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Thread: Chicago ... Anything to do?

  1. #1

    Default Chicago ... Anything to do?

    So I have to endure a weekend of family time & it would be nice to escape every now and then to dull the pain

    TIA


    CATEGORIES:

    Architecture/Art
    Brunch
    Dinner ( Ethnic fusion variety)
    Music ( Jazz , Local flavor)
    Drinks ( Not too young please )
    Shopppppping!

  2. #2
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    The only thing to do in Chitown is to hang out with jogu. Epic in its own right. Alinea is a close second.
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

  3. #3

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    Come on now, there's way more to do than that.

    For art, go to the Art Institute on Michigan Ave.

    For food, try Gilt Bar in River North. Great food and interesting cocktails at reasonable prices. For brunch, try Elate at the Felix Hotel.

    For shopping, you won't find the brands that are most talked about on sz. But strolling down Michigan ave with all the lights is pretty cool. There's also a nice Bloomingdale's and Saks there.

    For music, check out just about any blues place. Kingston Mines on Halsted is one of my favorites.
    Last edited by swrecked; 12-21-2011 at 11:32 AM.

  4. #4

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    Art: In addition to the Art Institute (a must, especially the modern wing), visit the Museum of Contemporary Art.

    Food: Chicago's best known for "new" cuisine. Assuming that you haven't had the time or inclination to book 3 months in advance at Trotter's or Achatz's, try Blackbird or Lula. I ate at Blackbird when I was in town last month and it was superb. Lula is a bit more hit or miss, but it's reasonably priced and when they're on their game it's excellent.

    Music: I don't know which jazz clubs to recommend since Velvet Lounge closed, but Empty Bottle ticks all the boxes usually associated with "local flavor."

    Dive bar: Rainbo Club

    Shopping: If your'e only interested in menswear you might be out of luck, as swrecked wrote. If you're shopping with, or for, a lady friend, there's Blake, Ikram, and Robin Richman.
    Last edited by droogist; 12-17-2011 at 04:21 PM. Reason: grammar...


  5. #5
    Senior Member MetroBulotDodo's Avatar
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    Here is what you do in Chicago: sniff perfumes with me and Jogu at Barneys - assuming he can wake up before 4:30 p.m.

    Chicago has an old, established middle class Mexican community - the Mexican food here is, in my opinion, and having eaten my way through Mexico and the US, the best in the US. There is no point going to Alinea - you won't get a table. Achatz's new restaurant, the unimaginatively named "Next" requires that you submit your name (I've heard over and over again) on a website until you receive permission to make a reservation. I know exactly two people who have managed to get a "permission".

    The best food is off-the-beaten path, and it's not always that the most expensive is the best. My favorite restaurant/charming hole-in-the-wall is a birriería called Birriería Zaragoza (birrea is a BBQ goat stew from the Jalisco region.) You can take the orange line to get to S Pulaski and 48th. Every "foodie" I've taken there has yet to stop talking about it (and I've taken ten or so.) Blue star tacos is set in a hipster bar in Wicker Park, but the food is legitimately good. I recommend it.

    There is so-so shopping for women in Chicago; for men, not-so-much. That said, if you want to stop by Barneys, the Chicago Barneys will have great things for men right now at 60% (and not on the website) because the midwestern taste is...not very advanced. PM me if you go and I'll give you the name of my SA of 13 years who will take care of you (and she has every iconic piece from Ann D *and* Junya. Seriously.)

    I like Lula for brunch only - and order only off the specials menu. It's overpriced for dinner. For casual/hip, the new NaNa @ 31st and S Halsted is fantastic for a sort of "haute" Southern food (an oxymoron, I know.)

    For fancy restaurants, I do like Tru (1 michelin star), though it's too fussy (someone accompanies you to the restroom, which is waaaaay overdoing it. around $250 a person sans wine pairing.) Takashi (1 michelin star) has Sunday ramen. Schwa is the Michelin guide's most strange and inexplicable restaurant choice: food from chemistry sets, made by ex-skateboarders listening to the Wu-Tang on table settings from Ikea. If I recall, it's $120 a person, but it's so loud, I wouldn't be able to take my mother there. Charlie Trotter's: not worth it and not a 2 star restaurant, imo. The best of the Rick Bayless's franchises is the casual Xoco, which specializes in caldos (freshly prepared soup-meals). So much better than Topolobampo or Frontera Grill. The churros and soft serve dip are astounding. A meal won't run you more than $20 a person if you're splurging.

    For fancy food in less stuffy surroundings: Avec and Nightwood are fantastic. Those are my go-to places to eat with friends. Honestly, I think Chicago has the most exciting food scene in the US right now.

    Best thing in Chicago? Two book stores in Hyde Park: Powells, though not as extensive as it's Portland store, is the place to find rare art monographs, or rare books, period. The Seminary Co-op is, for the social sciences and humanities, without a doubt the the best scholarly bookstore in the world. While you're down in Hyde Park, you can check out Louis Farrakahn's garish palace, Obama's big but not tacky brick home (though you might end up on an FBI list if you stare too long when driving by), IM Pei's first building - a mess of an apartment complex as well as Mies van der Rohe's first building in Chicago (also a mess.) Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie house is also down there. For classic Mies, see the Illinois Institute of Technology campus around 31st and S State.

    Museums: the Art Institute is meh. I much prefer the MCA (and its bookstore) and the Smart Museum of Art, with a super pleasant cafe.

    For film: I consider the Gene Siskel Film Center a must-do in Chicago if you are an art film lover. I love, love, love the Gene Siskel. They serve a fantastic cappuccino at Intelligentsia nearby on Washington Street near Millennium Park, where you can check out the new-ish Gehry designed Pavillion.

    Drinks: Nightwood, the James Hotel.

    MBD

    Skip shopping on Michigan Ave. It's a mall.
    "To articulate what is past does not mean to recognize 'how it really was.'
    It means to take control of a memory, as it flashes in a moment of danger."

    -Walter Benjamin. Thesis VI, Theses on the Philosophy of History
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  6. #6
    Senior Member MetroBulotDodo's Avatar
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    What? *The* Droogist was in Chicago recently and didn't get in touch?! Tsk tsk. Be in touch if you are in town ever again - I would love to meet.

    MBD
    "To articulate what is past does not mean to recognize 'how it really was.'
    It means to take control of a memory, as it flashes in a moment of danger."

    -Walter Benjamin. Thesis VI, Theses on the Philosophy of History
    My rarities and quotidian garments for sale thread. My tumblr and eBay page.

  7. #7

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    For some reason I thought you lived in L.A.


  8. #8

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    Surprised no one has mentioned Bon Soiree for dinner. It's like a grown up Schwa and has been excellent each time I have visited (though its been a few years since I was last there).

    Also, for shopping Bonnie & Clydes is worth a look. They stock Rick, Ann, Obscur, Damir and a few others. Both men and women.

  9. #9

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    Bumping this cause I moved here six months ago.

    Too lazy to post food yet, but some helpful information re: garments and footwear.

    Alterations & repairs (this guy has worked wonders for me on some difficult issues, and will order zippers and other similar items to match brands/material, he also did some sweet updates to a couple vintage burberry pieces my gf got gifted):

    Boguslaw
    65 E Oak St #2D
    (312) 640-1521

    Footwear (I've taken carpe horse, ma+ camel, harnden elk/antelope, ccp kangaroo, augusta horse and llama, dior, and a ton of my lady's footwear as well, all executed with zero error, and they listen when you tell them you want something very specific):

    Beehive Shoeworks
    35 N. Wells
    312-263-4888

    Still trying to find a decent cleaners...
    I am not who you think I am

  10. #10

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    yes boguslaw is great, let me know if you find a good cleaner. I dont care about my work wear which i get cleaned down the street for $1/shirt lol.

    @MBD nice visitors guide. i've been in chicago for 6 years and have only been to 2 places on your list, i should venture out more...
    -v_o_t
    sale items

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by MetroBulotDodo View Post
    Blue star tacos is set in a hipster bar in Wicker Park, but the food is legitimately good. I recommend it.
    Is this the same as BIGSTAR ? If so the tacos are pretty decent esp the pork belly but liek you mentioned nothing compared to the various authentic offerings all over and especially in the mexican parts of town.

    If you are into Indian fusion MARIGOLD is an excellent value , Brunch at M.Chow ... yummmy

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by jskidder1 View Post
    Surprised no one has mentioned Bon Soiree for dinner. It's like a grown up Schwa and has been excellent each time I have visited (though its been a few years since I was last there).
    Still excellent, going all in is expensive, but well worth it.

    Aviary remains brilliantly imagined, immaculately executed, but somehow just not that delicious.

    Spent last night drinking whiskey and eating raw meat with mortalveneer. Highly recommended.
    Hobo: We all dress up. We all put on our armour before we walk out the door, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re trying to be someone else.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by theetruscan View Post
    Spent last night drinking whiskey and eating raw meat with mortalveneer. Highly recommended.
    I'd reciprocally recommend the same should anyone be in theetruscan's vicinity.
    I am not who you think I am

  14. #14
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    In Chicago for a few days starting tomorrow. Let me know what to do and if you want to do it together.

    And, also:

    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

  15. #15

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    cubs game ! i got friends in from cali and promised to go to the cubs / dodgers game tomorrow nite but im gonna leave the game early and head over to gallery sometime in the evening

  16. #16
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

  17. #17
    Senior Member MikeN's Avatar
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    I'm beginning to think that Chicago is a better food city than NYC.

    I'm on the plane back home now, but I had absolutely exceptional meals at Alinea, Blackbird (twice), Publican Quality Meats, and Au Cheval.

    Shout outs to Stephen from Gallery Aesthete, Faust, MBD, and Jogu for waiting up before 6pm to eat with me.

  18. #18
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Yo yo, shizzle ma nizzle. My Au Cheval burger was over-salted. I literally cringed when I saw a guy sticking his hand into the salt bowl and spraying it like some holy water waterfall over the patties. The has browns that came with it had no salt at all (was I supposed to layer the hash browns into the burger?) And my bloody mary was way too spicy, and the music was way too loud.

    Blackbird was fantastic though and so was Longman and Eagle.
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

  19. #19

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    any stores in Chicago worth checking out besides Gallery Aesthete?

  20. #20

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    Semi-relevant but still interesting, this was posted today.


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