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Old 01-31-2010, 10:04 AM  
BigRedChief BigRedChief is offline
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Going to Chicago. What do I need to do? Avoid?

Going to Chicago for a little 4 day vacation(Thrusday - Sunday) on spring break. Going to the Bulls vs. Cleveland NBA game and see Lebron, Derrick Rose, Shaq etc on Friday night. What is the can't miss "stuff" in Chicago? Avoid? opinions welcome...

Staying downtown at the Allerton hotel.

Any Planeteers want to get together?
--------------------------------------------------------------------
03/22/2010 edit to pay it forward for future chicago visitors:
Transportation:
Definitely take the trains and bus’s if you are planning to spend a lot of time downtown. We saved a fortune in cabs. Get the CTA pass and you can get on how ever many buses, trains, transfers etc that you want for how many days you purchase. http://faremedia.chicago-card.com/store/main.aspx?DepartmentId=34 Check the schedule and plan your route out:
http://www.transitchicago.com/travel_information/maps/default.aspxhttp://www.transitchicago.com/riding_cta/populardestinations.aspx

We arrived at 8:00 at the O’Hara airport and not taking the train would have been a disaster. They highways are parking lots that time of the day. We flew out of Midway on the way out and took a cab out there to the airport.
We really enjoyed riding the bus’s and talking to the locals. They gave us great tips on where to eat etc.

You don’t need a car. If you are driving, there is no where to park and where there is parking is very expensive and driving downtown is dangerous trying to navigate all those cabs and buses? Not for the weak of heart.

Attractions:
Get the Go Chicago card: Saved us a ton of money on admission fees but more importantly we avoided the lines at the attractions to get tickets. It was snowing and the line to get into the Field museum was over an hour and a half to just get tickets to get into the museum. The lines to get tickets are long. Get your tickets in advance.
http://www.smartdestinations.com/chicago-attractions-and-tours/_d_Chi-p1.html?pass=Chi_Prod_Go

Sears Tower: Was cool but if you have to wait an hour or two? Question the value. The ledge is really cool. Nothing between you and the street 103 stories up but some Plexiglas. It’s an experience you can’t get anywhere else in the world.

John Hancock observatory: We actually liked it better than the Sears tower because of the better ocean and beach views. They have something cool there, a skywalk 93 stories up that you can walk along that is exposed to the wind, temperatures etc 93 floors up. Just some mesh screen between you and the sky.

Science and Industry museum: We all felt that this was the best of all the museums. You have to see the U-Boat. It’s another one of those you can only experience in Chicago things.

Millennium Park: The silver bean was really cool. Seems like a real simple thing but once you get there and see it up close you understand the draw the bean has for people. Make sure you go underneath the bean and check it out. Looks like a wonderful place to watch a concert.

Shedd Aquarium: We were disappointed in this one. Maybe we are just spoiled but we thought the Aquarium in Omaha was much better.

The Field museum: Another disappointment. Sue the T-Rex was really cool but the rest of the museum left us flat. Seemed really educational for kids but for us adults we would like to have seen more exhibits than some pottery.

Chicago Bulls game: We decided to take the bus out there. Straight shot to and from downtown. Not really a bad seat in the house. The mascot seems to be pretty athletic and entertaining. Highly recommend getting one of the monster dogs.

Navy Pier: We went there and it was cold. Looks like a great place to visit in the warm weather.

Second City: We saw “Rush Limbaugh, the musical”. Barney Frank, Hillary, Dancing Ronald Reagan’s…Very funny stuff. Had a bit in there when Rush with the Royals and George Brett on a toilet with hemorrhoids. Highly recommend checking out a show there.

The Art Institute: A wonderful place to see art. So many Picasso’s, Monet’s and Van Gough’s you can’t really appreciate them fully like if some were here in KC just because of the sheer volume of masterpieces in one place. Very impressive collection. We also enjoyed seeing the American Gothic and some American art.
http://www.artic.edu/aic/

Eats:
Ginos East: Great pizza. Love the crust. We went to the one on Shapiro and it has all the walls filled with customer graffiti. Not living off its past reputation. My son thought it was the best pizza ever.

Giordanos: on Shapiro, Excellent deep dish pizza here also. Better than anything you can get in KC. Try sprinkling a little Italian herb seasoning on the pizza here.
http://www.giordanos.com/locations.html

West Egg: Breakfast by the doubletree. Reasonable prices and great food. Everything we had was good.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/west-egg-cafe-chicago-2

Yokes: Breakfast on Lake Shore drive. Best crepes we have ever had. Very good food.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/yolk-chicago-2

Quaritinos: Best meal in Chicago. Very trendy and hip place but don’t let that push you away. You order 5-6 things and share them. Ravioli, Brusheta and the Bananas foster desert were our favorites but everything we had was real flavorful and well prepared. http://www.quartinochicago.com/


Lodging:
We stayed at the Allerton hotel downtown. I would highly recommend if you are coming to Chicago and you are going to do these things listed above to stay downtown. This was a great hotel. If you can’t afford the downtown rates just take the train into the city and go from there.

Last edited by BigRedChief; 03-22-2010 at 10:07 AM..
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:40 AM   #121
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Christ I ****ing hate that airport. You'd almost think you're in a different country. I fly into Midway everytime, and it's closer to downtown.
wasn't a choice to fly out of two different airports. If I decided to change to one airport of midway it would have cost me $200-$300 total.
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If it's effective, who are you, me, or anybody else to call it abuse? I worked with a guy back in Moberly who would shove a finger up his son's ass each time he had anything worse than a C on his report card. If he came home with 2 D's and an F, that's 3 fingers (and this was a big dude). Does that sound hideous and disgusting? Absolutely. Did the kid ever get anything worse than a C after this rule was implemented? Not a chance.

I'm not saying it's morally right or wrong, but does it make the child because of it? Think about that for a second.
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:04 AM   #122
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I would go see the Blue man group. Great show!
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:50 AM   #123
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We are flying in through Ohara and out through Midway.
I think you mean O'Hare dude. Have a nice trip. :toast
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:55 PM   #124
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Man that train system looks good. Easy to get around without paying a fortune in cab fare or messing with parking a rental. Anyone ride the trains?
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Attempted troll/humor while discussing potential child abuse
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Originally Posted by Bufkin View Post
If it's effective, who are you, me, or anybody else to call it abuse? I worked with a guy back in Moberly who would shove a finger up his son's ass each time he had anything worse than a C on his report card. If he came home with 2 D's and an F, that's 3 fingers (and this was a big dude). Does that sound hideous and disgusting? Absolutely. Did the kid ever get anything worse than a C after this rule was implemented? Not a chance.

I'm not saying it's morally right or wrong, but does it make the child because of it? Think about that for a second.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:04 PM   #125
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Man that train system looks good. Easy to get around without paying a fortune in cab fare or messing with parking a rental. Anyone ride the trains?
yes. the downside is they often get delayed or stopped due to issues. We almost missed a flight out of O'Hare because the Metra got stopped for 45 minutes due to an incident.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:25 PM   #126
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We are flying in through Ohara and out through Midway.
For your return trip, you're better off not taking the L to Midway if you've got a lot of luggage. It's a very long walk from the train terminus to the airport (very poorly designed, but somebody probably got paid a million dollars to do it that way). I'd recommend taking a cab.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:33 PM   #127
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For your return trip, you're better off not taking the L to Midway if you've got a lot of luggage. It's a very long walk from the train terminus to the airport (very poorly designed, but somebody probably got paid a million dollars to do it that way). I'd recommend taking a cab.
Getting in at 8:00 am on thrusday. Should I take the train into downtown?
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Originally Posted by Bufkin View Post
If it's effective, who are you, me, or anybody else to call it abuse? I worked with a guy back in Moberly who would shove a finger up his son's ass each time he had anything worse than a C on his report card. If he came home with 2 D's and an F, that's 3 fingers (and this was a big dude). Does that sound hideous and disgusting? Absolutely. Did the kid ever get anything worse than a C after this rule was implemented? Not a chance.

I'm not saying it's morally right or wrong, but does it make the child because of it? Think about that for a second.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:46 PM   #128
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Getting in at 8:00 am on thrusday. Should I take the train into downtown?
From O'Hare? Yes. I think there are flat rates for taxis from the airports to downtown, but they're still very pricy and you'd probably be stuck in traffic for at least an hour. Take the blue line train downtown - the terminus is in the airport, lower level under the main parking garage.
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:24 PM   #129
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Man that train system looks good. Easy to get around without paying a fortune in cab fare or messing with parking a rental. Anyone ride the trains?
For sure. The locals bitch about CTA all the time, but its great for getting around and fairly easy.

You're only problem coming from O'hare will be that there's no easy transfer to where you need to get on the red line. Your stop is Chicago - RED, which is just north of the loop. The earliest red connection with blue isn't until the south of the loop and you'll then have to go back north on red for 5-6 stop, with luggage, on one of the busiest parts of the El. But you could take it in and hop off right around the loop and walk if its nice or grab a taxi/bus. Still save some money.

To Midway you'll be fine. Just hop on the Chicago-RED, and take that south to Roosevelt. Then you'll transfer there to orange for a straight shot to Midway.

Parking and driving is a bitch. Don't rent a car. Taxis are great and everywhere. Especially when cold. Buses are great too, and a lot of times quicker than the el. Great for museum hopping.
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:36 PM   #130
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I've been lightly reading over this thread, just a few observations:
Rush Street: Did anybody mention Rush Street?
Ditka's Restaurant or Harry Caray's?
Giordano's Pizza gave me wicked food poisoning, and had to fly at 6am the next morning. A pox on them!
Ed's is very fun. Food is decent. Wait staff is a hoot.
Billy Goat Tavern is underneath the Chicago Tribune building. Cheeseburger is nothing special, but atmosphere is pretty cool. And they have beer.
Museum of Science & Industry is great, but its in SOUTH CHICAGO. And the L does not go directly there. It's about a mile away. NOT A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD to be in, so take a cab if you go there.
Second City Comedy Club rocks. Lots of guys & gals from there end up on SNL.
Have a Vienna Hot Dog and an Old Style Beer.
Frank Lloyd Wright stuff in Oak Park.
Art Institute is awesome (if you like art).
Have fun, be prepared to spend money.
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:50 PM   #131
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Museum of Science & Industry is great, but its in SOUTH CHICAGO. And the L does not go directly there. It's about a mile away. NOT A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD to be in, so take a cab if you go there.
This is kind of true, kind of not.

You don't want to take the El there because it isn't close there. But from where you are, they run tons of buses that run there and are more than safe. The #10 runs on weekends right to the front, and two others drop you off right by I think. Tons of tourists on all of these buses. Also, you'll find the University of Chicago straight west of there, which is absolutely safe and beautiful like I said earlier. Some cool places and architecture to check out in Hyde Park.

Don't let people scare away from getting out of the loop area. A lot of beautiful neighborhoods north and south. You just have to be smart. I've stumbled home drunk from bars in south Chicago and never had a problem. You just can't be a dumbass, like in any city.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:01 PM   #132
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This is kind of true, kind of not.

You don't want to take the El there because it isn't close there. But from where you are, they run tons of buses that run there and are more than safe. The #10 runs on weekends right to the front, and two others drop you off right by I think. Tons of tourists on all of these buses. Also, you'll find the University of Chicago straight west of there, which is absolutely safe and beautiful like I said earlier. Some cool places and architecture to check out in Hyde Park.

Don't let people scare away from getting out of the loop area. A lot of beautiful neighborhoods north and south. You just have to be smart. I've stumbled home drunk from bars in south Chicago and never had a problem. You just can't be a dumbass, like in any city.
Having lived in Chicago for many years, I absolutely disagree with this statement. Sure there are pockets of nice areas, but mostly, Chicago outside the touristy areas sucks, and you can pass into a dangerous neighborhood very quickly. Chances are nothing will happen to you, but why take the chance just to see a little extra bit of urban blight?

And for the love of God (and your own life) don't ever ride the red line train south of 35th Street.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:52 PM   #133
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Having lived in Chicago for many years, I absolutely disagree with this statement. Sure there are pockets of nice areas, but mostly, Chicago outside the touristy areas sucks, and you can pass into a dangerous neighborhood very quickly. Chances are nothing will happen to you, but why take the chance just to see a little extra bit of urban blight?

And for the love of God (and your own life) don't ever ride the red line train south of 35th Street.
Like I said, you have to be smart. But saying that Science and Industry is in South Chicago so BE CAREFUL and avoid the streets is ludicrous. You can go from good to bad quickly like you said, so me saying "I stumbled home drunk" is crass. But the area around Science and Industry is neither blighted nor unsafe during the day. In fact, it's really beautiful.

Would I go there? If I'm only in Chicago for four days, no, unless you're real into architecture.

I'm not sure what you define as a "touristy areas", but that seems pretty narrow to me. On most my trips to Chicago, I rarely go anywhere near Michigan Ave or the loop area. I guess that's a factor of where my friends and family live, but I don't know. It's a pretty big city that functions outside of tourists. If you're visiting for only four days, hell yeah do all the typical stuff. But the rest of Chicago certainly doesn't suck.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:24 PM   #134
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You just can't be a dumbass, like in any city.
So wearing my Cardinals gear around town is not a good idea...
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Originally Posted by Bufkin View Post
If it's effective, who are you, me, or anybody else to call it abuse? I worked with a guy back in Moberly who would shove a finger up his son's ass each time he had anything worse than a C on his report card. If he came home with 2 D's and an F, that's 3 fingers (and this was a big dude). Does that sound hideous and disgusting? Absolutely. Did the kid ever get anything worse than a C after this rule was implemented? Not a chance.

I'm not saying it's morally right or wrong, but does it make the child because of it? Think about that for a second.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:26 PM   #135
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So wearing my Cardinals gear around town is not a good idea...
And people are complaining that South Chicago will be unsafe for you...
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