Columbus day weekend arrived in between finishing one midterm and a preparing for an approaching paper deadline. Chicago is a city that I had always wanted to visit, as I dreamed of going to the Millennium Park to see the Bean, designed by my favourite artist Anish Kapoor. Consequently, I’ve been planning this trip for a while but I kept postponing it given that the weather channel would normally forecast an average of -10 °C to 0 °C. However, this weekend was to be different. So, wanting to take advantage of the warm weather, I grabbed a friend, a scarf, and a pullover and flew to Chi-town.
Starting from the first night, Chicago surprised me a lot. I had the chance to have some of my friends from Northwestern University and the School of the Art Institute as tour guides of the city; they made us see as many museums, parks, buildings, restaurants and bars as could fit into 4 days. We were extremely lucky for the entire weekend: a tweed blazer and a scarf were more than enough to cover yourself from the chilly breeze coming from the Lake Michigan. Plus, as I am not a big fan of the tube and cabs when the sky is blue and the sun is shining, walking around the city turned out to be the best decision taken. Since it was the first time for both of us in the city, we toured all the typical tourist’s attractions. First stop The Bean of course, then an unavoidable walk through the Magritte exhibition at the Art Institute, and eventually an outstanding sunset from the Willis Tower.
When I would tell my friends in DC that I was going to Chicago for the weekend, EVERYONE would say something like “Chicago has the best restaurants in the world.” Not paying much attention to what they were telling me, since Americans’ excitement describing restaurants could even sell Starbucks as the most amazing coffee you’ll ever have, I kept my expectations pretty low. BIG MISTAKE. All the restaurants and bars we went to were absolutely unbelievable: food aside, the people, the atmosphere, and the music made the ambience in between a new Brooklyn and a cigars-and-Sinatra style.
I am already planning another visit to Chicago for President’s Day weekend next spring. Chicago is almost reaching NYC in my favorite-cities-in-the-world-list and the Burger at Au Cheval is definitely a big extra point in favor of Illinois.
Recommended restaurants in Chicago:
Barrelhouse Flat – 2624 North Lincoln Avenue
Maude ‘s Liquor bar- 840 West Randolph Street
Cafe Spiaggia- 980 North Michigan Avenue
The Purple Pig – 500 North Michigan Avenue
RL – 115 East Chicago Avenue
XOCO – 449 North Clark Street
Publican – 837 West Fulton Market
Yusho- North Kedkie Avenue
Blackbird – 619 West Randolph Street
Peninsula Hotel, Shanghai Terrace – 108 East Superior St