Eat, See, Do // Chicago City Guide
I would like to restate the record. Heaven is not only October in San Francisco, but also July in Chicago. It just has to be. The breeze picked up where the sun touched our shoulders. The forecast called for clouds and the city complained that for three full hours the clouds shaded us a little too long. Our wardrobe stayed the same from sun up to sun down, requiring only "summer attire" with a light cardigan. I put that in quotes as here in San Francisco, I've forgotten that summer means sleeveless. Carefree sleeveless.We spent four full days in the Windy City taking in the sites and dancing at weddings (well, just the one) and following the best breezes. Because you know how we are about breezes. We like to let them leisurely lead us to the good stuff. You could easily turn this into a 48 hours in Chicago type of thing, but that would involve alarm clocks and such. Alas, our Chicago city guide..We probably could have stayed at the Burnham Hotel and never left the mile and a half of green space surrounding Grant Park. If ever there was a city who ruled public spaces, it would be Chicago. Frank Gehry's stage in Millennium Park alone stole my heart. People gathered for the continuous music, they gathered for afternoon picnics, and they gathered for naps after indulging in the current food festival. The skating ribbon pours you from the stage right into the absurdly good outdoor playground, also known as Maggie Daley Park. And then you have the waterfront, also known as my happy place. Magdalena Abakanowicz's Agora in Grant Park offers a seemingly interactive piece. Viewers are allowed to walk amongst the other - albeit giant, copper, and headless - walkers. The actual story behind them is of the darker, less playful persuasion. The artist remarks,"I was obsessed by the image of the crowd… I suspected that under the human skull, instincts and emotions overpower the intellect without us being aware of it.”We had lunch at The Gage and headed south to the Field Museum, if nothing but to hang out with Sue, the T. Rex. While you're in the area, take advantage of the amazing skyline vista points and spend some time at the Aquarium, the Planetarium. and learn something from the Merriam. Just kidding you guys. Don't bring your dictionary.Grab a Divvy bike and take a ride up Lakefront Trail. Along the way there's North Avenue Beach where you can plan for an afternoon in the sand (we didn't even consider swimsuits in Chicago!). There are beachside cafés. And when you have enough of the sun, hop back on your bike and head up to Lincoln Park for a stroll before dinner. Pro (or otherwise general knowledge that we should have listened to, but for your sake, pro) tip: Make a reservation and probably make it at Lou Malnati's for some deep dish. We tried Lou's for lunch the following day and their express lunch is anything but, so you might as well have a glass of wine and plan to stay awhile.If I tell you one thing to do, that would be to take the architecture cruise along the Chicago River. And then if there's two things, it's to rest from the sun while you take in the Art Institute. When in Rome, eat hot dogs. Devil Dawgs hot dogs, to be exact.. If views are what you're looking for, you're gonna want to head to either the Willis Tower (yes, that's the Sears Tower renamed because the Willis Group offered to insure the building for free in return for naming rights - things you'll learn on the architecture cruise) or the John Hancock building. I vote for the Hancock building because you have more choices. There's the observation deck on the 94th floor called 360 Chicago with their new tilt thrill (*shudder*). Or, if you're like us, just stop in for a cocktail at the Signature Lounge on the 95th floor. Or, you could have a fancy dinner in the Signature Room on the 96th floor. And then, if you're a girl, check out the restroom because that's where the best views are. For real:And last but not least, I need to tell you about the Doughnut Vault because the Doughnut Vault is where it's at, yo. And speaking of sugar, I'm rounding off this post with the Chicago Theatre at sunset because it's a bonus, sweet touch. Chicago, you were a complete charmer. Thanks for the good times.
Deep dish or thin crust?