I am so excited to have the lovely Cindy (of A Practical Wedding meet ups and wisdom, and even more wisdom) here today to share her love of Chicago. As a transplant to the Windy City-I always love to hear what everyone’ elses favorite parts of the living here are. Check her and her wife’s company out at craftybroads.com.
When Sarah gave me the topic for this post, my first thought was, what in the world will I write about? You see, I love living in Chicago, but when I think about the things I love to do here… it isn’t about where I go or what sights I see or the food I eat… it’s about who I’m doing those things with. So I’d have to say that the thing I love most about Chicago is the people!
However, if I think for a few moments longer, a few favorite places and activities come to mind. First up on everyone’s list, in my opinion, is a visit to the lakefront. I’ve always been partial to vast expanses of water, and Lake Michigan certainly qualifies. If you frequent it, you’ll notice that from time to time, it even smells like the ocean despite being a lake. A lazy picnic lunch with your toes in the sand; a little dip in the water; a walk or bike ride down the lakefront path… what could be better?
Second to that is a ride on Lake Shore Drive. Start on the south side and head towards the loop. Coming up on the city skyline with the lake on the other side is simply stunning.
Now that you’ve gotten the touristy stuff out of the way – because really, that is as much of the tourist stuff as you need to do – let’s talk about some other ways to spend your time in the Windy City. (By the way, do you know that it’s not called that because of the actual wind? It’s actually a reference to all the politicians blowing so much hot air.)
I’m obviously biased since I studied and work in theatre, but one of the city’s greatest assets is the plethora of shows you can see here at any given time. Of course there are the big “Broadway in Chicago” theatres downtown, but you should skip those. You can see the exact same show when it comes through your city. What you want to do is check out the storefront scene. There are more than 200 companies here, and most of them are making art on shoestring budgets in hole-in-the-wall venues with less than a hundred seats. Dive theatre, if you will. Much like dive bars, they can be hit or miss… but when you find the hit, you’ll have an experience you never forget. (And it usually won’t cost you more than $20.)
The last thing I’ll mention is: food. You might not think of Chicago as a world-class eating city, but there are some truly stellar establishments here. You can venture into just about any neighborhood and find great dishes from just about any region of the world. Within walking distance of our condo, there is authentic Mexican; Persian; Peruvian; Thai; and Ethiopian, just to give you an idea. And if you want to go fancy, there is no shortage of truly wonderful fine dining in Chicago either.
So – to make a long story short – here’s what you should do in Chicago:
1. Visit the Lake. (Early and often.)
2. See some Dive Theatre.
3. Eat Good Food.
And, of course, do all of those things with your favorite people.
Thank you so much Cindy!