Chicago Journals

Springtime (oh, really?) in Chicago

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An April 2005 trip to Chicago by Idler

Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile Photo, Chicago, Illinois More Photos
Quote: Even a sudden and unexpected return of Chicago's notorious winter weather couldn't dampen our spirits on a late-April family trip to Chicago.

Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile

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Hotel | "The Hilton Garden Inn"

Room at the Hilton Garden Inn Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
Located just off the Magnificent Mile, the Hilton Garden Inn could rely on location alone to attract business, but it doesn’t. Instead, this hotel consistently receives accolades for its service and amenities. The trick of this hotel, however, is in the booking. At peak times, a standard room might cost two or even three times what it does during low-demand times. For example, for the night of October 6th, 2006, I’m quoted $369 for a standard room. On October 11th, the rate soars to $439. But on November...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 20, 2006

Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile
10 E Grand Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60611
(312) 595-0000

My Thai Restaurant on Michigan

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Restaurant

My Thai Restaurant on Michigan Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
If enjoying a budget Thai meal right across from the Art Institute and Millennium Park sounds like an inviting dining option, then My Thai may be Your Thai. Pressed for time before taking an architectural tour leaving from Navy Pier, we mentioned to the hostess at My Thai that we didn’t have a lot of time. No problem. Accustomed to serving the rush of concert-goers at nearby Symphony Hall, the staff seems to rustle up decent-tasting food almost instantaneously. We followed the hostess to the back of the quiet dining room, away from what I thought would be ideal seats looking out across at Millennium Park. However, the proximity to the kitchen was probably a plus given that we were in a hur...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 20, 2006

My Thai Restaurant on Michigan
30 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60603
(312) 345-1234

Edwardo's

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Restaurant

Edwardo's Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
The more things change, the more they stay the same – thankfully, in the case of Edwardo’s. Back in the 80’s when we lived nearby, the original southside pizzeria had a loyal (and hungry) following among the University of Chicago students. The unpretentious eatery on 57th Street served arguably Chicago’s best stuffed pizza, and was famed for its stuffed spinach pizza in particular.Now, some twenty years later, the original Edwardo’s has grown to a chain of nine pizzerias, mostly in the Chicago area but beginning to branch out into Wisconsin and Indiana as well. United Airlines serves their "personal pizzas" in its first-class Midwestern flights. And it’s no longer just "Edwardo’s." Now it’...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 20, 2006

Edwardo's
1321 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois
(773) 241-7960

The Second City

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Attraction | "Second City"

Piper's Alley Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
Trying to describe comedy has to be one of the more frustrating writing tasks, so when it comes to Second City, the phrase "You had to have been there" is an overworked cliché. But, really, you had to have been there. Much of the sharpest comedy is visual, and the unexpected sight gag is something of a specialty of Second City, which is widely regarded as one of the best comedy troupes in North America. Everyone (or almost everyone) knows its alumni include the likes of Dan Akroyd, Alan Arkin, John Candy, Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Mike Meyers, Bill Murray, Stephen Colbert…the list goes on and on. The comedy bar is set as high as the audience’s expectations at Second City. We took ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 20, 2006

The Second City
1616 North Wells Street
Chicago, Illinois 60614
(312) 337-3992

House of Blues

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Attraction

Marina City Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
"Well, this is a neat bit of packaging," I observed as we stepped into the House of Blues. Make no mistake: this concert venue/ restaurant/bar/hotel/ entertainment complex is definitely packaged, although I mean that in the nicest possible way. If you’re expecting the bare-bones aesthetic of a genuine blues joint, this isn’t it. Actually, if you’re after authentic Chicago-style blues, go elsewhere.If, however, you’re looking for a dinner-and-music spot with a lighthearted (if admittedly "engineered") vibe, then this may just be the place for you. A lot w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 20, 2006

House of Blues
329 North Dearborn St
Chicago, Illinois 60610
(312) 923 2000

Chicago Architectural Cruise

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Attraction | "An Architectural Tour on the Chicago River"

The Wrigley  building Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
On a sunny day in Chicago, the water of the Chicago river sparkles, details on beaux arts buildings are etched by shadows, and windows of skyscrapers reflect the clouds above them. On such a day, there are few better things to do than stroll or float along the river, appreciating some of the finest vistas the city has to offer. At the dock near Navy Pier, we boarded an open boat for an architectural sightseeing tour of downtown Chicago. While there are several companies specializing in architectural tours, we booked wit...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 20, 2006

Chicago Architectural Cruise

Chicago, Illinois
(888) 881-3284

Hyde Park, Revisted

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Story/Tip

Robie House Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
"I miss everything about Chicago, except January and February." ~ Gary ColeWhen we moved into a third-floor 51st St. Hyde Park apartment back in the winter of 1981, it was all of 26° Fahrenheit outside and a stiff wind was whipping off the lake at about twenty miles an hour. Welcome to Chicago! Over the next five years, we toughed out arctic winters and sweltering summers in a neighborhood that was an improbable blend of academic types and working class folks. Life in Hyde Park was the quintessential graduate student rite de passage, and intense as it was at times, when we left, we sorely missed it.Here we were twenty years later, teen...Read More

Stormy Weather

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Story/Tip

The Art Institute of Chicago Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
"Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it." ~ Charles Dudley WarnerChecking the Chicago weather before leaving for a four days in the Windy City, I was heartened to see sunshine and mild temperatures forecast. No sooner had our plane landed, however, than I knew Chicago was up to its old tricks. The sunny skies had turned cloudy, the mercury in the thermometer had plummeted, and wave after wave of white-caps were lashing the lakefront as a steady wind roared across Lake Michigan from the north. Our first stop after dropping off our luggage at hotel was a Walgreen’s on Michigan Avenue, where we bought cheap umbrellas, glove...Read More