Chicago Journals

An Uncloudy Day

Best of IgoUgo

A May 2002 trip to Chicago by friskycelery

Navy Pier Photo, Chicago, Illinois More Photos
Quote: Say what you will about Chicago politics; for the visitor, Chicago is a city that works. Museums, history, shopping, restaurants, it's all here.

An Uncloudy Day

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Overview

Buckingham Fountain Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
Chicago is hand's down my favorite city. This is a place with world-class museums, great shopping, interesting history, and just crammed with fabulous restaurants. And there are even good beaches.Right downtown! Amazing. Visit the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Take a trip to Navy Pier and ride the Ferris Wheel - very cool, trust me. The Shedd Aquarium has a fun dolphin exhibit, and is very kid friendly. I highly recommend taking a tour with the Chicago Architectural Foundation. They will point things out to you that you might not otherwise see. You will also learn a lot about the city's history. I think you could eat at a different...Read More

Doubletree Hotel Chicago Magnificent Mile

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Hotel | "Holiday Inn City Centre"

Doubletree Hotel Chicago Magnificent Mile Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
The Holiday Inn City Centre is a perfectly acceptable place to stay in downtown Chicago. It has a great location - a couple of blocks off Michigan Avenue, and walking distance to Navy Pier. It is also in a neighborhood full of good restaurants, some just steps from the front lobby. The Room Most of the room was pretty standard: two double beds, color TV, full bath with amenities. There were a couple of nice touches that made me happy: a lounge chair next to a good reading lamp, a window seat with a view of the Hancock building, and a two part desk that could be configured into an L shape. The desk was paired with an adjustable desk chair. There was a data port adjacent to the desk ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

Doubletree Hotel Chicago Magnificent Mile
300 East Ohio Street
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 787-6100

Billy Goat Tavern Navy Pier

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Restaurant | "Billy Goat Tavern"

Quote:
The Billy Goat Tavern has opened up a new, pale imitation of itself on Navy Pier. The original Billy Goat Tavern is located underneath the bridge that runs over the Chicago River. This new location on Navy Pier is bright, airy, and has outdoor seating overlooking Lake Michigan. Most people know the Billy Goat Tavern from the original Saturday Night Live sketches with John Belushi. (Remember that many of the original cast had come from Chicago’s Second City Comedy Troupe.) These skits made the "Cheeseborger, cheeseborger, no Coke, Pepsi," line famous. Maybe too famous. The employees at the grill seem to think that tourists expect them to say it, so they do - but without much enthusiasm. ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 3, 2002

Billy Goat Tavern Navy Pier
700 E Grand Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60611
312-670-8789

Shucker's

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Restaurant

Quote:
I always thought I’d want to live in the type of neighborhood that had a place like Shucker’s as its corner bar. I come to Shucker’s when I’m in Chicago more for its ambiance than for its food. Shucker’s is located in a cozy brownstone just a block and a half off Michigan Avenue. The restaurant is upstairs, but ask to eat downstairs in the bar. The bar is narrow and warm, with tables along one side, and a beautifully carved full bar along the other side. Underneath the stairs is a piano, played by a gentleman who is a dead ringer for John Huston. Entrees run in the $15 to $30 range. Seafood is prominent on the menu but they also serve a good steak and a good prime rib. On this trip, ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 3, 2002

Shucker's
150 E. Ontario Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611
(312) 266-6057

Tutto Pronto

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Restaurant

Quote:
I am always on the lookout for good cappuccino, and if you are in the River North area, this might just be the place to stop. Tutto Pronto is an Italian delicatessen, with fresh made salads, entrees, and sandwiches at reasonable prices. They will put together a picnic lunch for you, which is great if you are headed for the Ohio Street Beach, which is only a block away, or to Navy Pier. They also sell wine, beer, and imported foods. They also make a very nice cappuccino or latte. This will be a little bit less expensive, and served with a lot more joy and goodwill, than a similar concoction from the Starbuck’s next door. You can get Starbuck’s anywhere, but you can only get Tutto Pr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 3, 2002

Tutto Pronto
401 E Ontario St
Chicago, Illinois 60611
312-587-7700

Suparossa

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Restaurant

Quote:
It seems like every time I come to Chicago I find a new favorite restaurant. On this trip I found Suparossa, and I’m glad I did. Suparossa is on East Ohio Street, in an area just crammed with good restaurants. There is a pleasant bar downstairs, and the restaurant proper is upstairs. In fine weather you can sit outside in a roped off area of the sidewalk. The dining room upstairs just feels comfortable. There are big windows overlooking Ohio Street, and the bare brick walls are hung with old family photos. (Whose family they come from, I’m not quite sure. I have this feeling they were bought at garage sales, but I digress.) Entrees are in the US$15 to US$30 ra...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 9, 2002

Suparossa
210 E. Ohio Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611
(312) 587-0030

Szechuan East

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Restaurant

Quote:
Szechuan East is one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago. Good food, attentive staff, reasonable price. It bills itself as the best Chinese restaurant in Chicago. I think that's pushing it a bit, but it is pretty good. The last time I visited Szechuan East, it was a chilly, rainy evening. With the wind blowing off the lake, and the rain, I was cold to the bone by the time that I had walked the two blocks to the restaurant. (I never seem to bring the right clothes to Chicago!) I walked in with teeth chattering, and the host brought me to my table and said "You need tea!". He left me a menu, and whisked away to return with a steaming pot of Chinese tea. My order...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 4, 2002

Szechuan East
340 East Ohio
Chicago, Illinois 60611
(312) 642-9200

Dao Thai

Restaurant | "Dao"

Quote:
I like Thai food, and I had high hopes for this restaurant. I was disappointed. I visited Dao at lunch time on a chilly, windy day, a day with a knife edged wind that seems to be only found in Chicago. I was hungry, and really looking forward to a spicy meal in a warm restaurant to take the edge off. The restaurant was not busy. There were only two other patrons when I arrived, though it did fill up later. I was seated promptly, and given a menu. I ordered the Pad Prik with chicken, a dish that I have enjoyed at other Thai restaurants. Temperature-wise, my meal was hot. Spice-wise, it was not. In fact, I have never had such a bland meal at a Thai restaurant. When I asked for...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 18, 2002

Dao Thai
230 East Ontario St
Chicago, Illinois 60611
+1 312 337 0000

Navy Pier

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Attraction

Navy Pier Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
What does a Ferris Wheel, an National Public Radio station, a magician, and a stained glass exhibit all have in common? Answer: They are all part of the fun on Navy Pier. Navy Pier is a party waiting to happen. It is full of fun shops, interesting activities, changing exhibits, and a wide range of restaurants. Shopping Shopping here runs the gamut from a pretty good book store to a store selling magic tricks, to the Navy Pier souvenir shop, all amidst a myriad of kiosks selling all manners of stuff. There aren’t many bargains here, but looking is half the fun. One of the coolest shops is the museum store attached to the Chicago Children’s Museum, which is also loca...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 9, 2002

Navy Pier
600 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
(312) 595-5300

Lake Shore Place

Attraction

Quote:
One of the things I really like doing in Chicago is looking at all the architecturally interesting buildings. One building has always intrigued me, and that is Lake Shore Place. With its bright blue roof, it takes up a whole block on Lake Shore Drive between Erie and Huron. Lake Shore Place started life in 1924 as the American Furniture Mart. In 1979 it was renovated into commercial and residential spaces. Playboy Enterprises has its offices here, as evidenced by a discreet Playboy bunny logo on the Erie Street entrance. (Remember that Chicago is Hugh Hefner’s hometown.) The first floor of Lake Shore Place has mix of retail establishments - a sushi bar, a florist, an espresso p...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 17, 2002

Lake Shore Place
660 Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Virgin Megastore

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Attraction

Quote:
To say the Virgin Megastore sells music is a little like saying the Mona Lisa is a painting. This place has to be experienced to be believed. I thought Virgin only sold music put out by their own label. Boy, was I wrong! They have just about everything. You can buy the current top 40 CDs at your local K-Mart. You can also buy them here, but where Virgin Megastore really shines is in the less popular, more off-the-beaten-path recordings. Looking for Rosemary Clooney singing "Come-On-a My House"? Upstairs, to the right. Miles Davis, "Sketches of Spain"? Check out the Jazz section; they have it on CD and vinyl. Since there is absolutely no logic in CD pricing, you may find a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2002

Virgin Megastore
540 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
(312) 645-9300

Confessions of an NPR Groupie

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Story/Tip

WBEZ Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
I am a National Public Radio groupie. No, I don’t travel with the band, (gee, they have a band??) and I’ve never waylaid an on-air personality. I am, however, someone who has all the radios tuned to various NPR stations. I can distinguish between the voice of Tom Magliozzi and his brother Ray on Car Talk. I can tune in mid-segment and identify Susan Stamburg in three syllables. I know the voices of Ira Glass, Sara Vowell, and David Sedaris as well, if not better, than members of my own family. I am hooked. A while ago I read an article about Ira Glass, host of the weekly show "This American Life, " which is produced by WBEZ, Chicago’s public radio station. The article said that...Read More