Chicago, as you can see here, is impressive. It is the archetypal North American urban landscape. It is a majestic and impressive and awe-inspiring urban landscape.
Still, Chicago is like those cities I used to make with Sim City 2: it looks neat and tidy and gritty in well-proportioned parts. However, or maybe, this is why, it feels very artificial. It has character, what with the lake and the elevated railway and the parks and its landmarks. But this character also feels artificial. Maybe I spent too much time downtown — but no such issues ever arose in, hm, Manhattan.
Speaking of which: Where are Chicagoans? Well, they drive around and they ride the trains. But they don’t walk a lot, do they? Unless they are destitute. Or out-of-towners.
I liked Chicago, I admired Chicago, I enjoyed Chicago. However, I felt no real buzz. Nothing like the invigorating pretense and pretentiousness that, according to St, fuels New Yorkers.
All in all, great buildings and urban vistas don’t make a city — people do. Otherwise, Dubai and Shanghai and other nowhere places would make great cities.
At the end of the day, despite its breathtaking backdrops, count the films taking place in Chicago. I can think of two: the Blues Brothers and — hm — The Matrix. The latter is not really Chicago, either. And it was filmed in Sydney. So, there.