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darbs
07-29-2012, 05:46 PM
We are going to Chicago at the end of September and I need your help. You guys were great when I went to Denver! Not sure exactly what hotel we are staying at, but I know it is on the miracle mile. I have never been to Chicago before. What is not to be missed? Where should we eat? Tips, tricks, advice? Share your Chicago knowledge with me!

capncat
07-29-2012, 08:02 PM
hot doug's! if you're even remotely into sausages/hot dogs, it's not to be missed. check out the specials (they change weekly) and menu: Hot Doug's (http://www.hotdougs.com) (for reference, i waited in line, outside, in FEBRUARY, for two hours and it was 100% worth it)

if you're doing the usual chicago touristy stuff, citypass is a great deal and allows you to skip the worst admission lines (which can get Really Long, esp on weekends) and zoom on in. Official Chicago CityPASS® | Visit 5 Chicago Attractions for $84 (http://www.citypass.com/chicago)

the museum of science and industry is one of my faaaavorite museums in chicago: Welcome to The Museum of Science and Industry (http://www.msichicago.org/)

the art institute and museum of contemporary art are good, too

will you have a car or are you planning to use public transport to get around?

capncat
07-29-2012, 08:14 PM
OH and if you're feeling fancy, having a drink at the top of the hancock building is a+ would do again! amazing view, tasty liquorsnacks: Wine Bar & Cocktail Lounge | Signature Lounge at the 96th - Chicago (http://www.signatureroom.com/Signature-Lounge/)

darbs
07-30-2012, 06:28 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions! I am hoping we won't have to rent a car and can just get buy with taking public transportation. That being said, it all depends on what we end up doing. This is a business trip with an extra day tacked on so the company will pay for our transport from the airport to the hotel and back when we leave. I definitely want to check out the Hancock building! I didn't realize there was a lounge up there! That City Pass sounds like it could be good. I'm definitely going to check it out.
We love food! I've already proclaimed that we have to go get real Chicago hot dogs and deep dish pizza. Any restaurant suggestions are greatly appreciated! And we will eat just about anything so don't hesitate. :)

Katy
07-30-2012, 07:47 AM
I have yet to go but I hear great things about this place from a friend :)

Longman & Eagle (http://www.longmanandeagle.com/)

capncat
07-30-2012, 09:00 AM
you can probably get by just fine with just using public transit or cabs, when you need to (even from the airport; the orange line goes directly from midway to the loop/downtown, and the blue line from o'hare). parking is so ungodly expensive (and in some places, scarce and chock full o' meter maids), it might be best avoided if you can get away with it.

for transit directions, hopstop or google transit are great (i have apps for both on my smartphone). while chicago's trains don't go quite everywhere, but they have a fairly extensive bus system to fill in the blanks, if you wish to use it, and the trip planners are really helpful for figuring all that out if you're not accustomed to deciphering bus schedules.

for pizza, giordano's and gino's east are both downtown and supposedly quite authentic chicago deep dish. i've had dinner on gino's patio (they have a roof deck-type thing) and it's nice! late september should be pretty comfy temperature-wise.

darbs
07-30-2012, 11:33 AM
I have yet to go but I hear great things about this place from a friend :)

Longman & Eagle (http://www.longmanandeagle.com/)

I LOVE that they have a PBR breakfast and that it cost MORE to get it without the PBR!!!! I think we are going to have to check it out for sure!

Katy
07-30-2012, 11:39 AM
I LOVE that they have a PBR breakfast and that it cost MORE to get it without the PBR!!!! I think we are going to have to check it out for sure!

Seriously, I had JUST noticed that! Did you check out the rooms!?

This prompted a few close friends and I to plan a trip to Chicago ourselves!

So far we're thinking: Longman & Eagle, Frontera, Violet Hour and perhaps Smoque.

darbs
07-30-2012, 11:49 AM
Those rooms are awesome! I was just going through them for the second time. I think I picked 5 things off the Brunch menu alone I want to eat.

Frontera is so on my list! I LOVE Rick Bayless. I watch him on TV any time I can. I'm just wondering if we need reservations. I was also thinking about Girl & The Goat. I hear it is amazing. I'll have to check out violet hour and smoque! :)

Badger
09-09-2012, 04:07 PM
Hey darbs,
I've been away—otherwise I would have responded sooner. Frontera takes a limited number of reservations, as far as I know, but they book like 2 months in advance. If you are able to go during the week, I think you'll have a better shot than if you go on Friday or Saturday, obviously. Bayless's flagship restaurant, Topolobampo, takes loads of reservations, so if you want a guaranteed Bayless dinner, I'd suggest that.

Around the Mag Mile, I really like the Purple Pig, which has an amazing selection of wines by the glass, and some beautiful charcuterie, if you're into that. Somewhere on this forum, I posted some pics of a giant meat plate that you can check out. You can get reservations there, and it's a fun place. Recently, we also had a really nice meal at Quartino, which also has some really great antipasti, and a drinkable if unremarkable Aperol spritz.

You MUST go to Violet Hour if you like cocktails. It's my favorite bar of all time, and they have Genevieve gin, which makes an amazing julep, incidentally. One night a couple years back, when I was overcome with applying-for-an-academic-job-in-a-horrible-downward-economy stress, and after overdosing on Red Bull and Starburst (don't ask me how that went), I had an Angostura Fizz at Violet Hour. I can attest that I would not be typing this today were it not for that reviving potable. Yes. I would have died. VH is good when you're happy, too, though. We went there once for cocktails before going to Alinea for dinner and felt like freaking rock stars.

If you're going to do the deep dish thing, I like Pizzeria Due, but that might just be because it's my friend's favorite place and her enthusiasm is infectious.

Let me know if G&G works out for you—I've never managed to get in.

dorayme
09-09-2012, 04:38 PM
Hi Badger waves

Lani
09-09-2012, 04:58 PM
Do not, as in DO NOT miss the opportunity to eat some authentic Chicago-style deep-dish pizza! You can't go wrong by going to places like Gino's East or Lou Malnati's. They layer their pizzas "upside down" with the cheese on the bottom right above the dough. They're like two inches deep and they are to die for!!

Badger
12-02-2012, 03:47 PM
I'm giving this thread a little bump because in ten days I'm going to Chicago on a nerdcation of epic proportions. There won't, as far as I know, be any deep dish or PBR breakfasts on this trip, but I'll be sure to post pictures and links to all the places I go.

And, why yes, I do have a packing list to share; I'll get that up once packing is in progress and I have pictures to go along.

GuyB
12-02-2012, 04:33 PM
I'm giving this thread a little bump because in ten days I'm going to Chicago on a nerdcation of epic proportions. There won't, as far as I know, be any deep dish or PBR breakfasts on this trip, but I'll be sure to post pictures and links to all the places I go.

And, why yes, I do have a packing list to share; I'll get that up once packing is in progress and I have pictures to go along.

Details of nerdcation, please! :-)

Badger
12-03-2012, 12:43 PM
Details of nerdcation, please! :-)

In writing the word "nerdcation," I realized that to many people what we're doing is not really that nerdy. It might even fall more into the "lame" camp. Kiddo and I write things together, and we're going to Chicago in order to do a big project—something in the 100+ page range, which for us means writing something in the 200-page range and editing it the hell down. We're also going there to do research for another project. So, we have blocks of time scheduled to write, along with trips to the Conservatory, the museum of contemporary art, and the Newberry Library. Okay, never mind, this is sounding nerdy.

The less nerdy part of the trip involves copious drinking and getting piercings (because, as you all know, we're sixteen and just got awesome fake IDs).

What would be really nerdy: going to see A Klingon Christmas Carol (http://www.cbtheatre.org/). We're not planning on doing that, but I will entertain your attempts to persuade us.

Janine
12-03-2012, 01:06 PM
What would be really nerdy: going to see A Klingon Christmas Carol (http://www.cbtheatre.org/). We're not planning on doing that, but I will entertain your attempts to persuade us.

OH
MY
GOOGLE

How can you NOT go see that?

I'm afraid that I might need to download a copy of your packing photos and fauxtoshop some frilly pink panties onto what I'm sure will be tidy stacks of boring black and grey. I wonder which will get more likes, your original packing photos or my enhanced versions. Hmm.

Janine
12-03-2012, 01:09 PM
Details of nerdcation, please! :-)

Nerd vacation. :-)

Badger
12-03-2012, 01:22 PM
tidy stacks of boring black and grey.

Not true. I'm bringing at least one blue shirt with me.

Uh, no comment on the pink chonies.

Janine
12-03-2012, 01:31 PM
Not true. I'm bringing at least one blue shirt with me.

I'll believe it when I see a picture of you wearing it in front of a famous Chicago landmark.

ps. This was a fun place to get a burger and fries: Ed Debevics (http://www.eddebevics.com/)

gochicken
12-03-2012, 02:11 PM
I'll believe it when I see a picture of you wearing it in front of a famous Chicago landmark.



Ed Debevics! Wow... forgot all about it!
And then there's the Wrigley building, or Water Tower, or on Navy Pier with the skyline in the back, or in front of the Drake Hotel, or next to the Lions at the Art Institute? It's all bringing back memories for me... I spent 6 years there way back in the 80's! Enjoy your trip, Badger! :)

TavaPeak
12-03-2012, 02:48 PM
Like the Assyrian style bas-relief for the Klingon thing. Guess you'll have to watch some Big Bang Theory episodes and bone up on your Klingon.

conversa
12-04-2012, 09:39 AM
My recent sunrise breakfast at NoMI (Park Hyatt) was at once majestic and serene.

Badger
12-05-2012, 10:08 AM
NoMI looks fancy, and legit: they have a Corpse Reviver on the brunch menu, and you can get all sorts of hooch in the foo-foo hot chocolate they serve in the afternoon.

Here's one detail I'm ready to spill now: going to Avec (http://avecrestaurant.com/menus/3-dinner-menu#). Not pre-Klingon on apres-Klingon, sadly.

ncb4
12-14-2012, 05:03 AM
My ears picked up at the mention of the Newbery Library: would this project have something to do with children's literature (my bailiwick)? Your trip sounds awesome, and you should most definitely go see the Klingon Christmas Carol: you have to do it for me, as my proxy! I'm stuck here in Georgia with my Franken-neck.

~Nancy

Badger
12-14-2012, 06:27 AM
My ears picked up at the mention of the Newbery Library: would this project have something to do with children's literature (my bailiwick)? Your trip sounds awesome, and you should most definitely go see the Klingon Christmas Carol: you have to do it for me, as my proxy! I'm stuck here in Georgia with my Franken-neck.

~Nancy

Hi Nancy,
I'm so excited about going to the Newberry, I can't even tell you. The project does not have anything to do with children's literature (and if you met me and Kiddo, you wouldn't want us within ten miles of the genre), but if I see any amazing picture books or YA novels on display and I'm allowed, I'll get a (craptastic) photo for you.

We are. Um. Considering spending an evening with the Klingons. But then, I'm also a stingy, humorless petaQ. (Is this the first time someone's used Klingon on the forum? If so, I demand admiration and applause, and please don't break my glasses.)

TavaPeak
12-14-2012, 09:30 AM
Qapla', Badger! (Do I get to mention here that I got in to an MFA program this week? ;-)

ncb4
12-14-2012, 11:14 AM
Qapla', Badger! (Do I get to mention here that I got in to an MFA program this week? ;-)

I don't actually speak Klingon, so how would I tell you congratulations, TavaPeak? That's wonderful news. Where is it, and when will you start?

ncb4
12-14-2012, 11:29 AM
Hi Nancy,
I'm so excited about going to the Newberry, I can't even tell you. The project does not have anything to do with children's literature (and if you met me and Kiddo, you wouldn't want us within ten miles of the genre), but if I see any amazing picture books or YA novels on display and I'm allowed, I'll get a (craptastic) photo for you.

We are. Um. Considering spending an evening with the Klingons. But then, I'm also a stingy, humorless petaQ. (Is this the first time someone's used Klingon on the forum? If so, I demand admiration and applause, and please don't break my glasses.)

My sister and her family are going to be in Chicago right before Christmas, so since I can't attend, I forwarded her the link and suggested they go. They did not respond with the same effervescent enthusiasm with which I wrote. Hmm. I am so different from my three sisters that they've always joked I might have been switched at birth. But after my email they are acting as if they want to hire a PI and prove that I am some sort of changeling and not a blood relative. ;) All because I truly think it would be amazing to attend the Klingon Christmas Carol.

Of course, I might have to actually learn some Klingon first. So although I can guess from context that being a stingy, humorless petaQ is the same sort of epithet that might be flung at Ebenezer Scrooge in the KCC, I'm still not sure precisely what the word means.

And don't be so sure that I wouldn't want you and Kiddo near the YA genre. It's not all Beatrix Potter, thank goodness. Jack Gantos, who has received two Newbery medals—his middle grade novel won the Newbery Gold this past January—says he learned to write when he was incarcerated in a federal penitentiary at the tender age of nineteen. [He says he spent eighteen months there instead of going to college—or sailing around the world, which was his original plan—all because of a slight misunderstanding about whether it was a good idea to accept packages with unknown contents from so-called friends and transport said parcels on one's boat. How do you say "oops" in Klingon?] I've had the privilege of having lunch with him, and of hearing him speak a couple of times, and he is one of the few people on the planet who can literally make me fall off my chair laughing—and this is when he simply tells stories about his life. Kids love his books, so I'm betting that kids would really respond to your sense of humor as well.

~Nancy

TavaPeak
12-15-2012, 07:25 AM
I don't actually speak Klingon, so how would I tell you congratulations, TavaPeak? That's wonderful news. Where is it, and when will you start?

That's the only Klingon I know! I'll be doing a low-residency creative nonfiction MFA program in Tacoma. Which may mean a trip to Bihn Mecca at some point...

Badger
12-15-2012, 10:03 AM
Qapla', Badger! (Do I get to mention here that I got in to an MFA program this week? ;-)

NO WAY!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! Where?

Badger
12-15-2012, 10:40 AM
That's the only Klingon I know! I'll be doing a low-residency creative nonfiction MFA program in Tacoma. Which may mean a trip to Bihn Mecca at some point...

What wonderful news! I'm looking forward to reading your essays.

TavaPeak
12-17-2012, 06:52 AM
Already mulling which Bihn bag goes with me...

Janine
12-17-2012, 10:05 AM
Here's one detail I'm ready to spill now: going to Avec (http://avecrestaurant.com/menus/3-dinner-menu#). Not pre-Klingon on apres-Klingon, sadly.

Wow. I don't see any nuggets on the menu. Classy!

darbs
12-18-2012, 06:18 AM
Check out The Purple Pig (http://thepurplepigchicago.com/)!!! The menu has some more interesting items, but it is sooo good! The best meal I ate while in Chicago by far. There was a wait when we went for dinner. They said it would be an hour plus, but I think we only ended up waiting like 30 minutes if that. The tables are all crammed together, but the food is amazing. Do NOT get the milk braised shoulder roast though! It is the dish they are supposedly most well-known for, but it was mediocre at best. There are tons of better things to try.