of Cicero Avenue! You three IP owners above must live in Afghanistan. Or do you guys live in Baghdad, Iraq? Or you three must have lived in Berlin at the height of World War II when Berlin was getting bombed to pieces by the British. Or are you accusing Conserve and Bentup of living in Antarctica! Otherwise you wouldn't be calling Chicago's south side the safest, most quiet area in the whole wide world and accusing Conserve and Bentup of "fear mongering," like you think you can go tent camping in Englewood for the months of May, June, July, August, September, and October; even pitch your tent right around 71st Street and South Racine Avenue, and never, ever see a single drug deal, let alone hear a single gun shot, even a distant one. I take it you guys even call it fear mongering when someone says to stay out of a hypothetical "ultimate bad neighborhood" where even police stations, buses, trains, and entire highways get blown up by roadside bombs and land mines every 10-15 minutes. As if either you three just love watching people die all the time, or you three just don't care about anyone but yourselves and expect everyone worldwide to care about nobody but themselves! —The preceding comment was added by Tires (talkcontribs)

Chicago flash mobs are vicious cop killers with AK-47s.[edit]

And since 2011, they are all over the entire inner city between California Avenue and the lake shore from Lawrence Avenue southward. Their main victims are police and SWAT officers, news broadcasters, and innocent people. The flash mobs have turned the entire inner city into an all out war zone. They attack especially heavy at major attractions like the United Center, Wrigley Field, the Magnificent Mile, the Museum Campus area, Grant Park, Millennium Park, and Lincoln Park. The flash mobs also attack CTA trains and buses. And they don't attack with fists and bats, either. The flash mobs attack with AK-47s. They also attack with TEC-9s and MP-5s stolen from the SWAT teams they gun down. The reason you don't hear about the flash mobs is that so many news broadcasters have been ruthlessly gunned down and murdered on the job by the flash mobs along with police and SWAT officers that the city has decided it is far too dangerous for anyone to be reporting on those flash mobs. The flash mobs are active all 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. No area between California Avenue and the lakeshore south of Lawrence Avenue is safe at all anymore. Not Downtown, not the Loop, not River North, not Oak Street Beach, and not Lincoln Park.

Bicycling in Chicago is suicidal![edit]

So many editors just love making Chicago look like a cyclist's paradise. But bicycling in Chicago is so dangerous, posession of a bicycle really may as well be a felony punishable by up to even 5 years in the city metro correctional facility.

Illinoisans are the absolute worst drivers in the Western Hemisphere. They have zero respect for cyclists. In Illinois, getting doored is the least of your worries; Illinoisans will rear end a cyclist doing 3 times the speed limit, send the cyclist flying right into the curb, and the driver will keep right on going. And nobody will even bother to stop and help the downed cyclist.

Also, the entire inner city of Chicago proper, especially east of California Avenue is a nonstop war zone. Vicious, lethal, cop killer flash mobs with AK-47s prown the entire inner city day and night. They see you riding by and they will blast you right off your bike and steal it. Even as far west as Cicero Avenue, you are not even safe on the sidewalk as there are still gangs and gang bangers that will also shoot you right off your bike and steal it. In over 75 percent of Chicago proper, if cars and car doors don't get you, flying bullets will.