Chicago has been out of favour for many years, but more to the point, it's just not that well known.
The famous names it conjures up - Al Capone, Frank Nitty or John Dilliger – have an unsettling, even disturbing charm, they're exciting but these days nothing more than myth. A John Lee Hooker or Muddy Waters Blues soundtrack that lingers in the city's jazz clubs.
Chicago has been an architects' playground since the great fire of 1871 which ravaged the city and its buildings. The first skyscrapers were drawn up by Mies Van der Rohe, Frank Lyod Wright, Louis Sullivan and Daniel Brunham.
It's not worth having your hair set here, the Windy City lives up to its moniker, blowing night and day along the avenues. It's a fresh wind and a decadent rhythm that blows across the States: the city is more arty than Brooklyn, has more culture than San Fran and more going on architecturally than anywhere.
Take the time to see and try everything: the banks of Lake Michigan, the Art Institute, the Loop, Millennium Park. Don't forget to keep looking up at the skyline or check it out from afar, perched on a hip rooftop, cocktail in hand. Here's a district by district overview of our adventures and unusual encounters.