After a busy half of the semester, it was finally spring break! It's rare to have days off in a semester with an intense schedule of classes, rehearsals, and performances, and also, I haven't been to any other city after coming to Urbana-Champaign to study; therefore, I decided to go out of town for spring break. Since spring break only lasted one week and the semester was not over yet, I planned to take a day trip to Chicago, which was not far away and was accessible by convenient transportation.
Before this trip, I hadn't been to any other city in the U.S. except Urbana-Champaign, so Chicago was the second American city I visited, and everything there seemed very new and interesting to me. As I got out of the train station and saw the dense tall buildings and the busy traffic, I immediately felt a difference from Urbana-Champaign. Don't get me wrong! I'm not comparing who is good or who is bad, because each city has its distinctiveness! In Chicago, the population is much denser, and everyone's life pace is relatively faster. When walking on the street, I couldn't help spontaneously speeding up. For the view, although the buildings are very dense, they are also very stunning and are mixed with various architectural styles. The union train station is even as beautiful as a museum! Other tourist attractions and parks also are unique and amazing. For me, no matter what, feeling the impressive atmosphere of different places is always a very special experience in a journey.
Because it was my first time visiting Chicago, I decided to go to the well-known attractions first. In addition to going to the Skydeck above Willis Tower, overlooking the magnificent panorama of Chicago, and going to Chicago's iconic "Bean" and the adjacent parks and fountains, most importantly, I also made a pilgrimage to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Although it was not open when I went there, it was still worthwhile since I finally visited it in person. When I was taking pictures outside the Symphony Orchestra building, there was another passer-by who was also stopping at it taking pictures. It is obvious that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's reputation and charm are so admirable! I look forward to enjoying some performances there in the future. Besides visiting tourist spots, I tried Chicago's specialties – the deep-dish pizza. The rich and tasty cheese and toppings brought me a great sense of satisfaction.
I heard from my classmates before that the museums in Chicago have large collections and diverse exhibitions, which are very worth visiting. However, because I didn’t stay for a long time on this trip, I didn’t go into the museums. I hope I have the opportunity to visit the museums in Chicago next time! All in all, although the trip was like a dream as the happy time flew by so fast, I still enjoyed it very much. It was such a pleasure to travel to a different city, which added colors and fun to my spring break.
Chin-Hsuan Sharon Cheng (written in March, 2022)
Chin-Hsuan Sharon Cheng （2022年3月）