Monday, August 18, 2008

Random Musings on Chicago Hawaii 2008 Trip (3)

Size does matter

One of my first impression of the United States is everything is large. From the wide open spaces to the skyscrapers and the huge servings at meals, everything is large. Here I am standing before this large Silver Streak: Pioneer Zephyr locomotive which is the first to convert from steam to diesel fuel. This locomotive would have transversed this huge continent and is now is a prized exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

Space travel is one of my many interests and here I am beside the Apollo 1 module in the Museum of Science and Industry. This museum is huge and it took me a better part of the day to visit almost all the exhibits. Thus I missed the chance to visit the Field Museum, another museum I had wanted to visit.

Hancock Tower and Observatory is one of Chicago's tallest landmarks, 1,000 feet above Chicago's Magnificent Mile. It takes the world's fastest elevators just 39 seconds to take visitors to the 94th floor to The Hancock Observatory. On a clear day you can see up to 80 miles away and view four states - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Being in Chicago reminds me again why the United States is the world's largest economy. From its large continental land mass to its large population base, that is not surprising. However the United States is changing. From my last visit 2 years ago and my pre-9-11 visit, things have changed a lot. This time, I do not feel the optimism I felt in past visits. I guess it may be the economy is in 'recession', fuel prices very high and the continuing involvement in Iraq. Also it is possible that 'White Americans' may become a minority in 40 years, or the Baby Bloomers are reaching retirement age. While not the optimism, I do however still feel the vibrant culture and rugged individualism that continues to make this country great. I guess size does matter.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home