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Going to Chicago....what to do, see, stay, etc.


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#21 VenusStopsTrain2

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 06:36 PM

For hotels in Chicago...

If you are going to be up near Lincoln Park I recommend the Days Inn Lincoln Park. It's pretty secure, they have a good breakfast, an internet computer in the lobby, and you have to use your room key to get into the elevator :) The rooms are clean and pretty good size, and I think there was a fridge in our room which is always handy.

If you are going to stay downtown check out Hotels.com
Three Dollars and I got a room using that and we saved tons of money plus the hotel was 4 star and right on the river. We were able to walk all over, and the free trolley stopped right outside the hotel. Sorry, it was the Hyatt. Pretty nice place to stay. The funny thing was when we checked in the lady asked if we wanted to upgrade to a room with 'a view' for $20 more. And we were like..nooo we won't be here long enough anyway. But we got up to our room and had an AMAZING view. I took a ton of photos of it and I think Three Dollars did as well. Everything about the room was top notch and I was even able to check my bag for free the next day after we checked out so that I could walk around town before catching the train home :)

#22 alison the wilca

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 07:45 PM

Speaking of the Calument Fisheries, I just recently (in the last two weeks) had a shrimp lunch there. It is as good as advertised, but they have something even better (Shrimp are expensive and not native to the midwest) which is their smoked salmon. Calument was closed for a few months when some idiot crashed into the front of their place, but they are reopened. I ate the shrimp and then went back for salmon which I took home. Afterwards I had a chat with the owner who was actually smoking them out on the side in a large smoker. OMG it was great stuff, not cheap, but so good. This is one of the last place of its kind (there was another on North Ave which has been driven out by development-on the North Ave bridge) and there was one on another part of the north branch but I think that also was driven out by development as well. No development on the southeast side. Not yet anyway. Perhaps some day there will be a casino there, which would be about right. The parks on the lake on the southside are pretty amazing too, both Rainbow Beach and the Calument Harbor area.


Oh good! I felt a little weird recommending a place I've never eaten at, so I'm glad you can back it up. I want to do a trip to SW Michigan (I love Michigan) along US41/12 all the way and stop at the Fisheries, the Dunes, etc. I was actually down in Chicago's "East Side" neighborhood recently (most Chicagoans will say there is no east side, but there is! It is the neighborhood name for the little piece of the city that juts east and borders IN). It is extremely depressed since there are long standing factories shutting down all the time, but you can also see the soul of the working-class people trying to survive. I agree that there are some incredible things to see down there.

I am also taking pics of the storefront churches that abound in Chicago throughout the south and west sides. We may have more churches than anywhere on earth.

I think I saw a recent article (chicago tribune sunday magazine, maybe?) about all the storefront churches. There really are an infinite number of them!

#23 sweetheart-mine

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 07:47 PM

louieb, this is F A N T A S T I C ! i feel like hopping on the train this minute and losing myself in chicago.
it's great reading anyhow because you just have a way, and your outlook sparks out all over the place.
thanks a lot.

#24 LouieB

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 08:07 PM

Oh good! I felt a little weird recommending a place I've never eaten at, so I'm glad you can back it up. I want to do a trip to SW Michigan (I love Michigan) along US41/12 all the way and stop at the Fisheries, the Dunes, etc. I was actually down in Chicago's "East Side" neighborhood recently (most Chicagoans will say there is no east side, but there is! It is the neighborhood name for the little piece of the city that juts east and borders IN). It is extremely depressed since there are long standing factories shutting down all the time, but you can also see the soul of the working-class people trying to survive. I agree that there are some incredible things to see down there.


I think I saw a recent article (chicago tribune sunday magazine, maybe?) about all the storefront churches. There really are an infinite number of them!

Yea, the storefront church thing is not something very original I admit. There truly are an infinite number. Although I am sure there are other such institutions in other cities, somehow Chicago has really developed them into some sort of an oddball art form. Because of my job I have actually visited several and if they appear interesting from the outside, I bet the actual church services are really really interesting. I have to go spend a bunch of time in one called Bibleway down around 45th and Ashland sometime next week.

This is true some Chicagoans, only ones that are not really from Chicago, will tell you there is no southeast side, but clearly there is. People believe this because there is no east side on the northside so how could there be one on somewhere else. It certainly is depressed. The guy from the Fisheries kept saying to me "Tell your friends to come on down," and talked about how there used to be Jews down there that bought smoked salmon and such by the load. I just kept thinking three things, one it is a long way to go for smoked fish, two that there were some really nice houses down there that I bet are dirt cheap, and three that it is just a matter of time before the place looks like Wicker Park. (Incidentally the Vrdoliak Law Firm is down there as well...) This place is on the lake and it is just a matter of time before some developers figure out it is a pretty nice place, if cleaned up a bit, since it is right on the southshore railroad line (well sort of.) and the developers are going to run out of other places to tear down and put up new condos.

LouieB

#25 alison the wilca

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 01:20 PM

why hasn't this been pinned yet?

#26 LouieB

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 01:21 PM

why hasn't this been pinned yet?

Not sure...I PMed Wendy immediately.....and it is all so facinating... :lol

LouieB

#27 Clay Eals

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 03:44 PM

Good to see your implied reference to "Lincoln Park Pirates" by Steve Goodman. He often doesn't get his due. You might be interested in my 800-page biography, "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music." The book delves deeply into the genesis of XXX.

You can find out more at my Internet site (below). Amazingly, the book's first printing sold out in just eight months, all 5,000 copies, and a second printing of 5,000 is available now. The second printing includes hundreds of little updates and additions, including 30 more photos for a total of 575. It just won a 2008 IPPY (Independent Publishers Association) silver medal for biography: http://www.independe...e.php?page=1231. To order a second-printing copy, see the "online store" page of my site. Just trying to spread word about the book. Feel free to do the same!

Clay Eals
1728 California Ave. S.W. #301
Seattle, WA 98116-1958

(206) 935-7515
(206) 484-8008
ceals@comcast.net
http://www.clayeals.com

#28 Tweedy's Gurl

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 07:23 PM

i may be a vegetarian....but i still love spam!!!

#29 LouieB

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 07:56 PM

Yea, I can't believe it. The guy is from Seattle of all places too. I had no idea Google bored down into message boards like this. What an intrepid promoter of his book.

By the way the street out in front of the Old Town School in Lincoln Square is named after Steve, although Steve really had little to do with the OTS. He was a folk singer in Chicago (and good buddy of John Prine), but was not a teacher at OTS as far as I know (not going to read thisn 800 page book to find out either...). So it has always been a mystery to me why they chose to have the street named after him. Seems like a figure who was close to the school should have gotten that honor.

Hey is this thing being pinned or what??

LouieB

#30 Clay Eals

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 08:49 PM

I can try to answer the question about Goodman and the Old Town School. He took several classes there in summer 1962 when he was 14, and he often came came back through the late 1960s and into the 1970s to be an informal teacher. He played many benefits for the school as well. He was as much at the hub of the Chicago folk scene as the OTS, a huge spiritual influence if not an in-person, day-by-day presence. Probably the most important and tangible factor is that "City of New Orleans" long ago became the anthem of the Old Town School. No one learning guitar at OTS gets out of there without learning the song.

Nice to be called intrepid. I didn't think my previous message would be considered spam, which I understand to be random messages without any direct connection to the recipient. Yes, I do use Google Alerts (a great tool) to learn of the half-dozen or so new Internet references to Goodman that pop up every day, and in the lion's share of cases, people who indicate their awareness of Goodman seem genuinely grateful to know about the book on him. If I've learned one thing from this nine-year project, it's that Goodman people are everywhere!

Clay Eals
1728 California Ave. S.W. #301
Seattle, WA 98116-1958

(206) 935-7515 (home)
(206) 484-8008 (cell)
ceals@comcast.net
http://www.clayeals.com

#31 Duck-Billed Catechist

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 11:48 PM

I'm going to give Clay a call in an hour or two to discuss whether this is spam or not.

#32 LouieB

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 05:00 AM

Wow, okay. I am a Goodman fan to be sure. There are Goodman fans every I am also sure. He did move to California before his untimely death. Considering he pitched the song City of New Orleans to Arlo Guthrie at the Quiet Knight, I always figured he should be immortalized with that stretch on Belmont instead. Or maybe in Old Town where he found his initial success at the former Earl of Old Town, or maybe on Lincoln and Belmont near Somebody Else's Troubles was.

Hey Clay you a Wilco fan or what?? Jeff has also sung and taught at the OTS and performed at Folk and Roots Fest. Let's name a street after him there too. Hell the OTS even has a Wilco ensemble to boot.

LouieB

#33 Jules

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 09:01 AM

Nice to be called intrepid. I didn't think my previous message would be considered spam, which I understand to be random messages without any direct connection to the recipient.

still spam

#34 imdwalrus

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 12:52 PM

Lou,

#1, I appreciate you not mentioning the south side team in this thread.

#2, Von Freeman this Tuesday?

#35 LouieB

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 04:59 PM

Lou,

#1, I appreciate you not mentioning the south side team in this thread.

#2, Von Freeman this Tuesday?

Thanks...go Sox....add your insight, cause i know you have some.

Von Tuesday....maybe....

Thanks for the pin....

LouieB

#36 PopTodd

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 07:30 AM

One of my parent's best friends is Steve Goodman's first cousin, and looks exactly like him.
That said, I never met the man, but yeah, I am a fan.
"A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request" is among my favorite baseball songs:

By the shore's of old Lake Michigan
Where the "hawk wind" blows so cold
An old Cub fan lay dying
In his midnight hour that tolled
Round his bed, his friends had all gathered
They knew his time was short
And on his head they put this bright blue cap
From his all-time favorite sport
He told them, "Its late and its getting dark in here"
And I know its time to go
But before I leave the line-up
Boys, there's just one thing I'd like to know

Do they still play the blues in Chicago
When baseball season rolls around
When the snow melts away,
Do the Cubbies still play
In their ivy-covered burial ground
When I was a boy they were my pride and joy
But now they only bring fatigue
To the home of the brave
The land of the free
And the doormat of the National League

Told his friends "You know the law of averages says:
Anything will happen that can"
That's what it says
"But the last time the Cubs won a National League pennant
Was the year we dropped the bomb on Japan"
The Cubs made me a criminal
Sent me down a wayward path
They stole my youth from me
(that's the truth)
I'd forsake my teachers
To go sit in the bleachers
In flagrant truancy

and then one thing led to another
and soon I'd discovered alcohol, gambling, dope
football, hockey, lacrosse, tennis
But what do you expect,
When you raise up a young boy's hopes
And then just crush 'em like so many paper beer cups.

Year after year after year
after year, after year, after year, after year, after year
'Til those hopes are just so much popcorn
for the pigeons beneath the 'L' tracks to eat
He said, "You know I'll never see Wrigley Field, anymore before my eternal rest
So if you have your pencils and your score cards ready,
and I'll read you my last request
He said, "Give me a double header funeral in Wrigley Field
On some sunny weekend day (no lights)
Have the organ play the "National Anthem"
and then a little 'na, na, na, na, hey hey, hey, Goodbye'
Make six bullpen pitchers, carry my coffin
and six ground keepers clear my path
Have the umpires bark me out at every base
In all their holy wrath
Its a beautiful day for a funeral, Hey Ernie lets play two!
Somebody go get Jack Brickhouse to come back,
and conduct just one more interview
Have the Cubbies run right out into the middle of the field,
Have Keith Moreland drop a routine fly
Give everybody two bags of peanuts and a frosty malt
And I'll be ready to die

Build a big fire on home plate out of your Louisville Sluggers baseball bats,
And toss my coffin in
Let my ashes blow in a beautiful snow
From the prevailing 30 mile an hour southwest wind
When my last remains go flying over the left-field wall
Will bid the bleacher bums ad?eu
And I will come to my final resting place, out on Waveland Avenue

The dying man's friends told him to cut it out
They said stop it that's an awful shame
He whispered, "Don't Cry, we'll meet by and by near the Heavenly Hall of Fame
He said, "I've got season's tickets to watch the Angels now,
So its just what I'm going to do
He said, "but you the living, you're stuck here with the Cubs,
So its me that feels sorry for you!"

And he said, "Ahh Play, play that lonesome losers tune,
That's the one I like the best"
And he closed his eyes, and slipped away
What we got is the Dying Cub Fan's Last Request
And here it is

Do they still play the blues in Chicago
When baseball season rolls around
When the snow melts away,
Do the Cubbies still play
In their ivy-covered burial ground
When I was a boy they were my pride and joy
But now they only bring fatigue
To the home of the brave
The land of the free
And the doormat of the National League



#37 OOO

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 10:18 AM

My dad and his cousin were lifelong Cubs fans, and so when my Dad's cousin passed on my dad (as requested) took his ashes and scattered them on the infield of Wrigley, during a guided tour in the offseason. (This practice is not allowed and I think my dad said he had to keep most of the ashes in his pants pocket or jacket or something and do it discretely). Apparently though they redid the infield or something right after this, so I doubt there's much of him left on there.

Sports fans are weird.

#38 LouieB

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 03:41 PM

I must say, the Reader's best of 2008 offers a ton of cool stuff to do, eat, listen to, etc, for the next year. This is one time I would suggest getting the actual paper, which of course out of towners can't do. I plan to throw this in my car, since there are places I have passed and wondered about many times and not gone in and others I will look for on my travels around town.

There are places I forgot to mention in the original article (Dusty Grooves record store...expensive but very fun) and there are tons of restaurants and clubs and such I never would have thought of or even known about in the first place. Online things are by topic so you have to click a bit to get the info, but it is worth it. VC fave Jeff Parker gets a mention as well as LouieB fave Nicole Mitchell in terms of local music talent. Of course VC fave the Hideout gets a nice nod as well.

LouieB

#39 LouieB

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 01:22 PM

As much as I keep hating to talk about this...(yea right), I had a food epiphany yesterday in Albany Park, where I ate twice. You could spend two weeks just in Albany Park and never eat at the same place twice. The epicenter of Albany Park is Kedzie and Lawrence so you can get to this neighborhood fairly easily off one of the stops on the Brown Line. The stretch along Kedzie, north and south of Lawrence has great middle eastern places, both fancy and fast food oriented. There are bakeries and butchers and all sorts of cool middle eastern stores. West of Kedzie on Lawrence is the Korean area, but Korean restaurants also extend up to the strip along Bryn Mawr west of Kedzie as well. The strip along Lawrence from Western to California has an incredible mix of bakeries, coffee shops and restaurants of all ethnic varieties including what is one of my new favorite places, the Nhu Lan Bakery with cheap and very good Vietnamese sandwhiches (ban mi), but also in that same four block area is a place that has great pupusas from Central America, Mexican groceries, a Cuban sandwhich place, Greek bakeries and coffe shops, a live poultry store where you can get fresh killed poultry (if you are so inclined), and probably a dozen other places I have never explored. This type of multi-ethnic mixing is not unheard of, but the wide variety of ethnic eateries in such close proximity to one another (in fact right next door to one another), makes time spent in this neighborhood sort of unique I think. Not to mention all the places are fairly inexpensive.

Also on that stretch is the Cambodian Association of IL which is developing a national monument to the Cambodian Killing Fields. I mention this, because Brother Ray (my son) got a summer job helping to set up the tours for this site. I worked with the organization years ago when it was in Uptown. Through relentless fundraising and support from other organizations, this site is being set through hard work and persistance. It is right next to the north branch of the Chicago River and will some day feature an outdoor garden. I spoke to the director yesterday, someone I worked with 20 years ago. and he urged me to encourge people to stop by; so I am. Because of the rich ethnic heritage of the many neighborhoods, particularly some of the smaller ethnic groups on the northside, many small museums have sprung up in recent years. Actually there is a museum for nearly every ethnic group as I mentioned in the larger article, but now these smaller groups are also stepping up to promote their ethnic heritage as well. But a memorial to the nightmarish events in Cambodia during the late 1970s will be an exciting, if sobering monument to a genocide that really must not be forgotten.

So you can both eat well and reflect on the larger issues of the world in Albany Park, only one small area, but one rich with ethnic abundance.

LouieB

#40 MrRain422

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 08:44 PM

I've never been to Albany Park and had no idea what it had to offer. One of the great things about this city -- I've only been here a few years but I think I will discover new neighborhoods with great restaurants and shops pretty much forever.

By the way, Lou, are you going to P4K? Haven't seen you in a long time.




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