Chicago's world-famous skyline
You could argue that Chicago is the quintessential （典型的）American metropolis——not just the first great city carved from the young nation's western frontier （边远地区）， but an international capital of commerce and culture.
Daniel Burnham， the legendary Chicago architect and city planner， nailed （使固定）it a century ago when he said， “Make no small plans.” This， after all， is where the steel-frame skyscraper was born. Where Louis Armstrong， Muddy Waters， and Thomas Dorsey gave shape to the signature American music forms known to the world at large as jazz， blues， and gospel （福音音乐：源于美国黑人歌曲宗教音乐，有流行歌曲或民歌风格）。 Where George “Papa Bear” Halas pioneered the National Football League， and Michael Jordan——one of the greatest athletes in history——transcended the game of basketball to become， arguably， the most famous human being on the planet. Nothing in Chicago， from the Sears Tower to the vast sweep of parks strung（串起；使排成一列）along Lake Michigan is small.
Many people say Chicago is the most livable big city in the United States. A generation ago， people poured out of the city for greener suburban pastures （牧草地，放牧场）， but today people seem to want to live in the city again. The city has its well-publicized problems——among them， chronically troubled schools， street-gang violence， and deplorable （糟糕的）public-housing conditions——but on many of these fronts， the city seems recommitted to repairing its afflictions. New town houses are sprouting in many quarters of the city， and developers scramble to （争夺，抢夺）carve out condos （各户有独立产权的公寓）in neighborhoods on the fringes of downtown once thought unfashionable. Even fish have returned to the once-polluted Chicago River.
The immensely popular Navy Pier features shops， eateries， nightlife， and a 15-story ferris wheel.
Visitors have more reasons than ever to visit Chicago， with its impressive new home for the Museum of Contemporary Art； a lively， rehabilitated Navy Pier and the resurrected North Loop theater district. Come summer， the lake sparkles and draws legions（大批的人）to its shores， slowing traffic on Lake Shore Drive as envious drivers crane their necks （伸长脖子） to watch the volleyball players cavorting （跳跃）on the beaches. Chicago's domination of the convention business was further solidified recently with the completion of a mammoth new wing at the city's major convention hall， McCormick Place， and that booming trade has sparked another round of hotel construction.
Today， the typical visitor will discover that Chicago is more Paris than prairie（大草原；牧场）。 Within a few minutes you can go from the cosmopolitan buzz（忙乱） of the downtown Loop to a working-class Latino neighborhood. Unlike the oppressive density of Manhattan or the smog-choked skies over LA， there's room to breathe here. This is a living， vibrant， wonderfully diverse city， and one that offers something for everyone， whatever your tastes， inclinations（爱好）， or budget may be. You won't cover it all （看不完）， nor should you try. Chicago demands repeat visits.