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


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Some of the best cheese fries in town are at Max's way up on Western Ave (5900 N and 2400 W) on the far north side. They also truly have some of the best Italian Beef in the city as well. They have no other locations.

 

A trip to this part of town is also an excuse to visit Rosehill Cemetary (right across the street) which is the largest cemetary within the city limits. I have spent many an afternoon there among the monuments and mausoleums. Great place for a little respit (take a Max's lunch for an all around good time.)

 

LouieB

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Great Pepper and Egg sandwich at Max's, too. :thumbup

This is true...gotta get me one of them, now that you mention it. Luckily it is half a mile from my pad.

 

Apropos of nothing other than we are both jazz fans; did you see a new jazz club opened up on North Ave? Gotta check that out sometime. Looks like they are booking mostly mainstream stuff, but it might be worth a trip. Name....Blujazz...

 

LouieB

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We're thinking of doing the Amtrack thing from Cleveland to Chicago. Maybe this summer. Might be fun to watch the Tribe get clobbered by the Sox not at a ballfield with my company's name plastered all over the place. Would definitely get bus passes.

Take the AmTrak, really?? Doesn't it go in the middle of the night? I understand the Megabus is pretty inexpensive and leaves at more human hours. I have taken the train a time or two from Cleveland (my former hometown). It is an adventure I suppose.

 

LouieB

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Apropos of nothing other than we are both jazz fans; did you see a new jazz club opened up on North Ave? Gotta check that out sometime. Looks like they are booking mostly mainstream stuff, but it might be worth a trip. Name....Blujazz...

 

LouieB

 

I remember reading about (in the Trib?) a while back. A new club (of any kind) in this city is always welcomed.

 

It appears Ernest Dawkins has a weekly gig (Monday nights). 5 Bucks and at 7:30pm (an early show :lol) .

 

Club Blujazz homepage

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I remember reading about (in the Trib?) a while back. A new club (of any kind) in this city is always welcomed.

 

It appears Ernest Dawkins has a weekly gig (Monday nights). 5 Bucks and at 7:30pm (an early show :lol) .

 

Club Blujazz homepage

That's very cool, since the bulk of their schedule that I have seen is pretty mainstream.

 

On an different jazz note - see the jazz thread....

 

LouieB

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  • 1 month later...

I haven't added much to this lately, nor has anyone else.

 

I have two suggestions not unlike other suggestions.

 

Take a ride up Lincoln Avenue. Start just north of North Avenue and drive all the way to Lincolnwood. Along the way you go through some of the most interesting neighborhoods in the city (many mentioned in other posts) past great stores, restaurants, bars and clubs. If you only have a limited amount of time to see the city and want to experience it in a hurry this is good way to go. Actually you could walk it, ride a bike take the buses or drive. Hopefully some others will chime in on their favorite destinations on Lincoln Ave. Since it goes diagonally, it will take you through both gentrified and non-gentrified neighborhoods, ending up at "the Bend", the area where there used to be lots of motels (none of which I would suggest staying at now.)

 

On the other side of town, for an experience you won't get on the standard tourist books, check out the southside, particularly Engelwood. I drove around 51st street west of the Dan Ryan expressway today. The empty lots, boarded up homes, and some seriously depressed business districts, are interesting in exactly the opposite way that Lincoln Ave is interesting. If you want to see how much of America isn't fareing, see something entirely different for a change. Just an idea, but do be careful.

 

LouieB

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That's pretty much the heart of the Gold Coast and North end of the Magnificent Mile, meaning it's probably the safest part of the city with regards to a police presence. But as with all large cities, pay attention your immediate surroundings. It's pretty crowded through-out the whole day/night.

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I haven't added much to this lately, nor has anyone else.

 

I have two suggestions not unlike other suggestions.

 

On the other side of town, for an experience you won't get on the standard tourist books, check out the southside, particularly Engelwood. I drove around 51st street west of the Dan Ryan expressway today. The empty lots, boarded up homes, and some seriously depressed business districts, are interesting in exactly the opposite way that Lincoln Ave is interesting. If you want to see how much of America isn't fareing, see something entirely different for a change. Just an idea, but do be careful.

 

LouieB

 

Taking the Green Line (CTA) can give you good perspective of the South Side. At times I walk up to the 51st stop and take it downtown. I believe it runs down to 63rd Street. Up on the elevated train, you can see all the empty lots. Depressing as all hell. But you also get to see some of the new buildings that was happening before this recent economic mess.

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Taking the Green Line (CTA) can give you good perspective of the South Side. At times I walk up to the 51st stop and take it downtown. I believe it runs down to 63rd Street. Up on the elevated train, you can see all the empty lots. Depressing as all hell. But you also get to see some of the new buildings that was happening before this recent economic mess.

No trip to Chicago should be completed without taking a ride or two to the end of one of the el lines and back. I have not had any reason to take the Green line, but this is a great suggestion. (I have recommended the Brown and Orange lines...) The green line does run through some pretty interesting neighboorhoods on both the south and west sides. It is certainly a good way to see these parts of town if you don't have a car. Someday I need to do this. The Green line runs down the middle of Bronzville, past IIT and into some of the neighboroods I mentioned in my post. Meanwhile the western branch of this line goes down Lake St through the heart of the west side to Oak Park. I need to dump my car someday and do this.

 

LouieB

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  • 1 month later...

I casually monitor this thread to see if folks are still reading it and I am sometimes both shocked and pleased that they still do.

 

If you have accessed this thread, gotten this far, and have suggestions and recommendations, I know I would appreciate feedback and further suggestions from those who visit. What was your experience?? What kind of interesting things did you find or do and what would you avoid in the future. I know some people have different experience and interests and I am constantly learning new things about the city.

 

So if you can log back on after experiencing Chicago, please drop a new posting on all of us for future reference. Thanks.

 

LouieB

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  • 3 months later...

I may have mentioned this before, but I am in Springfield, IL this week and want to mention it again today.

 

If you are out getting your kicks on Rt 66 on the Wilco trail between Chicago and Bellville, do stop in Springfield and visit Recycled Records here in Springfield, particularly if you are a vinyl collector. Even if you are not and simply want to start, this is a good place to go. Recycled isn't hip like Reckless or Lauries or really any of the other indie stores in Chicago, but it does have more LPs than any of those places. It also doesn't have any indie cred, so you will have to get your newer and hipper LPs back in Chicago (although they do have new stuff mixed in with the old), but if you are looking for older stuff, this is the place to go. They have a huge $2 bin of more common titles, so you can walk out with an armful of great stuff to listen to for no money. If you dig a bit in the rest of the bins you can find obscure rock, jazz, country, male and female vocalists, soul, comedy, blues, folk and all sorts of other material. They also have lots of new and used CDs, even the cheapie sections have reasonable stuff to listen to. They also have hi-fi equipment for cheap and other collectables. Lots of box sets, DVDs, magazines, used jewelry, cameras, etc. It is kind of a crazy scene run by a couple rather eccentric brothers and a staff of crazed good old boys.

 

I can't necessarily recommend Springfield as a tourist destination unless you are a Lincoln Frank Lloyd Wright fanatic, but Recycled Records is a trip and a half.

 

LouieB

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If anyone is coming to Chicago soon, the Museum of Science and Industry is having a Jim Henson exhibit. This museum is so awesome- certainly worth coming to. Also, during the holiday season there is a German Christmas market called the Chriskindlmarket in Daley Plaza in the Loop. There are lots of German and other worldwide vendors, glass ornaments, glogg in a glass boot, pretzels, etc. It isn't far from the shops on State street for additional holiday vibes. My sister is visiting for Christmas and we'll be doing both of these things!

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I may have mentioned this before, but I am in Springfield, IL this week and want to mention it again today.

 

If you are out getting your kicks on Rt 66 on the Wilco trail between Chicago and Bellville, do stop in Springfield and visit Recycled Records here in Springfield, particularly if you are a vinyl collector. Even if you are not and simply want to start, this is a good place to go. Recycled isn't hip like Reckless or Lauries or really any of the other indie stores in Chicago, but it does have more LPs than any of those places. It also doesn't have any indie cred, so you will have to get your newer and hipper LPs back in Chicago (although they do have new stuff mixed in with the old), but if you are looking for older stuff, this is the place to go. They have a huge $2 bin of more common titles, so you can walk out with an armful of great stuff to listen to for no money. If you dig a bit in the rest of the bins you can find obscure rock, jazz, country, male and female vocalists, soul, comedy, blues, folk and all sorts of other material. They also have lots of new and used CDs, even the cheapie sections have reasonable stuff to listen to. They also have hi-fi equipment for cheap and other collectables. Lots of box sets, DVDs, magazines, used jewelry, cameras, etc. It is kind of a crazy scene run by a couple rather eccentric brothers and a staff of crazed good old boys.

 

I can't necessarily recommend Springfield as a tourist destination unless you are a Lincoln Frank Lloyd Wright fanatic, but Recycled Records is a trip and a half.

 

LouieB

 

Likewise, in the Chicago area – Vintage Vinyl on Davis St, in Evanston is a mecca for vinyl collectors, particularly those folks interested in BritPop and old British psych. Some really amazing stuff here. But, until you become a recognized face, do not expect any sort of warm welcome from the owner, Steve. He is a pretty good guy, but very cold to those newcomers to his store.

Also, the prices can get ridiculous, but it may be worth it, if you can find something there that you have never seen before, but desperately want (a regular happening).

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  • 5 weeks later...

My 7yr old daughter has discovered American Girl dolls. I'm a total sucker for my sweet angel so she'll get one for Xmas. I know there's a huge store in Chicago, anybody been there?

i haven't been but i believe they have a theater and restaurant in the store. I've seen the little girls bringing their dolls in. I'm sure the girls absolutely love the experience but it seems as though it is designed to suck as much money from the parents as possible. I bet I would have loved it when I was little ;)

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My 7yr old daughter has discovered American Girl dolls. I'm a total sucker for my sweet angel so she'll get one for Xmas. I know there's a huge store in Chicago, anybody been there?

I have walked by many times, but somehow nothing drew me in...

 

But as Allison said, please come and let us suck the money out of you while you are here....and then hit the Disney store and the rest of the spots on Michigan Ave where you can spend the rest of your money on her. (Sadly FAO Schwartz is closed.)

 

LouieB

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Hey everyone,

 

gogo told me to put my questions here...

 

 

I'm a student from Grinnell and am going to Chicago because I lost my passport have to go to Chinese consulate there to replace my passport. I picked up swing dance in Grinnell college and really enjoy it. Could anyone provide me with good swing or blues dance clubs?

 

And also, It would be great if someone could provide me with a ride (within Chicago)

 

 

 

Thank you very much.

 

 

 

 

Kevin

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Hey everyone,

 

gogo told me to put my questions here...

 

 

I'm a student from Grinnell and am going to Chicago because I lost my passport have to go to Chinese consulate there to replace my passport. I picked up swing dance in Grinnell college and really enjoy it. Could anyone provide me with good swing or blues dance clubs?

 

And also, It would be great if someone could provide me with a ride (within Chicago)

 

Thank you very much.

 

Kevin

Hopefully someone else will chime in here. Swing dancing was a fad here about 15 or 20 years ago so I think you may be late for that. I am sure there are "clubs" (as opposed to clubs) where folks get together and do that sort of thing now, just as I am sure you can find line dancing if you look. I would suggest a google search. (I did and it appears most of the activity is organized by clubs. If you need help figuring out where stuff is, PM me directly.)

 

What kind of ride do you want? Depending on the timing and what you want to do, I have been known to give people rides.

 

LouieB

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Down here in Hyde Park there is swing dancing every Friday night.

 

U of Chicago Link

 

The President of China is going to be in town on January 20tha and 21st, I am sure the Chinese Consultant is going to be hopping:

 

Chicago Tribune Link

 

Chinese President Hu Jintao to visit Chicago

Next week's stop a 'Big, big, big, big. Big deal,' Daley says

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Down here in Hyde Park there is swing dancing every Friday night.

 

U of Chicago Link

 

Thanks.

I found this also, but then again you live down that way so you have a better feel for it. Note to kevintoy, Hyde Park is on the southside, so while it is not impossible to get to, if you are staying on the northside, expect to take the bus or drive. Looks like kind of a good time. I can't dance, so I would not have a good time.

 

LouieB

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Down here in Hyde Park there is swing dancing every Friday night.

 

U of Chicago Link

 

The President of China is going to be in town on January 20tha and 21st, I am sure the Chinese Consultant is going to be hopping:

 

Chicago Tribune Link

Thank you so much for answering my questions~~

 

I haven't been watching news for a long time. And I'm not a big fan of him anyway. I'm going to Chicago on Jan. 17th, Monday, and going back in the next afternoon 3pm. Hopefully I can finish my passport thing really quick. The bus will arrive at 630 W. Harrison (downtown area) at 4:45 am on Monday. The Chinese consulate is not far. I also want to visit the art institute of Chicago (that's museum, right?) As for swing dance, I'm just curious about what dance in big cities are like and want to find somewhere for social dance.

 

My host family told me to find some hostel to stay overnight but I don't know if that's possible since I dont have my passport. I guess I just want to make sure that I don't get lost... Well, maybe a ride from Chinese consulate to the art institue of Chicago?

 

I searched "swing dance" and "Ballroom" on Google map but I don't know where to find normal social dance. Will people dance with strangers? I went to a Ballroom in Nebraska and they all came with their friends so I did not dance much actually.

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Thank you so much for answering my questions~~

 

I haven't been watching news for a long time. And I'm not a big fan of him anyway. I'm going to Chicago on Jan. 17th, Monday, and going back in the next afternoon 3pm. Hopefully I can finish my passport thing really quick. The bus will arrive at 630 W. Harrison (downtown area) at 4:45 am on Monday. The Chinese consulate is not far. I also want to visit the art institute of Chicago (that's museum, right?) As for swing dance, I'm just curious about what dance in big cities are like and want to find somewhere for social dance.

 

My host family told me to find some hostel to stay overnight but I don't know if that's possible since I dont have my passport. I guess I just want to make sure that I don't get lost... Well, maybe a ride from Chinese consulate to the art institue of Chicago?

 

I searched "swing dance" and "Ballroom" on Google map but I don't know where to find normal social dance. Will people dance with strangers? I went to a Ballroom in Nebraska and they all came with their friends so I did not dance much actually.

The Art Institute isn't very far from the Chinese consulate- Google says 1.3 miles. You should be able to take a quick cab ride (or walk, if you can go that far in the cold). Link to directions here. However- your bus is arriving very early- maybe get breakfast somewhere? I don't know the first thing about hostels or dancing, though.

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