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Old 06-22-2013, 09:44 AM
 
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
585 posts, read 935,164 times
Reputation: 918

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2009, 2011...2013. I am due for my week in Chicago. This time I will be "escorting" friends from Italy.
They are coming from a week in NY. They told me: shouldn't we go first to Chicago and then NY, fearing that a visit to Chicago right after NY might lose interest.

I told them that back in 2009 my wife and I went to NY in September. We liked so much that we wanted to back in October as we had vacation that we would either use or lose. However in October I couldn't find any decent offer, prices were huge in NY for hotels, so - having done remodeling in our condo in Florida, where we live, we had to select a different trip.

Almost randomly I scouted priceline and other sites, searching for a few big cities we never visited, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco.

I hit a great offer for Chicago. We went just because it was too expensive to go back to NY. Low expectations, after all we thought, we were still in awe from the previous month visit to NY, so I told my wife the same: we should have just picked a beach vacation. Going to a big city right after NY is going to make the second city look...well, not much.

Wrong. We fell in love with the uniqueness of Chicago and now every 2 years we go back.

Chicago offers the amenities of other large cities, without the - at times - snobbish feeling. Chicago is not "upscale" but what it offers, from food to museums, from art to music is of upscale quality.

Chicago is not the woman that walks by you and makes you turn your head, hitting you like a lightning. Chicago is the woman in jeans with little make up; many keep walking, but if you stop, look at her, talk to her and listen to her, you can see the beauty, a real beauty of a woman who saw things, who went through some hard times.
Chicago is the woman you don't "hit on"; Chicago is the woman that while you are buying her a drink in a badly lighted bar, makes eye contact and silently makes you fall in love before you're done with first drink.

Looking forward to go back and it's okay if this time I will have to stick to the classic landmarks as I will guide my friends in their first visit to the city. But I will definitely find the time to take them away from the Mile, maybe to Andersonville, maybe to Little Italy and Chinatown, for sure I'll take my buddy to Buddy's Legend. And of course a few museums.

Either way, no matter where we go, tomorrow at 5 p.m. I will land in the Windy City and I will hear inside notes of blues and jazz while still looking for a cab outside O'Hare.
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:01 PM
 
387 posts, read 855,318 times
Reputation: 538
Hope you enjoy the trip, and glad you have enjoyed the city. It's cool that you're getting out and exploring the neighborhoods. Chicago's one of the most visually impressive cities I've seen. I'd argue, however, that Chicago has more than plenty "upscale". It exists in SPADES, but Chicago doesn't feel overly 'pretentious' is my take anyway.

I mean good lord you can go to a place like Grace or Alinea and spend about a grand on a meal. Or walk around the Gold Coast or the Mag Mile..they don't plop down Peninsula or Waldorf Astoria hotels just anywhere..lol.
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Old 06-22-2013, 01:56 PM
 
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
4,618 posts, read 7,388,105 times
Reputation: 6311
I love it when Italian guys compare things to women
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,322 posts, read 21,495,564 times
Reputation: 7301
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoItaly View Post
Chicago offers the amenities of other large cities, without the - at times - snobbish feeling. Chicago is not "upscale" but what it offers, from food to museums, from art to music is of upscale quality.

Well, on the whole? No, but there's PLENTY of upscale things in Chicago. PLENTY.

Glad you like the city though It's a good one, even if it's not as "up there" as NYC or San Fran in peoples' minds.
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:15 PM
 
1,236 posts, read 1,611,735 times
Reputation: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoItaly View Post
Chicago is not "upscale"...
That's strange. Pretty sure I was in downtown Chicago when a salesman quoted me $1.4 million for an "upscale" automobile - something Bugatti I believe it was called. Yeah, now I remember. That was shortly after some nice guy down on Michigan Ave. tried to sell me a $15,000 piece of jewelry, just so I could keep track of time. The sign out front said Rolex, or something other - I dunno.
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Old 06-22-2013, 05:11 PM
 
8,279 posts, read 10,749,966 times
Reputation: 10018
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoItaly View Post
2009, 2011...2013. I am due for my week in Chicago. This time I will be "escorting" friends from Italy.
They are coming from a week in NY. They told me: shouldn't we go first to Chicago and then NY, fearing that a visit to Chicago right after NY might lose interest.

I told them that back in 2009 my wife and I went to NY in September. We liked so much that we wanted to back in October as we had vacation that we would either use or lose. However in October I couldn't find any decent offer, prices were huge in NY for hotels, so - having done remodeling in our condo in Florida, where we live, we had to select a different trip.

Almost randomly I scouted priceline and other sites, searching for a few big cities we never visited, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco.

I hit a great offer for Chicago. We went just because it was too expensive to go back to NY. Low expectations, after all we thought, we were still in awe from the previous month visit to NY, so I told my wife the same: we should have just picked a beach vacation. Going to a big city right after NY is going to make the second city look...well, not much.

Wrong. We fell in love with the uniqueness of Chicago and now every 2 years we go back.

Chicago offers the amenities of other large cities, without the - at times - snobbish feeling. Chicago is not "upscale" but what it offers, from food to museums, from art to music is of upscale quality.

Chicago is not the woman that walks by you and makes you turn your head, hitting you like a lightning. Chicago is the woman in jeans with little make up; many keep walking, but if you stop, look at her, talk to her and listen to her, you can see the beauty, a real beauty of a woman who saw things, who went through some hard times.
Chicago is the woman you don't "hit on"; Chicago is the woman that while you are buying her a drink in a badly lighted bar, makes eye contact and silently makes you fall in love before you're done with first drink.

Looking forward to go back and it's okay if this time I will have to stick to the classic landmarks as I will guide my friends in their first visit to the city. But I will definitely find the time to take them away from the Mile, maybe to Andersonville, maybe to Little Italy and Chinatown, for sure I'll take my buddy to Buddy's Legend. And of course a few museums.

Either way, no matter where we go, tomorrow at 5 p.m. I will land in the Windy City and I will hear inside notes of blues and jazz while still looking for a cab outside O'Hare.
I see that Chicago's biggest fan is returning for more adventure..

I enjoyed the analogy, by the way. Lot of truth there..
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:58 AM
 
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
585 posts, read 935,164 times
Reputation: 918
LOL, I didn't mean Chicago is NOT upscale; I meant it is not a city that many would tag as such even though it has everything. And by the way, upscale to me is not just price, it's about quality and it's all relative. Il Quartino, one of my favorite restaurants in CHI is not considered upscale in Chicago. But take the same restaurant and food quality and transfer it to West Palm Beach and it would be super upscale with prices off the chart.

Looks like I am going to get one of the hottest weeks in Chicago this week, which is not what I wanted coming from South Florida, but my buddy's daughter is off school in Italy so that's why the week in summer. If it would for me I would stick with September/October to visit Chicago.

Sorry Blackhawks fans, but honestly and selfishly, I wish Boston wins game 6 tomorrow, so that on Wednesday I can see game 7 in a bar and hopefully you guys take the Stanley Cup at home while I am there. I think on Wednesday there is also Italy-Spain of soccer for the Confederations CUp in the afternoon, so if the B'Hawks go to game 7, I might have a long day at Fado!!

LOL to the comments about the analogy: you are right I guess, we Italians tend to compare everything to either women or wine. It's a genetic flaw...

I will be at the Millennium Knickerbocker this time, on Walton, a bit too fancy of an area for my taste (actually no problem with that as long as it doesn't get too snob or pretentious) but that's what I got on Priceline. I was hoping to get the Blackstone again, had a great time two years and really liked the Printer's Row area.

Any particular restaurant/breakfast place/bar you guys can suggest in walking range from the hotel?

A co-worker of mine told me I wouldn't probably like Chicago as much as I do if I would live there. Who knows, maybe so, but in the meantime, I'll just enjoy every minute of it. Life is about enjoying and living the moment, sometimes if you look too much at the "bigger picture" you miss things under your nose.

All right, time to finish a few things and head to DA airport...
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Where the heart is...
4,929 posts, read 4,610,651 times
Reputation: 10633
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoItaly View Post
2009, 2011...2013. I am due for my week in Chicago. This time I will be "escorting" friends from Italy. They are coming from a week in NY. They told me: shouldn't we go first to Chicago and then NY, fearing that a visit to Chicago right after NY might lose interest.

I told them that back in 2009 my wife and I went to NY in September. We liked so much that we wanted to back in October as we had vacation that we would either use or lose. However in October I couldn't find any decent offer, prices were huge in NY for hotels, so - having done remodeling in our condo in Florida, where we live, we had to select a different trip.

Almost randomly I scouted priceline and other sites, searching for a few big cities we never visited, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco.

I hit a great offer for Chicago. We went just because it was too expensive to go back to NY. Low expectations, after all we thought, we were still in awe from the previous month visit to NY, so I told my wife the same: we should have just picked a beach vacation. Going to a big city right after NY is going to make the second city look...well, not much.

Wrong. We fell in love with the uniqueness of Chicago and now every 2 years we go back.

Chicago offers the amenities of other large cities, without the - at times - snobbish feeling. Chicago is not "upscale" but what it offers, from food to museums, from art to music is of upscale quality.

Chicago is not the woman that walks by you and makes you turn your head, hitting you like a lightning. Chicago is the woman in jeans with little make up; many keep walking, but if you stop, look at her, talk to her and listen to her, you can see the beauty, a real beauty of a woman who saw things, who went through some hard times.

Chicago is the woman you don't "hit on"; Chicago is the woman that while you are buying her a drink in a badly lighted bar, makes eye contact and silently makes you fall in love before you're done with first drink.

Looking forward to go back and it's okay if this time I will have to stick to the classic landmarks as I will guide my friends in their first visit to the city. But I will definitely find the time to take them away from the Mile, maybe to Andersonville, maybe to Little Italy and Chinatown, for sure I'll take my buddy to Buddy's Legend. And of course a few museums.

Either way, no matter where we go, tomorrow at 5 p.m. I will land in the Windy City and I will hear inside notes of blues and jazz while still looking for a cab outside O'Hare.
I am hopeful that all who visit the Chicago forum will read your post because after all is said and done about this great city, there are still people who have not only never seen her and get her but perhaps never will be able to express so eloquently as you have, what Chicago is really all about...its people, its neighborhoods and shops, its great food and its many, many other various amenities. From its Art to its Zoo, and everything in between, I believe it to be the crown jewel, the most prized asset of the midwest.

She has her harsh realities and there is no doubt about that, however, like any world class alpha city there will always be the good and the bad...and then there are the really, really just average people that love and care enough for this city to live here and raise their families here.

The truth is in putting oneself in the position of open eyed wonder and allowing all that is good and wonderful about Chicago, as it wraps itself around you and allows you to soak in all that is fascinating and beautiful about her.

I sincerely hope you again enjoy the fascination of Chicago and your friends from Italy will as well.

Best regards, sincerely

HomeIsWhere...
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,322 posts, read 21,495,564 times
Reputation: 7301
Knickerbocker! That's near where I live.

It's a little bit of a hike, maybe 15-20 minutes or not a bad cab ride, but Meli in River North has excellent breakfast. The place can get packed if you go later, but honestly...really great breakfast at not a bad price:
Meli Café & Juice Bar - Near North Side - Chicago, IL

I believe it's run by a bunch of Greek people (maybe some Italians ;-) )
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:08 PM
 
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
585 posts, read 935,164 times
Reputation: 918
Thank you!
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