As you can probably tell by now, I’m not much of a city girl, but there’s something about Chicago that changed my “city” perspective. The city of Chicago isn’t just the usual hustle bustle, quick-paced type of city like New York that I was expecting. Now granted, my only visit to NY was during winter so maybe I’m being unfair and should take a summer trip. But the city of New York was full of harsh noises, trash along the sidewalks, dirty slush built up on the streets and people rushing past in all directions with their heads down. I hated new york(people get really offended when I say that as if I just insulted their mother). But to each is own and I’ve decided I will probably try again in the summer and give New York another chance to impress me. As for Chicago on the other hand, it fully exceeded my expectations and I’ve fallen in love with that city. It is full of an exciting chatter and an overwhelming positive energy. The river runs through the middle which makes for a gorgeous scenery and breaks up the concrete jungle. Every building is unique in its architecture, later I found out the history behind each building during the architecture tour(a must do if you plan to visit). The roads and sidewalks are clean and every corner has colorful flowers. I know that doesn’t seem that important, but to me it was. I notice the little things, the details in everything, and having bright colors mixed in with the monotonous concrete colors adds a charm and a sense of warmth and happiness which puts you into a better mood whether you physically acknowledge it or not. The locals there had that Midwest charm even in the fast paced city setting. The transit was extremely easy to navigate and mostly above ground which allows you to sight see while you rode through different areas. All of those things were just the stepping stones to realizing how great the city is and what it has to offer.
The night we arrived we had our sights set on The Violet Hour speakeasy. The uber dropped us off in front of a graffiti wall as the address. We were a bit confused until suddenly a cut out in the wall Appeared as a man opened a secret door. We were led through numerous curtains and waiting areas, feeling as though we were being led to Narnia or something. Once we reached the actual entrance, the curtain was drawn back and we were led to the bar area. The ceilings were tall and the place enormous. Low lighting,enchanting chandeliers hung down, deap house music played, you felt as though you were nearly going to fall into in a trance. No phones allowed so I was unable to snap any photos for you, but the no phone use rule allows you to focus solely on your party you are with and to have good conversation while enjoying their greatest mixology drinks and delicious tapas. I’m not an extreme foodie but I definitely recommend the violet hour, I appreciated all that went into the place from decor to drinks, everything was spot on.
The next day we made sure to see the Hancock building and the Willis (Sears) tower for the sky deck. I recommend doing the “tilt” at the Hancock center. This weekend it was under maintenance so unfortunately we couldn’t do it, but it normally is cheaper and a quicker wait then the sky deck in the Willis tower. We also made sure to see the bean and walk around millennium park. There is always something going on in Chicago, from festivals, to concerts, to food fairs, you name it, there is something for everyone.
My favorite part of the trip was our helicopter ride over the city. I recommend this( you can find it on groupon too). To see the city from above was phenomenal. The sun was setting behind the buildings and it just looked amazing. Our guide was funny and knowledgeable.
Learned a few things:
The river is the only river that runs the opposite way bc in 1887, the Illinois General Assembly decided to reverse the river using a series of canal locks. This decision was due to health concerns that threatened the city’s water supply.
The Sears Tower(now Willis Tower) is an impressive 108 story skyscraper that was the tallest building in the world for 25 years.
The navy pier was once used as a College and even at one point a prison!
Not only did we get to enjoy the city walking by foot on land, flying helicopter by air, but we also enjoyed the architecture tour and saw the buildings and city by boat on water. We got the best of it all.
Chicago is very well known for its food and although I enjoy good food, I do have a hard time because I’m lactose intolerant and have issues with certain sauces, sugars, breads, etc. My diet is limited but I was able to eat some really great food and enjoy it without upsetting my stomach. We ate at The Girl and The Goat and their sister diner Little Goat, both of which offered a dairy free menu for me. We also ate at The Purple Pig which is a Greek influenced style restaurant and in popular demand. It was highly recommended and did not disappoint. We ate at Lou Malnati’s Pizza where the first real Chicago style deep dish was invented. An hour wait just for me to pick all the cheese off of my pizza! I probably offended them and disgraced the pizza but at least I tried.
Chicago is a gorgeous city that I hope to return to(maybe just during the summers-not too sure I can handle the cold winters just yet). I feel as though there is still so much exploring I didn’t have the time to do. Hopefully I can visit Chicago in the near future.