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Author: Subject: Any suggestions for Chicago things to do around Crossroads time?

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  posted on 5/14/2010 at 07:09 PM
Never been to Chicago but going to Crossroads.Anyone have tips on what would be interesting to do the day before and after Crossroads? Is there an artsey part of town that's not to expensive?
 
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  posted on 5/14/2010 at 09:58 PM
I've never been to Chicago before either, but I've heard about a few good restaurants. I've heard that Al's Italian Beef & Gino's East are both real good. Also, The Field Museum of Natural History is supposed to be really nice. You can see the Lions of Tsavo, that were in the movie The Ghost & The Darkness.
 

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  posted on 5/14/2010 at 10:15 PM
Wrigley Field Comiskey Park and Pizzzzzzzzzzzza

 

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  posted on 5/14/2010 at 11:10 PM
on the lakefront downtown there are a few museums and many parks - The Art Institute of Chicago, Grant Park and the lakefront are nearby, Buckingham Fountain, The Shedd Aquarium. The Planetarium (which is near the Aquarium) -if the weather is nice and clear, the view of the skyline from the Planetarium is about the best there is, unless you're in a boat.

The Museum of Science and Industry is very cool - also on the lakefront but at about 55th St. south-side. The 'River North' area (northwest edge of downtown - not far) has a lot of art galleries, restaurants, etc.

If I was downtown with a couple hours to kill, get on the red line el train that goes to Howard St. Sit in the front seat of the train. Go to Howard and come back - oh, get off at Belmont, there's lots of cool stuff there - it's artsy, musical, weird, etc.

The el train will also take you right by Wrigley Field. It's a great way to see the city for a few bucks. If something looks cool, get off the train (get a transfer) and check it out.

Now all I can think about is Chicago hot-dogs!

 

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  posted on 5/14/2010 at 11:30 PM
One of the crappy things about the Crossroads festival is that there is basically nothing else of interest anywhere in the area - unless you've always wanted to know where they make Argo corn starch (yeah, you'll smell it).

I think most visitors are going to be most interested in the downtown, lake front area.

The Field Museum of Natural History is indeed cool, and shares the "museum campus" with the Adler Planetarium and John G. Shedd Aquarium. I believe you can get something that used to be called a "city pass" that will allow you to visit all three museums for one price. I don't recall what that price was, it's been a few years, but do recall that it's a bargain if you make use of it. About 5 miles south on Lake Shore Drive you have the Museum of Science and Industry, which is my personal favorite, near the campus of the University of Chicago.

About a half-mile North of the Field Museum etc., you've got the Art Institute of Chicago, which is nice, and another half-mile North you have Millenium Park, which has some cool modern sculpture. Altogether, a very nice walk along the lake if the weather's good.

One major caveat: The Taste of Chicago, by far the city's largest annual outdoor festival, will be going on at the time. Expect the lakefront area to be very, very crowded. The upshot of that is that because "the taste" is the main draw, the museums may not be as busy as usual.

Musical headliners' for the taste on Friday the 25th will be: Rob Base, Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh, Salt-n-Pepa, Bell Biv Devoe, and on Sunday the 27th will be: Allstar Weekend, Emily Osment (??? Hanna Montana's friend??)

So, maybe the music at the taste on those days isn't what most here would wish for, but hey, the price is right.

Another mile or so North along the lake, and you've got Navy Pier, sort of an outdoor mall with an eclectic mix of shops, cafe's and entertainment options. This is also the place to go if you want to take a boat ride or rent a bicycle or something like that.

Several blocks West of Navy pier will get you to the trendy "magnificent mile" area, with all the high-end shopping and restaurants. This is also where the legendary "Water Tower" (one of the few buildings to survive the Chicago fire) is located.

Al's is a good beef sandwich and Gino's is good pizza, but there are lots of good places for beef sandwiches and pizza. Al's was great before they got famous - they're still quite tasty, but now you get a tiny sandwich for a ridiculously high price. Giordano's is usually the stuffed pizza visitors want to try, and it's good, but my personal favorite is Lou Malnati's. Connie's is also pretty good. Both have thin crust, pan (deep dish), and stuffed options (double crust, really like a pie).

 

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  posted on 5/14/2010 at 11:31 PM
Rob and I must have been typing at the same time.

 

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  posted on 5/15/2010 at 08:53 AM
Avoid the Taste of Chicago ... unless you like crowds of half million spilling food.

The lounge on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building has spectacular views. Walk in the entrance on Chestnut. The elevator hauls ass ..

I would take the suggestion of renting a bicycle and riding the lakefront. It's a great place
to ride, in fact I'm riding my bicycle down there today.

The Cubs are playing at the White Sox that weekend. Both teams suck so you can probaly purchase tickets.

Rumor has it Buddy Guy's new bar is opening that weekend with Carlos Santana headlining.

 

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  posted on 5/15/2010 at 09:21 AM
I too have heard that Lou Malnati's is the best pizza
 

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  posted on 5/15/2010 at 09:27 AM
quote:
Avoid the Taste of Chicago ... unless you like crowds of half million spilling food.

The lounge on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building has spectacular views. Walk in the entrance on Chestnut. The elevator hauls ass ..

I would take the suggestion of renting a bicycle and riding the lakefront. It's a great place
to ride, in fact I'm riding my bicycle down there today.

The Cubs are playing at the White Sox that weekend. Both teams suck so you can probaly purchase tickets.

Rumor has it Buddy Guy's new bar is opening that weekend with Carlos Santana headlining.



I was gonna say try looking up Buddy Guy's Legends Bar. Is Buddy opening another new bar
or is Legends closed now?

 

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  posted on 5/15/2010 at 12:02 PM
This is like asking what is there to do in New York. But you are right about the park not being in Chicago proper. Two things I recommend which is what we did. One is go visit Chess studios which was great. The other is pizza at DiGiordan's. As a native New Yorker, I still dream about that pizza. I am a NY conniseur (sic) of pizza.
 

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  posted on 5/15/2010 at 12:09 PM
Avoid SANG!

 

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  posted on 5/15/2010 at 12:16 PM
Our very own Chicagofan, Julie and her husband own "Taste OF Peru Restaurant"
They were featured on the Food Network. I have never been to Chicago, but I understand
Julie's restaurant may be a long distance from the Crossroads Festival.

 

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  posted on 5/15/2010 at 10:44 PM
quote:
quote:
Avoid the Taste of Chicago ... unless you like crowds of half million spilling food.

The lounge on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building has spectacular views. Walk in the entrance on Chestnut. The elevator hauls ass ..

I would take the suggestion of renting a bicycle and riding the lakefront. It's a great place
to ride, in fact I'm riding my bicycle down there today.

The Cubs are playing at the White Sox that weekend. Both teams suck so you can probaly purchase tickets.

Rumor has it Buddy Guy's new bar is opening that weekend with Carlos Santana headlining.



I was gonna say try looking up Buddy Guy's Legends Bar. Is Buddy opening another new bar
or is Legends closed now?




Legends is still open .. here's the latest on his new club ..
http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/05/buddy-guy-relocates-legends-stat e-of-the-art-blues-club-to-open.html
He just has to get through the city corruption. Quite a step up from the Checkerboard Lounge he used to own.

[Edited on 5/16/2010 by cubchubby]

 

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  posted on 5/15/2010 at 11:54 PM
I think I may have left the city before the newer/nicer blues clubs were built - such as Legends, B.B. King's place (?), House of Blues....

My preference back in the day was B.L.U.E.S. on both Halsted and whatever it was called (2nd location I think) on Belmont. For a few buck cover you could see the most pure, loud, raunchy, nasty, Blues.

Magic Slim is my personal favorite.

Here is something coming up --

http://www.chicagobluesweekend.com/?p=496

I honestly don't know when Crossroads is, sorry - but I came across this while researching the current 'status' of the Maxwell St. Markets - which I was going to recommend! It's on Canal St. now, sundays (it's like a flea-market with soul-food and usually impromptu blues music, etc. - just a cool scene in a place with a lot of musical history)

This here unfortunately reports mostly on the slow death of it - but good info nonetheless (Blues history)

http://calebmelby.com/tag/maxwell-street/

Oh! These are excellent!! Right up there with a good hot-dog.

Maxwell St. Polish (dogs on the left, Polish on the right - and the bread is delicious too!)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell_Street_Polish

 

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