WALKING THROUGH CHICAGO'S O BLOCK HOOD AT NIGHT
I WALK IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE VIDEO.
Let's do the CHICAGO Tour (Illinois, USA)
Chicago is the third-most populous city in the United States. Chicago has also been called a global architecture capital. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which razed several square miles and left more than 100,000 homeless, the city made a concerted effort to rebuild on the damage. The construction boom accelerated population growth throughout the following decades, leading Chicago to become among the five largest cities in the world by 1900.
1. Chicago's nicknames include: The Windy City, City of Big Shoulders, The Second City, and The City That Works.
2. Chicago River is the only river in the world that flows backward.
3. Four states are visible from the top of the Willis Tower (Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin).
Things to Do in Chicago | 6/24/2014 | Concierge Picks | Chicago Travel
Hello! I'm Anthony Gates, Concierge at the JW Marriott Chicago, and this week's concierge correspondent. I have your Concierge Picks for the busy week of June 24 -- 30. Let's dive into it!
The annual Chicago Gospel Music Festival, one of the only free admission gospel festivals in the world, takes place at the Chicago Cultural Center and Ellis Park June 27th through the 29th. The highlight of the festival will be the McDonald's Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, hosted by comedian Jonathan Slocumb and Erica Campbell, one half of the multi-award-winning gospel duo Mary Mary. Audiences can expect to hear performances by the always-exuberant Mississippi Mass Choir and Uncle Reese, who blends gospel and hip-hop with stage drama. While the Chicago Cultural Center is downtown, Ellis Park is located at 37th and Cottage Grove in Chicago's historic Bronzeville neighborhood, near the area where modern gospel music was birthed more than 80 years ago. See your concierge for more information.
Chicago Gospel Music Festival
Various locations, Chicago, IL
Also this weekend is the 30th annual World's Largest Block Party at Old St. Pat's Church. Considered to be Chicago's oldest public building and a treasured historic landmark, this event at Old St. Pat's is a party for a good cause. Proceeds support the mission and outreach activities of Old St. Pat's including the Education Center, the Outreach Group, Horizons For Youth, to name a few. Expect live music, the tastiest treats, and celebrity bartenders at this two-day block party. This all takes place June 27 and 28 at Madison & Des Plaines Streets in Chicago's West Loop. Sorry, you must be 21 years old to enter this one.
World Largest Block Party at Old St. Patrick's Church
Madison and Des Plaines Streets, Chicago, IL
Finally, on Sunday, June 29, stake your claim along the parade route for the Pride Parade, part of June's Pride Month in Chicago. The parade is held the weekend after Chicago's iconic annual Pride Fest. The parade kicks off at 12 noon from Broadway and Montrose going along a four-mile route. My tips for the best viewing? For the liveliest, head to Halsted St. between Belmont & Grace Streets in the heart of Boystown. For a less crowded area, head to the beginning of the parade on Broadway between Montrose and Sheridan. Bar and restaurant celebrations follow the parade and continue throughout the night. See your concierge for more information and be a part of the festivities in Boystown!
45th Annual Chicago Pride Parade
Route begins on Broadway Ave. at Montrose
For more information on these events, check out ConciergePreferred.com, or pick up a magazine at any Concierge Desk in the city. Visit ConciergePreferred.com every Wednesday for the week's Concierge Picks.
Camp Douglas: Chicago's Confederate Past
Visit to site of Civil War Union prison Camp Douglas
Map of Camp Douglas, Chicago
[Camp Douglas was the training site for the Fifty-First Illinois Infantry.]
This map superimposes the boundaries of old Camp Douglas on Chicago streets that were laid out in years after the Civil War. When the camp was built in 1861, the area was little more than prairie though Cottage Grove Avenue connected Cottage Grove to Chicago. The main entrance to the camp fronted on Cottage Grove Avenue.
The North's Andersonville!
Prisoners were deprived of clothing to discourage escapes. Many wore sacks with head and arm holes cut out; few had underwear. Blankets to offset the bitter northern winter were confiscated from the few that had them. The weakest froze to death. The Chicago winter of 1864 was devastating. The loss of 1,091 lives in only four months was heaviest for any like period in the camp's history, and equaled the deaths at the highest rate of Andersonville from February to May, 1864. Yet, it is the name of Andersonville that burns in infamy, while there exists a northern counterpart of little shame.
Upon the closing of City Cemetery, the bodies interred there were moved to the new cemeteries - Rosehill, Graceland, Oak Woods. The federal government purchased a section of Oak Woods in 1867 to accomodate the 4200 known casualties of Camp Douglas. The coffins were placed in concentric circular trenches. Although the government only had 4200 names, cemetery records indicate that closer to 6000 coffins were buried here. In addition to the unknown number of Southerners, twelve Union soldiers are buried here as well, guards from the camp. Their markers, reading Unknown U.S. Soldier, stand in a single row behind one cannon.
*** Griffin Family Funeral Home ***
The African-American-owned business is also part of another unique chapter in local history. It sits on land that was once Camp Douglas, a Civil War camp used to house Confederate prisoners of war. About 6,000 Confederates died from disease and exposure there -- and they are memorialized on the Heritage Memorial Wall outside the funeral home. It includes a Confederate flag flown at half-staff.
They were the sons of God before they were the sons of man, O'Neal said.
Ernest Griffin, who died in 1995, was the driving force behind the memorial and the Civil War memorabilia that fill the funeral home. He became fascinated with the war after learning about Camp Douglas, and then learning his own grandfather, Charles H. Griffin, joined the Union Army at Camp Douglas in 1864.
That realization came after the Griffins bought the former Camp Douglas land....
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