Chicago, Illinois

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Chicago, Illinois
General Information

City: 3 million
In the suburbs: 5 million.

Time zone:
Chicago is located in the central time zone. When it is 12:00 noon in New York City, it is 11:00 AM in Chicago.

New Year's Day Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President's Day 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day last Mon. in May;

Independence Day July 4

Labor Day 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dec. 24 and 25

New Year's Eve Dec. 31.

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Area Codes:
The 312 area code applies to the Loop and the neighborhoods closest to it, including River North, North Michigan Avenue, and the Gold Coast. The code for the rest of the city is 773. Suburban area codes are 847 (north), 708 (west and southwest), and 630 (far west). You must dial "1" plus the area code for all telephone numbers, even if you are making a call within the same area code.

Business Hours:
Normal business hours are 10am-6pm Monday through Saturday. Malls are until 7pm and for shorter hours on Sunday. Banking hours in Chicago are 8-5 Monday-Friday. Some banks open at 8AM.

For fire or police emergencies, call tel. 911.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital:
 251 E. Huron St.
Has a state-of-the-art medical center just off North Michigan Avenue. The emergency department  is located at 251 E. Erie St. Ambulance: 911.

For emergencies, call 911. For non-emergencies, dial 311.

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The Loop:
Downtown in Chicago is synonymous with the Loop. The Loop refers to a core of primarily commercial, governmental, and cultural buildings contained within a looping of elevated train tracks in the center city,

Greater downtown Chicago extends beyond the Loop and is bounded by the Chicago River to the north and west, by Michigan Avenue to the east, and by Roosevelt Avenue to the south.

The North Side:
North Michigan Avenue is known as the Magnificent Mile, from the bridge spanning the Chicago River to its northern tip at Oak Street. Many of the city's best hotels, shops, and restaurants are to be found on and around elegant North Michigan Avenue. Old Town West of LaSalle Street, principally on North Wells Street between Division Street and North Avenue, is the residential district of Old Town, with some of the city's best-preserved historic homes.

Chinatown, Chicago:
Chicago's large Chinese neighborhood is full of popular restaurants, nightclubs, and shops displaying Asian wares.

Lincoln Park:
Chicago's most popular residential neighborhood is home to two major museums and one of the nation's oldest zoos. The area also contains many of Chicago's most popular nightclubs, restaurants, retail stores, and off-Loop theaters, including the nationally acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Wrigleyville is the name given to the neighborhood in the vicinity of Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.

The South Side:
South Loop was Chicago's original "Gold Coast" in the late 19th century, with Prairie Avenue (now an historic district) as its most exclusive address. Cermak Road (where Chinatown begins), and from Lake Shore Drive west to the south branch of the Chicago River is one of the fast-growing residential neighborhoods in the city.

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The local sales tax is 8.75%. Restaurants in the central part of the city, are taxed an additional 1%, for a total of 9.75%. There is also a hotel tax.

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