IL Travel Guide - Page 2
The biggest sporting event of the year is coming up next week and some of its competitors are beginning their warm ups this weekend. We're talking, of course, about Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, the banner event for Major League Eating, taking place at NY's Coney Island on July 4th.
But you don't have to wait until then to see some of the world's best stomachs in action. Two of the top-ranked eaters in the world, Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti and Tim "Gravy" Brown will begin working their jaws this weekend in their hometown of Chicagowhere they will take on four of the city's biggest eating challenges.
The duo, who have just launched their own food truck, the awesomely named Glutton Force Five, kick off their marathon of mass consumption tonight at the Fifty/50 Bar, where the challenge is to eat 50 items off the menu in 50 minutes.
Celeb Travel / Literary Travel / MDW / Chicago Travel / Vintage Travel / Retro Travel / Travel Photography / United / → All Tags
If there's that gets us as excited about modern air travel, it's retro air travel. You know we're nerds for airplanes of any era really, so when we run across vintage in-flight magazines, as we did recently with United's Mainliner, we just have to share. It was in the June 1962 edition that we first heard about a photographer who specialized in getting those glamorous, movie-star-exiting-the-jet images at Chicago's Midway Airport and now, we're hearing about Mr. Mike Rotunno again.
Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune wrote an article on the man, because as it turns out, there's a full-fledged book"When Hollywood Landed at Chicago's Midway Airport: The Photos and Stories of Mike Rotunno" by Chicago author Christopher Lynchcoming out on Rotunno's life as the original airport paparazzo and his mob ties.
Still, his run-in with Al Capone isn't as interesting as one little story about a certain celeb who had airport habits similar to our own: Katharine Hepburn:
Last week, while taping his nightly talk show at the Chicago Theatre, Conan O'Brien promised to leave the city of Chicago a "gift"a giant bobblehead in his likenessat a local landmark of their choosing.
During a skit on Thursday's show it seemed like Conan was going to keep his promise as the 30-foot bobblehead was carefully installed outside the Art Institute of Chicago. There was just one problem, no one told the museum's staff and the giant Conan head was quickly booted.
Look what we found! Why, it's a June 1962 edition of United's old in-flight magazine, Mainliner. This week, we'll be flipping through the pages and learning a thing or two about the United of the dawn of the jet age.
What better place to start than with United's headquarters in Chicago? In this issue of Mainliner, United profiles their hometown airports: O'Hare and Midway, though O'Hare's modern architecture is obviously the focus of the pride. They've just opened some Mies van der Rohe-designed terminals, after all, and Chicago is only beginning to make its mark as the "Crossroads of the Nation" in terms of jet travel.
Airport News / Chicago Travel / Airports / MDW / ORD / → All Tags
Chicago’s getting a brand new airport! It’s number three to be exact, and they broke ground on it over the weekend. Just hold up a second first, because though the ground's been dug with a celebratory shovel, the plans are still all on paper with plenty of arguments and debates left before planes will be able to do their thing to someplace other than ORD and MDW.
Mostly the concern is that Chicago doesn’t really need a brand new airport, and opponents especially feel that all the city needs is updates at Chicago-O’Hare. Even the CEO over at the new United feels that another airport isn’t really necessary, but of course that could be simply because he has a pretty decent stake in the operations at O’Hare.
Conan O'Brien is taking his show on the road again! This time he'll be taping four episodes during the TBS Just For Laughs Comedy Festival at The Chicago Theatre in Chicago, IL.
Free tickets to Conan in Chicago, which will be taped between June 11th and 14th, will be issued via an online lottery.
To enter, all you have to do is visit teamcoco.com/tickets/chicago and choose the date you would like to attend (you can only choose one date, so choose wisely) and fill out the ticket request form.
Videos / ORD / JFK / American Airlines / → All Tags
We've said it once (okay, like a gazillion times) and we'll say it again: airports are excellent places for time-lapse video and we're complete suckers for both.
For the most part however, travelers who take the time to film nearly every second of a flight are on a special departure, like an international flight for vacation or an annual business class treat. But then, most people aren't Steve Tures, who just flew one of the most blah routesbetween Chicago and New Yorkand recorded it all.
The result, a simple time-lapse recorded on an Android Xoom Tablet and uploaded to YouTube, is a brilliant study in what a modern, uneventful flight looks like. Surpriseit's even American Airlines. We only wish he hadn't abided by the "turn off electronics for take-off" rule!
This year's films includes a mix of classics and recent award nominees like Citizen Cane, A Separation, Higher Ground, Joe versus the Volcano, Phunny Business: A Black Comedy, Big Fan (with an appearance by the movie's star Patton Oswalt), Kinyarwanda, Terri, On Borrowed Time, Patang, and Take Shelter (with the movie's star Michael Shannon).
Along with these films, the fest will also includes talks with the directors, writers, and producers who made the movies possible.
Even when we’re away from the airport we often find ourselves longing for one of those Rick Bayless sandwiches for lunch, and now it looks like our lunchtime dreams might just become reality. You already know that Rick Bayless and his crew serve up some of the best tortas in the airport, and now the Mexican sandwiches are available without a trip through the metal detector.
We’re hoping that this is just the first of many locations, but the celeb chef has now brought Tortas Frontera into the Windy City. The restaurant popped up last week inside Urban Market of Chase Tower in downtown Chicago, so now hungry office workers can depart their cubicles to satisfy their lunchtime cravings. If you’re going to check it out today—can we come?—it’s located in the Loop at 10 South Dearborn Street.
Airport News / Airports / Chicago Travel / American Airlines / ORD / Green Travel / Airport Restaurants / Rick Bayless / → All Tags
Back in September 2011, the Aeroponic Garden at Chicago-O'Hare Airport was still just getting off the ground (literallythe plants grow in vertical columns). Now, almost six months later, the greenery has grown and the airport is showing off the newest, freshest addition to Terminal 3 (mezzanine level), which houses most American Airlines/oneworld flights, plus JetBlue and Spirit.
Now, finally, we have an image of the progress along with the news that, indeed, Rick Bayless' Tortas Fronteras will make use of the fresh produce grown at ORD:
The vegetables harvested from the garden will be used at HMSHost’s O’Hare restaurants including Tortas Frontera, Wicker Park Seafood & Sushi, Blackhawks Restaurant and Tuscany. Produce growing in the garden includes Swiss chard, sweet basil, purple basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, chives, Bibb lettuce, gourmet lettuce mix, habanero peppers, edible viola flowers, edible nasturtium flowers, thyme, oregano, red lettuce, and green beans.
Chicago's fancy futuristic airport garden is actually the first and only aeroponic garden in an airport. Take that, Singapore-Changi!
Airfare Deals / Groupon / Chicago Travel / ORD / Virgin America / Groupon Getaways / Gogo / → All Tags
We have our doubts about group buying sites like Groupon, especially when we're getting emails for discounts on laser hair removal 80% of the time, but occasionally great deals do pop up, and one such sale starts today.
The deal: Pay $39, get $100 towards round-trip flights between Chicago-ORD and San Francisco-SFO or Los Angeles-LAX. Included in that $39 is also a code to redeem for a free session of Gogo in-flight WiFi, itself worth $12.95. The $100 you get can be used to purchase any class of travel...so you're that much closer to one of the big seats in First Class.
New Routes / Airlines / Airline News / RFD / Mokulele Airlines / Chicago Travel / Hawaii Travel / → All Tags
It’s not even Friday, and we’re already excited about some new routes. Mokulele Airlines usually does their thing flying back and forth between different Hawaiian Islands, but if all goes well they’ll soon be flying all the way to the greater Chicagoland—and beyond.
Right now the plan kind of hinges on a decision from Uncle Sam and his buddies at the FAA, but the plan would have Mokulele Airlines arrive at Chicago-Rockford International Airport (not O'Hare and not Midway) as early as March. The flights would be operated as a charter through the airlines’ Mokulele Tours group, as some chilly citizens would be whisked all the way to Honolulu through nonstop flights.