What’s new to me is not new to the rest of the world but it should come as no surprise that I pick Chicago. I have been to Chicago twice already this year and will have been three times by the end of 2013 (and will go for a fourth time early in 2014). If you actually spend any time with me you have probably heard me say “You know what’s a cool city? I mean a really cool city? F–king Chicago.”
I find Chicago to be a mixture of several other places I’ve been to or lived in that add up to it’s unique feel. It’s a very big city in terms of layout. It’s certainly not walkable in the same way that Boston is for example. Chicago also has a really cool mix of some areas that are very “city” (think lots of tall buildings) and other areas that have a great neighborhood feel (think Squirrel Hill or Shadyside if you are a Pittsburgh person). But unlike a lot of “cities” that are really just big small towns, Chicago is a CITY. Very cool things to see and do, delicious food, amazing architecture, great style (very important!), and lots of pretty folk walking about.
Here are some of the things I liked best:
The BEAN (actually called Cloud Gate)! This work by Indian artist Anish Kapoor has been in Millenium Park since 2006. It’s amazing to see all the people and families that crowd around this piece. You can walk under it as well. Just keep in mind that it weighs 100 tons.
This fantastic red building. I don’t know what it’s called but it appeared to be a boutique of some kind. For me the fact that it was red was all I needed. This should be my home…in a real cartoonish kind of way.
The Green Mill jazz club on the North Side of Chicago (near Wrigley Field) is one of the coolest clubs I’ve ever been to. I heard a terrific set from pianist Laurence Hobgood who had Chicago trumpeter Marquis Hill in his quintet that night. I had the chance to speak with both of them which added to the experience. Get to the club early or you can stand in a line like this one.
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the most famous museums in America if not the world, but let’s be honest, for many of us it’s “the Ferris Bueller Museum.” This Andy Warhol painting waits to greet you in one of the 20th Century galleries. Works by Grant Wood, Gerhard Richter, Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollock, and more are hanging in this museum. What are you waiting for? Unfortunately I did not see Sloane Peterson.
Chicago has tortas…
and coffee and donuts…you get the point. No. I’m not sure how my clothes still fit either. Lots of trips to the gym I suppose.
You really shouldn’t have a Burberry store if it’s not a plaid building. Chicago has that.
They also have the Chicago Recording Company where Billy Corgan and Smashing Pumpkins recorded Siamese Dream and where R. Kelly recorded 12 Play. This was my “desk” for four days last February. I can’t wait to go back!
So that’s just some of what I did in Chicago and I barely scratched the surface. Never been to the “windy city?” Dude, you should go.
Until next time,