usa | chicago
presse agent Tiffany Lam Graham
Chicago. Chi-town. The Windy City. With so much history, culture and activity it’s important to leave room to leisurely take in the vibe of this very friendly, walk-able city. Hit one major attraction a day and take your sweet time getting from point A to B and back, all while taking in the spectacular architecture and a few pints and apps along the way.
WRIGLEY FIELD Take the “L” train to Wrigley Field for an afternoon Cubs game and a taste of true Chicago pride. Get tickets at the box office the day of, or from one of the many scalpers, and mingle alongside other cheer-seekers making their way to the bleacher seats – where no view is a bad view, by the way. 2014 marks the 100th year of this historic landmark and, just like they did post-game in 1914, fans spill out onto the streets and into one of the many bars surrounding the stadium. On my to do list for the next visit: Skip the stadium altogether and sit on one of the roof-top bleachers across the street.
THE LAKE, OLD TOWN & THE SECOND CITY Chicago prides itself on its skyscrapers and waterfront, and its apparent why with a stroll along the lake shore from downtown to Old Town. In the summer, you’ll find a good mix of beach-goers, boardwalk runners and cyclists, and a busy boulevard of cars separating the beach and the City’s flush skyline of tall buildings. A boardwalk beach bar is conveniently nestled between the sand and the boardwalk, to provide relief to those soaking up the sun. The beach plays host to events and markets on any given weekend, and is even used to showcase sculpture art. Head to the north end and and you’ll hit Old Town – a neighbourhood with plenty of restaurants, bars and patios. You’ll have your choice of places to eat before taking in a sketch comedy show at the famous first Second City, where the likes of Jim Belushi, Mike Myers and Stephen Colbert are alumni. With a full bar and snack menu, serving staff keep comedy-loving locals and tourists satiated, while the cast keeps the laughs coming non-stop.
THE ART INSTITUTE Even if art is not your thing, it’s worth a quick trip to the Art Institute of Chicago. A beautiful building architecturally, it’s also conveniently located next to Millennium Park (where the famous bean sits). If you have a couple hours to spare, take in some of the work of famous impressionists and post-impressionists that are part of the Institute’s permanent collection. One of the most impressive pieces is Seurat’s ‘A Sunday on La Grande Jatte’ – a large mural of relaxing Parisians, painted using tiny dots (also known as Pointillism). Be careful – you may lose track of time staring at this piece.
SOHO HOUSE CHICAGO Situated in the hip West Loop District, Soho House Chicago is housed in a six-story warehouse dating back to 1907. As part of a worldwide group of private members’ clubs, the Chicago outpost (like other locations in London and Miami) offers non-members access to its bar and two restaurants. There is also a hotel and the very first public-facing Cowshed Spa. Members and non-members alike indulge in casual luxury and warm friendly service. At Allis Bar, sip on a refreshing gin/cucumber/lime cocktail dubbed The Eastern, or a perfectly balanced Bourbon Iced-Tea. In contrast to the city’s bustling Restaurant Row, this place is remarkably more relaxed. Both restaurants, Chicken Shop and PizzaEast, provide an atmosphere which is a perfect mix of rustic warmth and eclectic cool. Between two we shared a very decent house red, as well as a free-range rotisserie chicken that had been marinating for 24 hours and was served fresh from the spit. Who knew rotisserie chicken could be so deliciously moist? Of course we couldn’t pass up the crinkle-cut fries, coleslaw, corn on the cob, mac and cheese and a perfect butter lettuce/avocado salad. Our feast finished with a homemade vanilla ice cream and apple pie for desert – not too sweet and the perfect amount of flaky crust. If the idea behind this Chicago club was to show non-members what they are missing out on, I’d say Soho House was successful. sohohousechicago.com
Other notable highlights: House of Blues (live music nightly); Architecture River Cruise on Chicago’s First Lady, Hugo’s Frog Bar; Live music at the Jay Pritzker Pavillion; Shopping the Magnificent Mile.
Tiffany Lam Graham lives in Toronto with her husband Stephen and Ernest the cat. By day she manages municipal election projects, and spends her free time playing every sport possible.