Heather and i depart in...hmm...three-and-a-half days! i can't contain my jubilation at the idea of sharing my beloved city and friends with someone. of course we're gonna hit the big things, like the aquarium and the planetarium, but we're also gonna traipse all over and hit some of Chicago's lesser known spots. in anticipation of this, i decided to post a short photo montage depicting the places i hope to take her.
1. The Art Institute of Chicago - this is by far and away my favorite place in Chicago. i think this has a lot to do with the trip i once took with Richard Jones and my advanced poetry workshop; one of the most educational and revelatory experiences i have ever had and definitely the most important in regards to my education. i also took my mother there on my birthday in 2007 as part of the "Ian & Mom B-day/Mother's Day extravaganza!" we started at Glenn's (to be covered later), moved on to the Art Institute, then to dinner with some co-workers and finally ended up downtown the see Wicked...all-in-all, a wonderful day.
2. The Heuttenbar - i made my Chicago name here. i also made just about all of my friends here. the HB was the HQ for Gyre and the gathering spot for any group activity. i was lucky to discover this place, it's amazing staff, and the dear patrons that would become my best friends.
3. Earwax - Heather is vegetarian, so why would i take her anywhere else? Wicker Park may be one of the more annoying areas of the city, what with all the damn hipsters, but you just can't beat the gigantic bowls of vegan chili. we are gonna fast all day before we arrive here. once sufficiently stuffed, we'll buy some records at...
4. Reckless Records - also suffocatingly hipster-ish, but holy shit do they have an amazing vinyl, DVD, and CD collection...new and used!! Reckless kept me financially afloat when i first arrived in Chi-town, so it will always be one of my more cherished locales. we're gonna have to hit this place early in the trip, while we still have money.
5. Glenn's - best breakfast in town...seriously awesome and they were featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives! Nadjya and i hung out here often and the place reminds me of her...which is great cause she's right around the corner from it!
6. Ronny's - i saw smoke or fire here with...hrm...can't recall...but that might have to do with the fact that this was one of the few shows that saw Craig, Spider, Nate, Brent and myself all hitting the PBRs together - awesome. gonna see Rob's new band, Blueberry Fist, here while we're in town; if they're anything like his old band, we'll be in for a treat.
7. The L&L Tavern - mostly just to see Toby, the owner of Red Scare Records. i owe that guy a shot, a beer, and a smack in the face, and not necessarily in that order. spent a lot of nights kickin' it here after sweatin' my ass off at the Metro; best jukebox in town that's not digital...and they always have a "whiskey of the month!"
8. The Beat Kitchen - i can't even count how many shows i've seen here. gonna have to take heather...maybe to the Workers show; they used to be called Your Black Star and they're purdy good. great venue with a great atmosphere and scrumptious food.
9. The Grind - my old roommates used to work here and it's a pretty cool place. kind of an odd spot for it, given the hipster nature and location, but they serve great coffee and tasty treats. maybe i'll run into some of the old 4335 claremont crew...
10. The Hopleaf - my favorite bar in all the world! over 300 beers - 50 on tap - and the glassware to go with everything. add to that the fact that i know the Chef and he takes care of me...well, simply put, heather and i will have a grand time at this amazing little place.
11. Bin 36 - this will probably be one of the classier stops. i love that heather and i can do the dive bar/venue places and then soup it up for a joint like this, which features an amazing wine selection as well as a cool cheese bar. haven't been in so long, so i'm stoked to head back and see what's new!
and that's a quick run down of some Chicago spots that simply must be seen...maybe we'll update together while on the trip...ahhhhhhhh!!
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