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Chicago

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by bshowell, Mar 22, 2017.

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  1. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    Anyone know anything about Chicago? I'm going for a work trip. My hotel is in the Loop. The only thing I ever hear about is the Magnificent Mile. I will probably be tied up with work-related things most days and some nights, but if I get a chance to escape on my own, any suggestions on what to do at night? Food? Shows? Avoidances?
     
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  2. ams722

    ams722 Side Bet Shunner

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    If you're a degenerate gambler, Horseshoe Hammond has free shuttles that go to and from Downtown Chicago every hour or so.
     
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  3. Tarstarkas

    Tarstarkas High-Roller

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    Deep dish pizza at Giordanos
     
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  4. Tarstarkas

    Tarstarkas High-Roller

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    Museum of science and industry, field museum of nat history, shedd aquarium, navy pier, Also there is like 5 or 6 casinos nearby
     
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  5. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    Horseshoe Hammond was the one I liked the best. Stay away from Rivers! (TIGHT! TIGHT! TIGHT!)

    Giordano's is my fave of the bunch. (It's now in LV as well.)

    All of the above, if you have time. :)
     
  6. NYNYGirl

    NYNYGirl VIP Whale

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    Navy Pier, Millennium Park, Willis Tower...
     
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  7. vegasdev

    vegasdev VIP Whale

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    no shortage of bars, plenty on rush street.
    walk along the beach, if you escape work stuff before dark.
     
  8. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    Italian beef sandwich.
     
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  9. Tarstarkas

    Tarstarkas High-Roller

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    Deep dish pizza, Vienna beef hot dogs Chicago stye
     
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  10. DBear

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    I went for the first time a few months ago, first time as an adult anyways. I tried to eat at all the local specialities.

    Pizzeria Duo - just ok. Glad i tried a deep dish pizza but once was enough.
    Portillos hot dogs - great, especially the maxwell street version with grilled onions and pickles. Excellent snap in the casing. They also serve Italian beef sandwiches but I didn't try that.
    Garrett popcorn - Chicago mix of caramel and cheddar popcorn. Very good going down but it did give me the runs afterwards. Really sweet, watch how big of a bag you order. A small bag is enough. Several locations around downtown.
    Little goat diner twice. Sister restaurant to girl and the goat - chef Stephanie Izard if you're a top chef fan. Loved their breakfast hash (my go to breakfast dish) and it was one of the best ive had but there are some funky flavor combinations in some of the other dishes.

    Alinea gets rave reviews but I didn't try it. Very high end.

    I loved the cloud. Just a nice tourist atmosphere with everyone enjoying the art piece outdoors. Kids are amazed by its reflection. Nice area to walk as well with buckingham fountain nearby. I could do without navy pier. Just a mall on a pier.

    For shows, I saw Hamilton. Super kool show with so much history incorporated with modern beats. Finally understand why it's such a big deal on Broadway. There's a daily Hamilton lottery where you could win tix for $10 (a Hamilton). See their website for details.

    I also did a river boat cruise. A bit cheesy and definitely touristy but got to see a bit of downtown with narration.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
  11. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    Strolling the Mag Mile (Michigan Ave) is a great way to spend a few hours. It's mostly higher end retail but it can be fun to check out the stores. If the weather is nice, walk along the lake. One place I like is the Chicago Cultural Center. It's free and they always have great exhibits. Go all the way to the top to see the Tiffany Dome. Oh, and they are about to start up the boat rides on the river. That's a great way to learn about the city.
     
  12. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    I am TOTALLY fascinated by that thing! I've been visiting and shooting it since, well since before it was officially unveiled. :)

    For a while, amateur photographers and park guards had some incidents.

    Here's my story on that: http://omababe.blogspot.com/2007/01/forbidden-images-polishing-bean.html (You can see The Bean before the seams were finished.)

    And an unusual photo shoot one night: http://omababe.blogspot.com/2007/10/cross-processing-bean.html
     
  13. Joejoejackson

    Joejoejackson The Max Bet King

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  14. DBear

    DBear VIP Bear

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    Loved your blog post especially seeing pics of the bean/cloud still under construction. Weird to imagine guards stopping people from taking pictures. Couldn't possibly enforce it today.
     
  15. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Is that pizza? :poke: Haha, sorry, couldn't resist. I'm heading out in a couple weeks and it's on my list. I went to Duo a couple years ago, it didn't trip my trigger.

    If you're in the loop, the Palmer House is the oldest continuously operated hotel in the USA and the lobby bar is a great place to relax with a cocktail. North of the river is The Redhead Piano Bar on Ontario St. It's a fun place for an after dinner drink or a nightcap. There are also several rooftop bars if the weather is nice.

    As for eats, I'm a big fan of Gene and Georgetti, an old school Steakhouse that also serves Italian fare. Union Sushi + Barbecue Bar has $1 happy hour oysters as does Devon Seafood Grill.
     
  16. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    Thanks. :)

    Looking at it with 20/20 hindsight, there must have been a communication error somewhere. Shortly after I did the second shoot, when they were finishing it, the Powers That Be did clarify that only commercial photography was prohibited, but occasional report of amateurs and even casual snapshooters being confronted continued. I did notice (or rather I did not notice) that there were no signs posted advising of any prohibitions.

    [​IMG]

    Oh yes, this place here. :)

    We had kind of a strange dress code check at the door. The doorkeeper (a woman) looked us over with a flashlight and explained that the dress code was business casual or better. We were dressed mostly casual-casual. :) I was wearing dark jeans, a black long-sleeve tee, and a blue bolero. My companions were dressed in a similar manner. She gave our outfits a good once-over with the flashlight and said "I guess you're OK" or something like that. :) The usher inside asked if we wanted to be seated right around the piano. The piano guy did a dynamite Funeral/Love Lies Bleeding and many others and it was a great time. :)

    G&G's is a long-time fave of mine! It's very old-school (kinda like Golden Steer in Las Vegas) and flies under the radar. Great food and great drinks too.

    Another one that flies under the radar is, for BBQ, Twin Anchors. It's on Sedgwick just north of, uh, North. :) :) Another fave is The Berghoff, German cuisine on Adams.

    Of course there's always the original Billy Goat Tavern, if you can find it. :) :) :) "Cheezborger Cheezborger" They now have a branch at Navy Pier that serves fries. :)
     
  17. BreakEven

    BreakEven High-Roller

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    Agree with the previous comments on the museums. Lots of great ones in the area, though they might take a lot of time. If you have a Bank of America account, check to see if they're part of the free museums deal.

    I like the Museum of Science & Industry best, mainly for this sub exhibit - http://www.msichicago.org/explore/whats-here/exhibits/u-505-submarine/on-board-tour/

    Portillo's Italian Beef. You could also try a Chicago style hot dog. Most places don't do them right. Needs to have celery salt and the ridiculously bright green relish (makes it taste better).

    Been a few years, but I always felt safe taking the El even late @ night. The stations/trains generally smell like pee, so don't worry, it's not just you.

    There's a lot of violence in the city these days, but I believe that's FAR away from the core downtown area. Someone with more recent feedback might be able to give you better guidance. But the closer to the "core" (really, near the Mag Mile), the more $$$ the hotels will be.

    You might want to give this a try - http://www.360chicago.com/
     
  18. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    Disclaimer: I am not a resident of Chicago.

    However, I've visited regularly since I was very young, roughly age 3 and regularly as a child, teenager, and adult.

    The neighborhoods that have been notorious for violence lately are generally way south of the Loop, Mag Mile, Gold Coast and River North areas. The areas where visitors hang out will be well-patroled, day and night. Just be streetwise and use common sense.

    Yes, the rates for hotels in the Loop and River North can be between outrageous and extortive! My faves are the Hilton Garden on Grand and State and the Hampton at Illinois and Dearborn. You can usually get those in the low $200s per night, which is good for that area. Both of those are newer construction and have typical rooms for those brands. There are a number of hotels in the area which are actually remodeled older hotels, and have renovated but very small rooms.
     
  19. OhioStateAlum

    OhioStateAlum High-Roller

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    I've been several times in the last couple of years. In the Mag Mile area, I've stayed at the MileNorth hotel, Sofitel, and Hotel Indigo. All are great and I wouldn't hesitate to stay at any of them again. MileNorth has a pretty nice rooftop bar. I enjoyed Giordano's a few times, but it feels a little bit commercialized. Walking along the shores of Lake Michigan is a relaxing thing to do. For breakfast, I've had Rosebud on Rush a few times and it's fan-f'ing-tastic. There is a Hash House in the Gold Coast, but you can get HH in a couple different cities. I had some of the best BBQ I've ever had at The Old Crow in Wrigleyville. As a bonus, The Old Crow has an open air patio on the second floor that gives a cool view of Wrigley Field and all the happenings around the stadium. As far as nightlife goes, Rush St is popular. Wrigleyville, especially after a Cubs game, is a blast too.
     
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  20. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    Wow sounds like I will have plenty of options to make my escape.
     
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