Tag Archives: Chicago

2013 in Review

31 Dec

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Chicago DOs and DON’Ts by Andrea

5 Mar

In the past year I have spent three separate weeks in Chicago for business.  There are plenty of things to do and see in Chicago and here are a few of the DOs and DON’Ts that I experienced (after working hours of course):

  • DO go to the top of the Willis Tower.  You probably know it as the Sears Tower; you probably didn’t know that they renamed it the Willis Tower in 2009, but don’t worry it is still really cool!  A few co-workers and I ventured to the top one evening after work to stand on “the ledge” which is a glass box that hangs off the side of the building.  If you aren’t scared of heights then it is a really neat experience being 103 stories over the city.  You will see a beautiful view of Chicago and Lake Michigan. DON’T go at night if you can help it; the daytime view looks much better than the nighttime view.  Tickets are reasonable, costing an adult $17.50 and a child $11.00.
  • DO take an architecture boat tour at dusk.  This is my biggest DO.  I had no idea Chicago was known for its architecture, but I learned quickly that just about every building in the city has a story.  The boat is equipped with a bar and a tour guide which is all you need for a fabulous evening in Chicago!  DON’T go in the winter, you will probably freeze; we went in July and it was beautiful.  The guide will tell you all about the history of the buildings, about the great Chicago fire, and the reason why the river current was reversed (bet you didn’t know it was).  The boat tour was around $30 and well worth the money!
  • If you can get a group together, I believe you need at least 10 people, DO take a tour of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.  Unfortunately they don’t allow photography so I can’t show you how cool it was to observe the trading floors in action.  CME is one of the oldest active trading floors in the world and, as electronic trading continues to evolve, it may be one of the last.  It’s definitely something unique to see!
  • DO take a walk around downtown and see what you find, there are lots of different things to see and you may even get lucky and run into a visiting piece of art, like the huge Marilyn Monroe statue that was visiting in July 2011 (see picture below).
  • Make sure you stop by the Chicago Times building.  On the front of the building there are various rocks from historical places, there is even one from the Great Wall of China.  Just another unique thing that you can see in Chicago!
  • As far as eating goes, there are plenty of good places to grab some grub.  Being a New Yorker, Chicago deep dish pizza didn’t leave a lasting impression on me so DO try deep dish but DON’T set your expectations too high.
  • I would recommend that you DO eat at Maggiano’s.  Although it is a chain Italian restaurant, Chicago is the original location and the food is amazing.  I’ve eaten at one of its other locations and the Chicago location was much better!
  • DON’T look for happy hour bar specials in Chicago.  Illinois has a “happy hour law” that prohibits happy hour specials.  Trust me, it’s a real thing just google it!
  • DO eat at Carson’s!  They have amazing barbeque ribs and I hear the steaks are good too.  Not to mention they give you a bib, how can you go wrong with a bib?

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