[APRA-NW] Fw: Chicago hints
jmaccorm at u.washington.edu
Fri Jul 13 15:44:33 PDT 2007
For those of you planning to attend the APRA conference in Chicago, here are a few sightseeing and restaurant recommendations made by Christina Pulawski that you might consider during your stay!
Have a great weekend!
----- Original Message -----
From: Christina Pulawski
To: Jennifer MacCormack
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 12:53 PM
Subject: Chicago hints
As promised, here's what I sent to a few folks out east that asked me about steakhouses and a couple specific restaurants:
- Art Institute of Chicago http://www.artic.edu/aic/index.php Fantastic Impressionist collection. Famous works include Nighthawks (Hopper), Paris Street: Rainy Day (Caillebotte), lots of Monet haystacks, Sunday on La Grand Jatte (Seurat), Child's Bath (Cassat), American Gothic (Grant Wood - may be on loan for a Wood exhibit elsewhere in the country), and lots of Frank Lloyd Wright. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, museum will be open til 9 on Thursdays. Be sure to check out the Thorne miniature rooms in the basement, and the relics of Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan buildings on the landings by the grand staircase
- Second City - http://www.secondcity.com/?id=theatres/chicago About a 15 minute cab ride - has multiple stages now. Current revue is "Between Barack and a Hard Place" which got rave reviews. I haven't been to see one since Chris Farley was with the group, but am going to see this one. Check to see if they still do open improv after the late show on Fri/Sat
- Architectural Boat Tours http://www.architecture.org/tour_view.aspx?TourID=8 Definitely go with the ones through the Chicago Architecture Foundation. It's a great way to see the city and learn about its defining architectural pioneering history. If you saw "My Best Friend's Wedding" this is the tour Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney (Northwestern alum) took for their last "friends day." Also the one the poor souls took when Dave Matthews' tour bus dumped its waste contents on them while crossing a bridge, but that's another story.
- Public art and features - Buckingham Fountain, the Picasso at Daley Plaza http://chicago.about.com/od/chicagopictures/ss/chicago_picasso.htm, just across the street from the Miro http://chicago.about.com/cs/artsentertainment/l/blsculpturesmir.htm, and the new stuff at Millennium Park like "Cloudgate" and the Frank Gehry bandshell and bridge http://www.millenniumpark.org/
HAPPENING WHILE YOU'RE THERE:
- Venetian Night http://www.chicagotraveler.com/attractions/venetian-night.html lighted boat parade and good fireworks display. With the Sheraton being right at the river and Lake Michigan, you'll be in the thick of the action.
- Navy Pier fireworks Free fireworks every Wednesday and Saturday at 9pm from Navy Pier, a short walk from the hotel. Navy Pier is the top tourist destination for Chicago - kinda tacky, skip it as a destination, but many boat tours etc. and things start from there. Chicago Shakespeare Theatre is also located there. http://www.navypier.com/home.html
- Movies in the Park On Tuesday nights, they show old movies on a huge screen in Grant Park. Bring a blanket, bug spray and a picnic! http://egov.cityofchicago.org/city/webportal/portalContentItemAction.do?0&contentOID=536951823&contenTypeName=COC_EDITORIAL&topChannelName=Dept&entityName=Special+Events&deptMainCategoryOID=-536896172&blockName=Special+Events/Content&context=dept
ACTIVE (or MORE ACTIVE):
- Lakefront bike/running path - Easily accessible from the hotel. If you're running, probably go north instead of south - more people, but more reliable neighborhoods.
- Rent bikes/blades - many places near your hotel or at Navy Pier - hit the lakefront path.
- Kayaking - people forget Chicago has a RIVER with many branches. There are several companies that do kayak classes and tours http://www.kayakchicago.com/ is one that has regular tours, including one that kayaks up the river to the mouth at Lake Michigan just in time to watch the Navy Pier fireworks. It's amazing how peaceful it can be in the middle of the city.
- Segway tours - A different way to see some of the city - by Segway. http://www.citysegwaytours.com/chicago/ People we've seen going this look like they're having a good time.
- Bowling - http://www.10pinchicago.com/ 10 Pin is one of those slick upscale bowling places, about 10 minute walk from hotel
The choices are literally endless. But here are some of the places we mentioned:
- Gibson's - see and be seen steakhouse, in the "Viagra Triangle" about a 15-20 minute hike from the hotel, 5 minute cab ride.
- Gene and Georgetti's steakhouse - has been around a lot longer, a lot more "old school" http://www.geneandgeorgetti.com/frame_home.html
- Gino's East - The birthplace of Chicago-style pizza. Pizzeria Uno has more of a tourist market, but I think Gino's is better. http://featuredfoods.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.exe/a-store/gino_p1.shtml?L+scstore+jykw1020ginosff92a092+1178120043
- Le Lan - one of our favorite places, they just changed chef and menu at the beginning of the year, though. High end Asian-French http://www.lelanrestaurant.com/
- Star of Siam - "regular" Thai food - about 5-10 minute walk from the hotel http://www.starofsiamchicago.com/
- North Pond - http://www.northpondrestaurant.com
- As we discussed, Frontera Grill and Topolobampo http://www.rickbayless.com/restaurants/grill.html are great places to check out. Frontera doesn't take reservations unless you've got a large party - get in line by 4:30pm to get in to eat, or a seat at the soapstone bar. Rick Bayless just won the 2007 Beard Award (his third one).
- For drinks or dessert, the Hotel Intercontinental (on Michigan Avenue quite close to the Sheraton) has just turned what used to be their lobby lounge into a champagne-and-dessert bar. Haven't tried it yet, but supposed to be good. See Pops and Drake below
- Green Mill http://www.greenmilljazz.com/ the oldest jazz club in the country, frequented by Al Capone, etc etc, birthplace of the poetry slam. Serious jazz, they WILL shush or expel you if you chat too much during the sets. About a 15-20 minute cab ride with minimal traffic. In an area with several concert venues and near Asian markets, but still very "good block/bad block." Open til 4 or 5am, gets very busy after midnight.
- Closer to the hotel, there's Andy's (near Star of Siam) http://www.andysjazzclub.com/ and Jazz Showcase (near Andy's) http://www.jazzshowcase.com/
- Pops for Champagne - our favorite place, and we don't want it overrun by just anyone!!! They have jazz Tues-Sat downstairs, and a slick bar upstairs (in its old location, was more comfortable, and not so slick). FANTASTIC champagne list - easy to drop several hundred $$. http://www.popsforchampagne.com Good small plates and desserts. They have tastings Wednesdays 5-7pm for $15.
- Judy Roberts plays great piano bar at the historic Drake Hotel Thurs-Sat - that's about a 10 minute walk from your hotel up "Magnificent Mile" Michigan Avenue. I had my 40th birthday party in the lounge at the Intercontinental when she was playing there regularly - she's awesome.
What Chicago's famous for. Unfortunately, the premier club lost its lease to icky development, and will be moving at the end of July. That's Buddy Guy's Legends http://www.buddyguys.com/
If Buddy Guy's isn't open yet, then a good option is Kingston Mines http://www.kingstonmines.com/ - another place with a 4am license. And it's in the heart of Lincoln Park (yuppie-ville) so usually awash with fratboys. The music is good.
Tons of music clubs. To see who's playing where, check out the free weekly http://www.chireader.com (I used to work there).
My favorite is the Metro
http://www.metrochicago.com/ in the shadow of Wrigley Field. Concert venue is upstairs in this historic building - I've seen Rage against the Machine, Prince, Cheap Trick, Peter Murphy, The The, ska marathons, Bob Mould, Kasabian, Secret Machines, and a gazillion others there. Basement is bar and dance club Smart Bar (I used to be a Smart Bar dance girl). 4am license, 5am on Saturdays. Gets VERY crowded. Wear black.
You'll be in Wrigleyville, so lots and lots of bars, etc. around the ballpark, although it's gentrifying and homogenizing at a tremendous pace.
Other best known options are the Double Door (owned by the same guy who owns Metro http://www.doubledoor.com/), and Empty Bottle http://www.emptybottle.com/home.php
Signature Lounge - the bar near the top of the John Hancock Building http://www.signatureroom.com/lounge/default.cfm?PID=15 avoid the charge for the elevator to the observation deck, and spend it on watered-down drinks instead - just about the same view. Gets very crowded in the evenings, great to get there around 4-ish on a weekday.
Macy's on State Street, and on Michigan Avenue - they steamrolled over our beloved Marshall Field's and left a tacky shell.
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c-pulawski at comcast.net
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