(...continued from Discover why President Barack Obama calls Chicago home)
Barack Obama taught Constitutional Law at the world-renowned University of Chicago from 1992 until 2004. The “U of C”, as it’s commonly known, was founded in Hyde Park in 1892 and has made this South Side neighborhood a cultural and intellectual enclave. In Hyde Park, visitors can relax in any number of coffeehouses and bookstores and attend lectures, concerts, plays and art exhibits. Hyde Park is also home to the DuSable Museum of African American History, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Oriental Institute Museum, Smart Museum of Art, Hyde Park Art Center, Court Theatre, The Renaissance Society and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House. The neighborhood's new Checkerboard Lounge on 52nd Street is a popular spot for "Blues 'n' Jazz."
The Obama family has lived in Kenwood since 2005. This South Side neighborhood, just north of Hyde Park, is filled with beautiful old homes and is a wonderful place to tour by foot, car or bicycle. The 19th century mansions in this community once housed some of Chicago’s wealthiest industrialists and merchants. By the middle of the 20th century, many of the stately homes had been subdivided into apartments and fallen into disrepair. The neighborhood underwent a revival in the 1980s and 1990s as families, attracted by Kenwood’s proximity to both Hyde Park and downtown Chicago, began buying the homes and restoring them to their former glory.
Barack Obama is a fan of the Chicago White Sox Major League Baseball Team. The White Sox, winners of the 2005 World Series, play 81 home games each season at U.S. Cellular Field each season. With a number of ticket options, visitors are sure to find a seat with a great view of the action while staying within a budget.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date included a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago. The Art Institute is a world-renowned art museum housing the third largest permanent collection in the United States. An encyclopedic museum, the Art Institute collects, preserves and displays works in every medium from all cultures and historical periods as well as hosts special exhibitions. With a collection of more than 260,000 art works and artifacts, the museum has particularly strong holdings in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting, early 20th century European painting and sculpture, contemporary art, Japanese prints and photography.
Chicago, especially the South Side, where Barack Obama lives, is known around the world as the home of blues music. The Chicago Office of Tourism’s Chicago Blues Enhanced Audio Tour, narrated by legend Buddy Guy, brings the Chicago blues scene to life like never before as guests are guided to 10 of Chicago’s historic blues sites, including the Checkerboard Lounge in Hyde Park. Featuring over 50 minutes of conversation and music, the free tour explores the history of Chicago blues and how the city’s musical tradition forever changed popular music and American culture. It is available for download in five languages (English, Spanish, Mandarin, German and Japanese) at www.downloadchicagotours.org.
First-time visitors and Chicago-residents can discover something new about the city’s exciting and diverse communities with Chicago Neighborhood Tours. These affordable half-day bus excursions highlight the history, stories, traditions, and most importantly, the people of Chicago.
The Chicago Office of Tourism’s free visitor service, Chicago Greeter, is designed to match a friendly, enthusiastic, and city knowledgeable local with a visitor for a two-to-four hour informal, insider orientation to Chicago’s sights. Visitors meet with a greeter who takes them around the city and demonstrates its walk-ability and the user-friendliness of its public transportation system. Visitors are matched with greeters through an online registration system based on special interest and language. There are more than 20 Chicago Greeters who are knowledgeable about the Hyde Park and Kenwood neighborhoods.