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If you're a Chicago local giving in to a "staycation" this summer or a tourist keeping your trips domestic, the city is going to try their best to attract you down to their newest, hottest spot: President Obama's former residence.
Located on the south side of the city in the Hyde Park neighborhood, the Obama house is just one stop on the free walking tours leaving every Saturday from June 6 to September 26 at 10am thru 3pm from the Hyde Park Arts Center. Now you know we love free stuff, and so this tour appeals in terms of cost (none!) and historical and architectural significance.
When you aren't snapping pics of Obama's street, you're "Instagreeter" guide will take you by Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House and the University of Chicago. Tours are first-come, first-served and no reservations are needed; simply show up at the Arts Center and relish being away from the typical tourist traps of downtown and the north side.
· New InstaGreeter Outpost in Hyde Park Features Free Walks of President Obama’s Neighborhood [ExploreChicago]
· Chicago Offers Free Walks through Obama's Neighborhood [TravelPulse]
· Chicago's 'Bean' To Get Some Serious Competition This Summer [Jaunted]
· Chicago Travel Coverage [Jaunted]
[Obama's House photo: Abitare]
Chicago called and it wants you to get more active. Or at least that's the message we're getting from the Chicago Office of Tourism's new site Explore Chicago, a dynamic (at least in name) change from its former web-home ChooseChicago.com.
ExploreChicago.org shares a background color and a similar slow rotation of chipper photos with its predecessor, but it gives more on-page real estate to newsy items like hotel deals and anything involving Barack Obama. (Not surprising -- banners with the Shepard Fairey Obama design still carpeted downtown when we were there a few weeks ago.)
We're liking the event search on the front page and the "Travel Tools" pull-down menu, although we're skeptical about this Insider Profile -- would mild-mannered Lin really join the drunken crowds at The Wiener's Circle? [NSFW!]
We're guessing the website enhancements could be tied to the Windy City's bid for the 2016 Summer Games as it faces off against 2012 finalist Madrid, 1964 host Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro, which could become the first South American city to host. Chicago won't learn its fate till October, when the IOC meets in Copenhagen, but it's never too early to put on that welcoming face.
· Wide-Eyed Travel: The Death-Defying Chicago Air and Water Show [Jaunted]
· Sorry Chicago: Virgin America Is Headed To Boston [Jaunted]
· Chicago Tourism coverage [Jaunted]
This past Saturday the Chicago River once again went green for St. Patrick's Day. Yes, Chicago folks have been doing this since 1962.
If you remember, last year we caught Good Luck Bear pouring oozing green sludge into the Chicago River in broad daylight. Last year we questioned the motives of the Care Bears and asked: environmental terrorists or festive tourism promoters?
This year new evidence has come to our attention from both CNN and blog scientists. CNN says that Chicago uses a "secret orange dye," which sounds downright sinister and makes us half expect to see a giant red M&M dumping the dye into the river. However, those at scienceblogs.com suggest the dye is nothing more than fluorescein. Either way, some in Chicago claim the river looks green without the "dye" or the fluorescein.
Photo of this weekend's dye job above, while after the jump there is a Google map of the dye free river.
This weekend, Good Luck Bear, a member of the Care Bears, who are, without a doubt, the cockroaches of pop culture, was photographed pouring oozing green sludge into the Chicago River in broad daylight.
Chicago famously dyes their river green on an annual basis to celebrate St. Patrick's day.
The tradition started in 1962, when city pollution-control workers used dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges and realized that the green dye might provide a unique way to celebrate the holiday. That year, they released 100 pounds of green vegetable dye into the river, and it stayed green for an entire week.
Today, in order to minimize environmental damage, only forty pounds of dye are used. The river remains green for approximately twenty four hours.
The jury is still out on weather the Care Bears are environmental terrorists or festive tourism promoters.
Luckily, we aim to please both groups:
· If you view the Care Bears as evil doers? Click Here.
· Think the Care Bears are bringing joy to Chicago? Click Here.