Chicago Journals

A Brit hits the Windy City - the 2006 Igougo get-together

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An October 2006 trip to Chicago by GB from Devizes

Stars n Stripes Photo, Chicago, Illinois More Photos
Quote: Well, here we are again, four days of top trips, great sights, and wonderful experiences with a terrific bunch of guides and the IgoUgo crew.

A Brit hits the Windy City - the 2006 Igougo get-together

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Overview

Stars 'n' Stripes Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
Chicago – for the average Brit whose only images of the city are from movies, the name conjures up celluloid visions of gangsters, prohibition, Elliott Ness, baseball, the elevated railway rattling down the streets, smoky blues clubs, cars the size of trucks and overall, a heaving metropolis overflowing with people only intent on rushing to their destination in as quickly a time as possible.When Chicago was announced as the venue for this year’s get-together I knew that I had to go at all costs. To visit the town where many of my musical heroes originated was not an opportunity to miss. That and of course the chance to meet my American friends and just maybe, to establish whether the images I ...Read More

Venus Greek-Cypriot Cuisine

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Restaurant | "The Venus Greek-Cypriot Restaurant"

Venus Greek-Cypriot Cuisine Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
An eagerly anticipated night out for us all was the chance to dine at this wonderful restaurant situated in the Greektown area of the city. After having spent a fair amount of time during Saturday exploring the Field Museum, and then spending a couple of hours walking in the Loop to see Macy’s and the wonderful Savvy Traveller bookshop, a relaxing evening was definitely required. Initially, Carole, Fleance, Iz, Al, Dianne and Dawn met outside at the prearranged time and just as we had been ushered to our table, we were joined by Arlene and Mark.It was certainly a pleasure to meet Dawn, one of the Igo originals. We spent some time discussing our travel backgrounds and it was interesting to note...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 19, 2006

Venus Greek-Cypriot Cuisine
820 W. Jackson
Chicago, Illinois 60607
(312) 714-1001

Charlie's Ale House

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Restaurant | "Navy Pier & Charlie's Ale House"

Charlie's Ale House Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
Having hugely enjoyed the boat trip along the Chicago River, we decided to have a quick look at Navy Pier and then find somewhere decent for lunch. It is situated at the end of E. Grand Ave and is the city’s top tourist attraction, having started life in 1916 as Municipal Pier #2. It was acquired by the US Navy shortly after and renamed in 1927. This vast area was used for both military and civilian purposes until it was totally renovated in the '70s before taking on its role as a pleasure attraction in 1995. We didn’t have too much time, as we needed to be at the Sears Tower by 2:30pm, so we decided to eat first.Walking along the main walkway into the Pier, we spied Charlie’s Ale House on o...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 19, 2006

Charlie's Ale House
600 East Grand Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60611
+1 312 395 1440

Cubby Bear

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Attraction | "A Big Hello at Cubby Bears"

Cubby Bear Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
This large sports bar is to be found on 1059 W. Addison St. and was to be the venue for the traditional opening evening of the 2006 get-together. It sits just across the road from Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs and the interior walls are festooned with sporting paraphernalia and huge TV screens enabling you to drink and watch the game all at once.Carole, Dianne, and I arrived a little after 7pm and were pleased to find several distinguished guides already in attendance including locals Bill (billmoy) and Cheryl (Sierra). The IgoUgo team were all there and it was good to meet Tony, Cia, and Cameron again as well as Eve, Dan, and the others who’d worked so hard to organise this event....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 12, 2006

Cubby Bear
1059 West Addison St
Chicago, Illinois 60657
(773) 327-1662

House of Blues

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Attraction | "The House of Blues and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy"

Quote:
The House of Blues is one of the premier clubs in Chicago although all genres of music are catered for here including jazz, rock, and of course blues. It is part of the Marina City complex and is found at 329 N. Dearborn St. Seven of us had tickets to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and had arranged to convene at 6pm to dine prior to seeing the show. Brenda, Kay, Arlene, Mark, Fleance, and Lorrie were my dining companions so we took our seats, ordered a beer, and perused the extensive menu. I eventually opted for the jambalaya and this arrived at the table within ten minutes, not bad considering how busy the place was. The portion was enormous and although I wouldn’t dream of leaving shrimps, sausage...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 14, 2006

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

Spectrum Bar & Grill

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Attraction | "Blues and Beer at the Spectrum Bar & Grill"

Spectrum Bar & Grill Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
Carole had enthused about this joint, affectionately referred to by her as the “dive bar”, whilst we were dining at the Venus and suggested we pay a visit for a few beers after eating. This sounded like a good idea, especially as the place was just a few minutes walk away.The entrance was lit up by an orange neon sign and my first impression was “this looks like my type of place”. The interior was dark and smoky with a U-shaped bar surrounded by tall stools, and several wall-mounted tables down either side, also equipped with stools. The beer “menu” was extensive by UK standards and as well as the standard fare, there were several continental ales on offer. The waitress was very polite and too...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 20, 2006

Spectrum Bar & Grill
233 S Halsted St
Chicago, Illinois 60661
(312) 715-0770

Sears Skydeck Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
At 1554 feet tall, the Sears Tower is currently the tallest structure in the USA. It sits in S. Wacker Drive, on the South Branch of the Chicago River, between Adams and Jackson and was for me, one of the highlights of this wonderful trip. Overshadowing everything in its vicinity, this huge, black but graceful monolith reaches for the sky with its simple, no-nonsense style of architecture in stark contrast to some of its fussier, but none-the-less beautiful neighbours.The entrance to the Skydeck is clearly signed and the IgoUgo team have arranged for our ascent to be at 2.30pm. Unfortunately, due to the water taxi service from Navy Pier to the Tower having finished at the end of September, and...Read More

A Boat Trip Through the Man-made Gorge

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Story/Tip

Reflections Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
Having strolled the considerable distance along Grand Ave after having left the “El” I was certainly ready for this long-anticipated boat ride that would follow both branches of the Chicago River to highlight the amazing buildings that form the backdrop to the water. The boat was ready to go as we arrived and along with around 60 or 70 other people, we took our seats on the open-top deck.The captain exercises a neat reverse turn and we start by looking to our right at the impressive Lake Point Tower, dating from 1968. At 645 feet, it was in its time the tallest apartment building in the world. Its three wings are spaced at a 120 degree angle to each other affording privacy for the residents. A...Read More

A Delightful Sunday in Chinatown

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Story/Tip

China Town Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
After having rushed around at breakneck speed since Wednesday and feeling the need for something a bit less frenetic, Carole suggests that a ride out to Chinatown might be a good way to relax on this warm, sunny morning. We take the “El” from Oak Park to State & Lake where we switch to a Red Line train that drops us at Cermak-Chinatown. The station sits at a higher level than many others and from our vantage point, it’s clear that this is no ordinary Sunday for the inhabitants here.As we descend from the “El” into the thronging crowds, it all falls into place. It’s October 8th, and as the huge banners tell us, it’s China’s National Day. Wow – what timing on our part!Almost immediat...Read More

The Field Museum of Natural History

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Story/Tip

The Field Museum of Natural History Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
The Field Museum here in Chicago must rate as one of the planet’s greatest collections of exhibits of natural history. Several guides along with the IgUgo editorial team visited here on a warm Saturday morning, specifically to view the Tutankhamun exhibition but also to try and see some of the other fascinating displays. The building sits at 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive within a huge, landscaped complex that includes the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium and affords wonderful walks along part of the Lake Michigan shoreline with superb views of the downtown area across the open parklands and marina.The entrance to this wonderful building is akin to walking into a Greek temple...Read More