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Thread: Goin' to Chicago

  1. #11
    On a cupcake mission! Lois Lane's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Right behind you
    Quote Originally Posted by Ana Bannana View Post
    I will be in Chicago next weekend (April 7-11) and would like some opinions on "must see" places, and "have to try it" eateries. I will be there for the National Association of School Boards, so I expect places to be somewhat crowded. Stayin' at the House of Blues, but the rest of my group is staying at Hotel 71 (I think thats the name. ) Anyway, I know many of you have spent time there, so your suggestions and ideas are needed. How can I have a great time - mostly in the evening...
    The House of Blues is literally just a couple blocks from a nice Thai restaurant, The Star of Siam (312/670-0100, 11 E. Illinois (off of State St.). Nearby there is a great seafood restaurant called Shaw's (kinda pricey): (312/527-2722, 21 E. Hubbard, also off of State. FYI: Hubbard and Illinois are one block apart).

    As for pizza, if you want authentic deep dish Chicago style pizza, you can't go wrong with Gino's East or Pizzeria Uno (and its sister shop Pizzeria Due). Giordano's is also very good (esp. their thin crust). All these places can be crowded on weekends to make a reservation if you can.

    If you want to meet friends for a drink, there's Bin 36 which I think is part of the complext that your hotel is in. You can also get some good food there. (And you can go work it all off at the Crunch gym, which is where the House of Blues folks send its customers to work out.)

    Jennifer Aniston was here filming pickups for "The Break Up" and she and Vince Vaughn went to this blues club called Kingston Mines on North Halsted Tuesday night.

    On, and if you go to the Art Institute, hop over to Millennium Park, where you can see "Cloud Gate" sculpture (aka "the Bean" to locals).

    If you like walking, you can walk from your hotel to the Water Tower on Michigan Avenue where there's some really good shopping along Michigan Ave. All the big stores are there--Tiffany's, Bloomies, Nordstrom etc. but if you want to window shop (or have some $$ to spend), head over to Oak Street (I think that's about a 8 or 9 block walk from where you are--or about a $6 cab ride) where there are a bunch of trendy boutiques as well as Versace etc.

    If you have a rental car, head to Bucktown to go shopping at p.45--you'll find clothes there that you won't find at a dept. store--but warning: the sizes run small. (FYI, if you're concerne about safety, Bucktown is near Wicker Park--both are gentrified/gentrifying. The "Real World Chicago" was filmed at a loft in Wicker Park that used to house my favorite coffee house!...

    Let's see...what else. Really good sushi isn't far from Oprah's studio (in the West Loop): Sushi Wabi.

    For cheap eats, head over to the Wiener Circle! You'll be insulted there by all the staff (it's a tradition), but the hot dogs are out of this world and truly Chicago Style (don't ask for catsup on your dogs or you will be ridiculed mercilessly)...

    That's all for now! Have a great time in Chicago! It's a wonderful city...

  2. #12
    all hot air Ana Bannana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in the palm of the mitten
    WOW!!! Thanks for all the great tips! I am going to print all this stuff out, and study it on the train ride. I know John spends tons of time in Chicago, so I thought he might have some advice for a fellow Michiganian. I won't be renting a car, so taxi's and my feet will be the mode of transportation for me. I can hardly wait!! I am soooo excited!!!!!

  3. #13
    The race is back! John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    On the mat
    Well, I do live in Chicago, but I travel like crazy, and I rarely get downtown when I'm home (when everything you need is available within 2 blocks, why go down there and fight crazy traffic?).

    So, I'm not the best person to ask. But it looks like you've gotten some great advice. Have a ball!

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