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Old Posted Jun 4, 2021, 11:57 PM
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Chicago, IL: HHNC vs the Glorious Hot Dog

Once we were finally fully vaccinated, my husband had an epiphany, and the epiphany was this: If he did not get to get on a plane and go somewhere, anywhere, after more than a year of not getting to travel at all except for one pathetic jaunt to a miserable place in Florida, he was simply going to have no choice but to cut a bitch. Thus to protect the bitches of the greater Greenville-Spartanburg area, he began to research flights and trips. Upon his niece's suggestion, as she had just been there herself, he researched Chicago. It was affordable. We decided to go.

I informed glowrock, with whom I go way back. We decided to meet for shenanigans, namely a river cruise hosted by the Chicago Architecture Center. And naturally, my husband and I planned shenanigans of our own, including visits to the Sears Tower, the Hancock Center, the Art Institute and the Shedd Aquarium. We also decided, just for fun, to visit the Nederlander Theatre, site of the Iroquois Theatre fire in 1903 which killed 602 people, and the site of the SS Eastland disaster, which occurred in 1915 and killed 844 people. We had also hoped to visit the site of H.H. Holmes' murder castle, which is today occupied by a post office... in Englewood. Therefore, we did not visit the site of H.H. Holmes' murder castle.

This leads me to my next point, which is that Chicago has a dreadful reputation. Everyone, to a person, that we told we were going, practically blanched, clutched at pearls (their own when available and those worn by ladies sitting nearby when not available), and warned us to be careful. We got this reaction from my brother, who visited places such as New Orleans, Boston, New York, and Washington DC at the nadir of American urban safety back in the 80's and early 90's, and we got it from a friend of ours who holds a black belt in karate and who thinks nothing of jetting off to any corner of Europe alone, despite the fact that she is a tiny little Jewish lady who stands five-foot one if she wears the right shoes.

People who should have known better, in other words. Nevertheless, Chicago's reputation is as a place where you can't hear yourself think for the gunfire. I'm pleased to report that we weren't shot at a single time -- all the times we had to hit the floor or hurl ourselves away from exploding windows, the bullets were obviously meant for someone else. Seriously though, the only incident in which we felt at all unsafe was when we were leaving, waiting in the Blue Line subway station for the train to O'Hare, and were entirely too close to a deranged person having a very loud and very animated argument with the ceiling, and losing that argument.

(As always, apologies for the informercial YouTube will attempt to force you to watch before you can access the theme music for this thread.)

Video Link


Day 1: Friday

Naturally enough, we stayed at the Congress Plaza Hotel, which was built to accommodate guests visiting Chicago to take in the Columbian Exposition in 1893. You have to know this in advance in order to really appreciate the Congress Plaza, whose rooms feature furniture that appears to date from 1893, and which also appears and often smells elsewhere to date from that era. Overall, I liked the place a lot though, the bed was exceedingly comfortable, and the lobby was a sight to behold.







This is my kind of artwork.



This was the view from our room on a gloomy Friday evening.







This is also my kind of artwork, at a Thai and sushi place around the corner from the hotel. The sushi was great, the Thai was meh.



Day 2: Saturday

The next day began with a trek to the Dunkin Donuts across the street from the Thai place. At that Dunkin Donuts I enjoyed perhaps the worst bagel I've ever eaten in my life. It was like trying to chew a shoe. Chicago clearly loves its Dunkin though, because downtown was crawling with them.







And there's the old girl there...























It's a bay window bonanza!



I was curious about these flowers, so I asked about them in a Facebook group for gardeners that I belong to. Apparently, they're foxtail lilies.



We returned to the hotel momentarily, and this was the view from the room on a bright, sunny Saturday morning.





























Our quarry was in sight.



























I really just couldn't stay away from that fountain.





















After the Sears Tower it was off to the Art Institute, where I refused to be one of those tourists who catalogue every painting and item on display or worse, have a digital hitchhiker along as they FaceTime everything they see back to someone across the country. I steadfastly refused to photograph the art, in fact.









But even I have my limits. This sofa was just too much sexy to pass up.







































































Silly me, but I thought I had made reservations to go up in the Hancock Center on Friday and I was quite surprised to learn I'd actually made them for Saturday... Where we enjoyed one of the worst tourist experiences we've ever had. So bad, in fact, that they later sent out an apology email to everyone there that night. For what it's worth though, in the two hours we had to wait in an airless, hot, interminable line, I got to learn quite a bit about the young woman in front of me who, like, doesn't, like, like Victoria Pearson who, like, just, like, gets on, like, her, like, nerves. Like, you know? And, like, it's, like, weird, like, how when you, like, go to, like, college, like, and everyone you went to high school with also, like, goes to college you end up, like, just, like, knowing everyone there! I also got to read this young woman's Facebook feed and discovered she banks at Wells Fargo because she had no compunctions at all about conducting her personal business in full view of hundreds of strangers crammed together.

Although the whole situation with Victoria Pearson, whoever that is, just makes me sad. I just kind of feel like Miss Pearson really deserves better. Maybe she just needs a friend.



















There were other benefits to that view from our room, including being able to lie in bed and watch the fireworks at Navy Pier on Saturday night.



Day 3: Sunday

On Sunday we set out in search of the Bean, en route to the Shedd Aquarium.











































This was where we finally gave in to the chorus of people, both from Chicago and those who'd just visited, who demanded we try a Chicago-style hot dog. To hear them go on about it, a Chicago-style hot dog is a life-changing experience and should you have one, you will be moved to the point of touching yourself. You won't be able to help yourself, and thus it is highly advised to only enjoy a Chicago-style hot dog in private.

Turns out they were lying. A Chicago-style hot dog consists of a Vienna beef sausage in a poppyseed bun, with random shit piled atop it. When I got mine it had a pickle spear, tomatoes, and peppers on it. I ate it. It was okay, but my life remained unchanged and I was not inspired to touch myself until much later that evening.

















After a nice visit with the penguins and beluga whales, it was time to rush off to meet glowrock for the architecture river cruise. En route, we walked along the waterfront where it transpired that some silly bitch had fallen in the lake. This necessitated what appeared to be the entirety of the Chicago police, fire, and ambulance services to converge in order to pull her out. It drew quite a crowd.















































Day 4: Monday









































It was at this point that we finally tried the other Chicago staple that people advised us to try, and they had usually advised us to try while jumping up and down and screaming. Deep dish pizza. Apparently, deep dish pizza is even more orgasmic than the Chicago-style hot dog. We had queried glowrock for his recommendations the evening prior and were recommended to try a place called Pizano's.



Not bad. My husband, who grew up in the Connecticut suburbs of New York, though, still maintains that real pizza is New York-style pizza, and that the only proper New York-style pizza is that which has two toppings at most and comes in slices of a size adequate to use as an airport windsock should the need arise.

I often think of his pizza preferences when I'm applying the extra onions. And the green peppers. And olives. And ground beef. And sausage. And pepperoni. And anchovies if I happen to have a few spare ones.

On glowrock's recommendation, we decided to have a look at the Macy's in the old Marshall Fields building. We weren't disappointed.





















After the "shoegel" incident of our first morning in Chicago, I had sworn not to return to another Dunkin Donuts there. However, as we passed by, my husband noticed an advertisement for some sort of coconut drink they have and simply could not be dissuaded. Located in an historic storefront, this was their ceiling.

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Last edited by hauntedheadnc; Jun 5, 2021 at 12:45 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2021, 12:43 AM
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Nice! Next time try some real Chicago pizza - thin crust.

Vito and Nicks
8433 South Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL 60652
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2021, 12:52 AM
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Lake Point Tower is still basically the most sexy skyscraper ever built.

Love the commentary!
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2021, 12:54 AM
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Very nice set and I trust you enjoyed your visit to Chicago. Just remember that the bad reputation comes from hyped media reporting mainly from NYC and not reality

I love your dry sense of humor.
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2021, 12:54 AM
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Did Glowrock take you to any breweries?
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2021, 3:32 AM
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hah, you were outside my building at at least one point .
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2021, 10:27 AM
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The stairs - the stairs

Congress Stairs by

ty interesting to see the city from a tourist's perspective ( several shots are from outside my office ).

How did you like the Hancock Sky deck -vs- the Sears ?
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2021, 1:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JManc View Post
Did Glowrock take you to any breweries?
No, Glowrock didn't take them to any breweries, as there was no time to do so during the time we were hanging out. Miller's Pub was great for dinner, though. Besides, there's always next time they visit!

Aaron (Glowrock)
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2021, 1:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Centropolis View Post
Nice! Next time try some real Chicago pizza - thin crust.

Vito and Nicks
8433 South Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL 60652
I've heard all about that place. I love all types of pizza, and Chicago's got amazing examples of most every kind, save for perhaps traditional new york style.

Aaron (Glowrock)
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2021, 1:16 PM
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Great post! Looks like a very full itinerary. I just happen to be in Chicago this weekend as I accompanied my wife for a class she’s teaching. I had never heard of the Iroquois Theater disaster. In reading about it, I have to wonder what it was like in the Chicago Loop back in the 1910s. Major disasters/horrors seemed to occur every few years. Besides the Eastland and The Iroquois, there also was Wingfoot.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wingfo..._Express_crash
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2021, 2:39 PM
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I don't know if it has reopened yet, but the Chicago Maritime museum in Bridgeport has some interesting artifacts from the Eastland.
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Old Posted Jun 5, 2021, 11:49 PM
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Wow this is still around, I have a photo from 1982 when I dined here. It was my first time visiting Chicago, in fact first time ever leaving LA, other than Vegas and San Diego I was barely 18. Anyway I was headed back to Los Angeles and was treated to a late lunch and back then you could purchase souvenirs at Marshall Fields. Just last minute items before I boarded a flight for the first time ever. I took the greyhound to St Louis and Chicago, I just but couldn’t take that long ride back and purchased an airline ticket.

Thanks for sharing it looks like you had a nice time in a beautiful city.

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Old Posted Jun 6, 2021, 1:19 AM
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Such an incredible city.
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Old Posted Jun 6, 2021, 4:30 PM
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Wonderful commentary as always and great pics!
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Old Posted Jun 6, 2021, 5:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hauntedheadnc View Post
But even I have my limits. This sofa was just too much sexy to pass up.

I'd rather keep standing or just sit on a sidewalk. I'd be scared to damage it, then they would charge my bank account for the repair.
Those old things were never designed to be functional.

Fun thread. I like the water color of the river and the lake. Nice color.

I think the Carbide & Carbon building is my favorite of their historic stock. I dig the dark granite and terra cotta to serve the Deco style, and the gold leaf adds something garish but cool to it.
Love that old skyscraper.
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Old Posted Jun 7, 2021, 10:15 AM
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Thanks for the comments, everyone. I appreciate it.

One of these days I'm going to re-learn to take the camera with us when we go somewhere, as opposed to these crummy phone photos.
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Old Posted Jun 7, 2021, 2:44 PM
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Great photos! As a kid, I thought of Chicago as*THE* example of a big American city (aside from NYC). My mom lived/worked there for 4 years in the 1960s before she married my dad, so growing up, my images of Chicago were the ones I saw in her photo albums, and what I saw on TV/movies. When I finally did get to see Chicago twice in the 1990s, I really liked it.

Hauntedhead, did you get around by public transportation? I know Chicago's public transit is great, but I actually got around by driving/walking.
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Old Posted Jun 7, 2021, 3:21 PM
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Great photos! As a kid, I thought of Chicago as*THE* example of a big American city (aside from NYC). My mom lived/worked there for 4 years in the 1960s before she married my dad, so growing up, my images of Chicago were the ones I saw in her photo albums, and what I saw on TV/movies. When I finally did get to see Chicago twice in the 1990s, I really liked it.

Hauntedhead, did you get around by public transportation? I know Chicago's public transit is great, but I actually got around by driving/walking.
Based on the places seen, I'd guess it was all walking (+ a boat).
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Old Posted Jun 7, 2021, 3:38 PM
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Beautiful photos of a magnificent city!!
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Old Posted Jun 7, 2021, 4:18 PM
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
Great photos! As a kid, I thought of Chicago as*THE* example of a big American city (aside from NYC). My mom lived/worked there for 4 years in the 1960s before she married my dad, so growing up, my images of Chicago were the ones I saw in her photo albums, and what I saw on TV/movies. When I finally did get to see Chicago twice in the 1990s, I really liked it.

Hauntedhead, did you get around by public transportation? I know Chicago's public transit is great, but I actually got around by driving/walking.
Thanks!

We rode the Blue Line from O'Hare to the LaSalle Street station getting in, and rode it back to the airport when leaving. The rest was on foot except for once when we took an Uber back to the hotel after leaving the Hancock Center. After standing in line for two hours to get in, with nothing to rest on or against, walking around on the observation deck, then standing in line again for about thirty minutes to get out, walking all the way back was not an option. Plus, of course, the boat on the river.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMKeynes View Post
Beautiful photos of a magnificent city!!
Thanks to you as well!
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