Tag: chicagoView All Tags
From wholesome activities like neighborhood scavenger hunts to an exhibit on the city's gardens, the Windy City is working overtime to supply its glut of summer tourists and even the locals with affordable events to look forward to this summer. Since Chicago remains one of our favorite cities for kicking it urban style, we of course like a few of the events better than others, and yes, they are free.
For visitors to Chicago, a must-do is taking a picture of your own reflection in the smooth, mirrored surface of Anish Kapoor's "Cloud Gate" sculpture at the entrance to Millennium Park. Nicknamed "the Bean," the massive blob holding court at the Michigan Ave entrance to the park is about to get some serious competition for touristic affection on June 19, when the city unveils not one, but two new pavilions which will do more than just sit there and look pretty.
It's that time of the year again, folks: the CN Traveler Hot List Awards! While it's no secret that the recipients of the titles of "Best Hotels," "Best Spas," "Best Nights" and "Best Tables" are often big players in the city scene (hidden gems, these are not), it's always fun to check off where we've been and where we'd give our right arm to have a simple appetizer.
Launching right into those honored for having the best "tables" in the world, we're intrigued by the fact that Dubai only garnered one winner: Ossiano at the new Atlantis Palm Jumeirah Hotel. Wait, but isn't Dubai spending its days and nights tacking up fancy new restaurants who in turn spend their days and nights drizzling gold-tipped china with fancy new sauces? Frankly, we expected more.
Rental Cars / Chicago / Enterprise / Lawsuits / → All Tags
Renting a car can be the highlight of your trip, or it can be something truly different. However, one thing is certain, you’ll be charged all kinds of fees no matter what company you use, what insurance you decline, and whether or not you pop for the GPS thing.
That’s why we’re happy to hear that Enterprise is looking to fight the fees. Yes, they are looking to reduce fees, but it’s also kind of in their best interest, so don't give them an award just yet.
Brunch / Chicago / Food Travel / → All Tags
There's only two more days until Sunday brunch! Hallelujah, we love us some eggs benedict and bellinis. Not to taunt your growing cravings for the same, but you may want to consider switching to a french toast diet after feasting at Chicago's hotspot Toast.
Although their original Lincoln Park location is crowded with strollers and hungover yuppies throughout the weekend, sinking your fork into sumptuous spreads like the artery-clogging "mascarpone stuffed french toast orgy" and the pesto scramble is worth the risk of rubbing elbows with parents of DePaul University students.
What sets this snug spot apart from other brunches in the city is its decidedly Chicago atmosphere; the shelves are covered with vintage toasters, Julius Meinl coffee is on the menu, and the windowsill seats are considered prime. If Lincoln Park just isn't your bag, there's still no excuse as they've got a second location (aptly named Toast 2) in the trendier Bucktown neighborhood, and this one is BYOB. Finally, it's one of the few recession-friendly brunches around, averaging $8 for a meal and an extra $2.50 for the gourmet grounds. We don't leave Chicago without it.
Got a brunch spot to share? Pass it over.
[Photo: Fuchsia Foot]
It just may be the original airport photoshoot: Chicago's Architecture Foundation is paying homage to O'Hare Airport, that great hub on the city's western fringes that usually only receives bad ratings for security wait times. The FREE show, "ORD: Documenting the Definitive Modern Airport," is displaying the vintage photographs from O'Hare's shiny past, before it became the bottleneck it is now.
On display through May 1, the exhibit wants you to get a feel for the buildings of O'Hare free of the departing flight bustle. Influenced by Mies van der Rohe (wasn't everything in Chicago in the '50s and '60s?) yet conceived by Helmut Jahn, O'Hare is known as "Chicago's Versailles," even though we think it's more akin to Chicago's Grande Arche de la Défense; something through which many people pass, but few stop to recognize.
Since nothing excites us more than the combination of free and vintage airport art, we recommend getting down to 224 South Michigan Ave. They've even got a pair of the Eames O'Hare tandem sling seats on display, as well as historical documents and an acoustic installation of airport sounds. Checking out the exhibit may not get you to your flight any faster next time you're at O'Hare, but perhaps it will make you look up and around, quieting your anxiety, and that makes all the difference.
[Photo: Hedrich Blessing]
We're back to the Windy City in this episode of Most Missed. A breezy front swept over Chicago this week, so pull on your sweaters and head out to one of these places to find someone to warm you up:
Roti Mediterranean Grill -- Pull on your "casual" purple jacket and get a date with your pita or sandwich. 10 S. Riverside Dr.
Gaslight -- Mr. Seeks Mr. at this dressed-up bar which also features an American-classics menu and an extensive beer menu. 2426 N Racine Ave.
Cru Wine Bar -- Not a grape specialist? No sweat. Try a flight of wine in this cafe and become savvier than Paul Giamatti in "Sideways." 25 E. Delaware Place
Restaurants / Chicago / Food / → All Tags
Back in April 2006, the Chicago City Council banned restaurants from serving the delicacy foie gras in their restaurants because of concern over the way ducks and geese are force-fed to be fattened up.
However, since the ban has gone in effect, Chicago restaurants are letting the people know they don't give a flying quack about the ban. Here are some of the examples of Chicago's flourishing "duckeasies":
Several restaurants are so brazen, they list foie gras on their online menus....Some owners have tiptoed around the ban by serving the dish under alternate or code names ("I'll have the special lobster" will supposedly score foie gras at one restaurant)....At first...restaurant owners worried their access to foie gras would be limited, and they crafted plots to keep their supply flowing--like getting it mailed to a suburban address for weekly covert pickups.
While the restaurants risk a ticket up to $250 to $500 for serving foie gras, the enforcement protocol for this ban is pretty lax considering that the city has bigger issues to worry about like HIV/AIDS, crime and that upcoming freezing weather.
So if you are visiting Chi-town in the near future--two things, pack your heaviest clothing and pick your restaurant based on your team, either Chefs or Ducks.
Virgin Atlantic just announced that it will start service between Heathrow and Chicago-O'Hare this April. Virgin will fly an Airbus 340-300 on the route, departing from Chicago at 6 p.m. and arriving in Heathrow at 8 a.m. In the reverse direction, flights will depart at 11:15 a.m. and arrive at 2:10 p.m. It's actually a re-start of service; Virgin nixed its Chicago-London route after September 11, according to the Chicago Tribune..
From June on, the 340-300 assigned to the route will include Virgin's new and improved Premium Economy, as well as the usual Upper Class and Economy cabins. The new Premium Economy product provides wider seats (but no extra legroom), a bit more recline, and enhanced AVOD. It's a favorable option between Chicago and Heathrow, given that the competition consists of American, United, Air India and BA. British Airways has a premium economy-type product of its own, but Virgin's made a point of noting that its new Premium Economy seats are wider than BA's World Traveller Plus seats.
· Virgin Atlantic Announces London - Chicago Services [V-Flyer]
The lobby at the Peninsula Chicago offers an absolutely obscene chocolate selection Fridays and Saturdays from 8 p.m. to midnight.
Consider it the Trick or Treat version for adults. But the price is steep-- $26 per person for all you can eat. You may balk at that but seriously, until you've sipped hot chocolate through a white chocolate straw, you don't know chocolate decadence.
If you're a guest at the hotel, here's a little tip on saving money for your chocolate party. Plan your trip to the lobby for approximately 11:45 PM. Order a drink and ask your waiter about the chocolate buffet, eyes wide and shining and innocent. He will regret to inform you that there are only 15 minutes left in the buffet.
However, it IS possible that you could luck out and receive either a free trip to the buffet before the chocolates get thrown out for the night (such a waste), or that the waiter will offer you a cut-price chocolate tasting sampler.
This has worked twice for one of our spies in Chicago. However, it is advised not to outright ask for a deal--better to plan on a relaxing nightcap and see if it's possible to score chocolate at a slashed price. Still, you didn't hear about this unofficial method from us so don't come crying if it doesn't work.
Our spy in Chicago almost regrets even sharing this information with anyone so that she can keep this secret to herself. But it's too sweet not to share.
· Chocolate Stories [Jaunted]
· Chicago Peninsula reviews [TripAdvisor]
Chicago / Halloween / Cemetery / → All Tags
When it's Halloween season in Chicago, only tourists and little kids want to deal with the schlock and crowds at Navy Pier and Great America. The more discriminating ghost-hunters should check out the Chicago Architecture Foundation's tours of Graceland Cemetery, running all October long. The lengthy walking guides include visits to all your favorite characters from Devil in the White City, including Daniel Burnham and Louis Sullivan, plus stops at the most noteworthy and spookiest tombs, like Lorado Taft's "Eternal Silence."
· Highgate Cemetery [Jaunted]
· Navy Fear [NavyPier.com]
Chicago / Craiglist / Missed Connections / Coffee / Gay / → All Tags
We all like to think that somebody has a secret crush on us. And sometimes the loneliest/most egotistical of us cruise Craigslist Missed Connections to see if maybe, possibly, somebody spotted us and thought we were so good-looking they just had to stick it up on the Internet.
If you're hoping to see your own description up on the MC boards, there are a few locales in Chicago (other than the gym or the El) from which several missed connections seem to pop up. Stake your claim at one of these spots. Maybe if you wait long enough, somebody too shy to approach will fall for you:
1585 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Hipster missed connection heaven. Sip coffee, watch the foot traffic and utilize the free WiFi to watch the Craigslit postings come in in real time.
McGee's Tavern & Grille
950 W. Webster Ave.
Great for sports lovers who enjoy hanging out in Lincoln Park but don't necessarily need to drop a lot of cash or drink fancy booze to attract a potential mate.
3500 N. Halsted St.
3025 N. Clark St.
Boystown has no shortage of gay bars, yet, hands-down, the most m4m postings in the area originate at these two neighboring postings of the cozy coffee chain.