For our loyal or occasional readers I am going to start with a question I'll answer at the bottom of the post - What is the Only major US City that is not near a body of water or river?
Chicago, on the other hand, is blessed with a great location right in the center of the country. We also have the Chicago river, flowing right through town (as shown here) and Lake Michigan (where the Chicago river DOESN'T flow to, since it was re-directed so that all the waste goes downstate instead of fouling the water supply).
How many modes of transportation can you see in the above picture? Let me count the ways:
1) you can see the water taxi coming towards the camera. The water taxi starts by the train station and goes over to Michigan avenue. It is a lot of fun if you are visiting the town for the day. Just close your eyes if you see Dave Matthews' tour bus parked on a bridge above you
2) the METRA train, which runs on commuter tracks, runs alongside the river. The METRA lines go North, South and West out of the city on multiple lines. For a newcomer to the city, I highly recommend that you consider the METRA when you move because if you can take the train you can save a lot in parking and general sanity and the trains are generally clean and on time
3) you can see the bridge going over the river. The "L" train runs on top of the bridge. They are now working on the Brown line - it is about time - that line is over 100 years old
4) there are cars on the bridge below the "L" tracks - hapless commuters
5) there are a few people walking here and there, and probably bicycling, too
6) there are some kayaks on the river if you look closely - looks like fun!
The answer to my question is Indianapolis. They located it dead smack in the middle of the state just to be in the middle so no one thought anyone was being favored. There is no logical reason for it to exist where it lies except for that reason.