Chicago – 8

A couple of leftovers to wrap this up.

I’d forgotten to include this in my comments on Wrigley Field, so here it is. The fans have a thing called “Moundball”, where they make a friendly wager on whether or not the ball will come to a stop on the pitching mound when the home plate umpire tosses it there at the end of a half-inning. It all seems to be in fun; I didn’t catch any actual betting. A good thing, no doubt; I’d hate to see the sports gambling sites start to take wagers on it.

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Chicago – 7

One could quite easily call the stretch of South Michigan Avenue from East Adams Street to the Chicago River “Museum Row”, since there are a couple of cool museums and attractions there, all north of the Art Institute.

The first stop is the Cultural Center, between Washington and Randolph Streets. The building used to be the city’s public library, but got converted into an all-purpose arts and culture facility in the 1990s. It hosts a wide assortment of lectures, film screenings, workshops, and performances – all free to the general public. There wasn’t much happening when I visited, and it seemed like a lot of the rooms were under renovation, since many places were closed off. However, the “holy crap, that’s awesome” highlights were still open. Continue reading

Chicago – 6

The Art Institute of Chicago is much easier to get to – it’s right there on Michigan Avenue. When I went, there was actually a small crowd waiting to get in. Seems they don’t open to the general public until 11 am (one hour after they let Members in), so there’s time to hang around if, er, when you get there early. Fortunately, it’s just south of Millennium Park and just north of Grant Park, so it’s a nice place to stroll around while the clock ticks.

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Chicago – 5

Every big city is going to have something in the way of a “natural history” museum. Chicago is no exception; the Field Museum is located smack in the middle of a park on the lake shore, on the wrong side of the Lake Shore Drive. Which makes it a bit inconvenient to get to, if you can’t figure out the bus routes and forget that you have a transit pass….and approach it from the side where the entrance happens to be closed that day….

But if you can pass – or at least bulldoze your way through – that intelligence test, the museum is well worth it. Continue reading

Chicago – 4

Given how many tour boats are on the Chicago River at any one time, it must be some sort of legal requirement that all visitors take a tour when they are in the city. There are several choices for type, length, and time of tour, but the most common ones are those that take you around the waterways to see the collection of interesting buildings in the downtown area. A primer, as it were – with examples – of 20th century American architecture.

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Chicago – 3

Remembering the walking food tour I took on my visit to Denver, I looked for similar tours in Chicago. A company called “Bobby’s Bike Tours” offered a couple. They looked good, so I booked a tour that combined a little bit of history with some of the city’s “iconic” foods.

Well, I did want to try deep dish pizza in the place that invented it, so….

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Chicago – 2

As I mentioned, Chicago is home to two major league baseball teams – the Cubs and the White Sox. The city is home to a few more professional sportsball teams, but I don’t care about them. So it was just a matter of finding a week when both teams would have some home games, and then scheduling my visit then.

While neither of their home stadia are in the downtown area, they are both convenient to mass transit. Wrigley Field was first on the schedule.

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Chicago – 1

So, I’m back. Like my last post didn’t give you a hint that I was going somewhere. And the title of this post ought to tell you where I went.

Why Chicago?

Well, I’d never been there before (changing planes at O’Hare doesn’t count). They’ve got a great science museum, a great art museum, and they’re home to two baseball teams. So why not? I’ll have plenty of things to see and do. Continue reading