Viva Varun: In Chicago!

Answer to “Where am I?”: Chicago!

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed all but two buildings in downtown Chicago. The Old Water Tower (and Pumping Station) was one of the lucky ones. It was built in 1869 out of limestone blocks. Its architect, William Boyington, created this “European castle” that at 47 metres in height dwarfed any other building in the area. It’s ironic that the Water Tower is now one of the shortest constructions in modern-day Chicago. The tower, which was decommissioned in 1906, was built to pump fresh water from Lake Michigan into the city.

I am lucky to have visited all of the major cities in the States. I tried (and failed) to live in New York, contemplated a move to LA but finally decided that I loved warm beer, atrocious & unpredictable weather and fish and chips too much to leave my native England permanently. If I was forced to live in the USA, it would undoubtedly be in Chicago. Why?

Well here are a few reasons:

The Elysian, Lake Michigan, the Chicago Bears, Al Capone, Jazz, the Chicago River, House of Blues, Water Tower, Michigan Avenue, Tribune Tower, Wacker Drive, Martini Park, Oak Street Beach, Kimberly Burt, Lincoln Park Zoo, John Hancock Center, Adler Planetarium, Navy Pier IMAX, Absolute Chicago Segway Tours, Eli’s Cheesecake Company, The Talbott, Kanye West, Survivor, Spiaggia, Mike Ditka’s, RH, Preggers, The 900 Shops, The Redhead Piano Bar, American Gothic, Charlie Trotters, the Four Seasons, Millennium Park, Lou Malnati’s, Willis Tower, Nighthawks, Howl at the Moon, The Peninsula, Wrigley Building, Museum of Science and Industry, Chinatown, Union Station, O’Hare Airport, Bernie Mac, Walter Koenig, Tails in the City, Museum of Contemporary Art, Eliot Ness, Old Plank Antiques on Huron, Water Tower Place, Seneca Park, Frank Sinatra, 401 NMA, Windy City Massage, Grant Park, Navy Pier, H2O Plus, Enrico Fermi, Richard Daly (both), Durban, Martin Luther King Jr., Oak Park, Halsted, McCormick Place, hot summers, cold winters, The Loop, skyscrapers, Ray Charles, Benny Goodman, Prague, Chicago-style hot dogs, Rick Tramonto, Birmingham, cycling, Oprah Winfrey, Ping  Tom Memorial Park, Louis Armstrong, SUE, Shedd Aquarium, Ferris Bueller, Chicago Yacht Club, The Untouchables, CTA, Preston Bradley Hall, St. Patrick’s Day, John & Joan Cusack, Cross and Cece, Balsan, Aroma Workshop, John Dilinger, Channel 8-XM, Pooch Hotel, Sunda, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Public Library, Harrison Ford, Buckingham Fountain, Aon Center, The Baldwin Brothers, Harris Theatre, Bill Murray, Chicago Cubs, Greektown, beaches, Herbie Hancock, Chicago White Sox, Civic Opera House, the CSO, Garfield Park Conservatory, Rick Bayless, The Windy City, Quincy Jones, Grant Achatz, Soldier Field, William Perry, Merchandise Mart, Trump International Hotel & Tower, Boystown, Little Italy, Alinea, L2O, Art Smith, Chicago Tribune, Wild Onions, Fred Fisher, The Blues Brothers, Lollapalooza, Chicago Red Stars, Frango Mints, Chicago-style pizza, John Belushi, 312, Muddy Waters, The Waco Brothers and finally, Mr. T.

I am sure there are simply hundreds of the city highlights I have missed so please feel free to message me with them!

Chicago, Chicago (that toddlin’ town)!

-Varun Sharma

Varun Sharma is the host of Inside Luxury Travel – a television show that focuses on high-end travel. The show airs in over 160 countries, in 18 languages and is beamed into 390 million homes worldwide. He has now stayed in over 500 luxury hotels & resorts … and has in the past year flown in a fighter jet, gone diving – without a cage – in Tiger Shark infested-waters, had dinner with a dingo and has cooked with over 50 Michelin-starred chefs! He likes nothing better than playing a round of golf with his pooch Gemima by his side, cigar in mouth and flask of single malt Scottish whisky to hand!