Chicago in…Numbers

It’s almost a new year, and we’re debuting a new column.  Each month, “Chicago in…” will look at the city of Chicago through a new lens—from “Chicago in Photos” to “Chicago in Numbers”. This month we start with “Chicago in Numbers”, a numerical tour that begins at Lake Michigan, ends at Lou Malnati’s and goes everywhere in between.

Source: Wikimedia Creative Commons.

1 billion: gallons of water from Lake Michigan that the Chicago Department of Water Management pumps out to surrounding areas every day

517 million: the approximate number of CTA bus and train rides taken each year, not including any train rides you may want to run from your house after purchasing one of the 100 or so items put up for auction at CTA headquarters
5.7 million: the number of volumes in the Chicago Public Library, where they now dole out tech advice from Obama’s IT staff in addition to books
260,000: pieces of art in the Art Institute; countless works of art throughout the city
7,600: acres across all Chicago Park District parks—with the new Maggie Daley Park set to open fall 2014
Ferris Bueller checks out some of the Art Institute’s 260,000 pieces of art.
Source: Production still, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
1986: the year Ferris Bueller Twist-ed and Shout-ed at the downtown Von Steuben Day Parade
1896: the year that kicked off movie-makingin Chicago, when The Tramp and the Dogdebuted
290: piano tuners (in answer to Chicago’s own physicist Fermi’s problem)
266: thousands of gallons of water in Chicago’s bears’ swimming pool at the Lincoln Park Zoo
89: the Chicago Bears’ most recently retired jersey number, belonging to Da Coach
77: neighborhoods—from South Shore to Rogers Park—in the city
27: number of degrees below zero on the coldest day in recorded history in Chicago (although if your teeth are chattering from this week’s cold snap, this December is the chilliest in 18 years)
2: the start to Chicago’s nickname, the 2ndCity, and Willis Tower’s rank in tallest buildings in the U.S. even though we are…
#1 in brunch, business schools, hockey(we have the Stanley Cup at least for now…) and, ahem, pizza

Erin Robertson is managing editor at Chicago Ideas.

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