Going to Chicago for the 1st time.. what to do?

JeremySt

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I am goin to chicago for the first time ever, over 4th of July weekend. What should I do? I am visiting my best friend who has lived there for 5 years, so he will be my primary guide, but if there is anything I should definitly do, i need Suggestions!

examples

70mm film showings

film conventions

concerts/ events?
 

MikeAlletto

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Oh over the 4th! Go down to the Taste of Chicago on the 3rd and stay all day down there. Watch the HUGE fireworks at night. Definitely make sure you do the Taste of Chicago...its really cool. Go to the Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Shed Acquarium, Navy Pier, Art Museum. Go to the top of Sears Tower. Go to Water Tower Place for shopping. Take a stroll down along the lake.
 

MikeAlletto

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Oh yeah...the boat tour is really really cool. Gino's East is really good, but so is Lou Malnotis. If you find yourself in the south suburbs, check out Aurelios Pizza in Homewood. Really good thin crust. There are many good Italian restaurants also, Rosebud and Tuffanos (not sure on the spelling of that one) are REALLY good. Its neat to go to Jordans restaurant, but don't eat there, its not that good. Harry Carry's restaurant is really good though, but expensive.
 

Michael*K

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Its neat to go to Jordans restaurant, but don't eat there, its not that good.
The food DID suck there. Probably why it went out of business over a year ago.
The building where it was located is being remodeled and will open as a Mexican eatery.
I'd second the recommendation for the architectural boat tour. It's an outstanding way to spend several hours. Also, you'd be crazy to be here for the Fourth and miss out on the fireworks downtown on July 3rd. Taste of Chicago is the city's biggest festival and you can hit that and see the fireworks on the same day. Be forewarned though...it gets so crowded (750,000+ people) on that day that it can be almost impossible to move around the festival and the lines will be unbearable. Make sure if you go that you either take public transportation or park the car as far west of the Loop as you're willing to walk.
Other things to do: The impressive Titanic exhibit is making a return engagement at the Museum of Science and Industry starting July 1st. Tons of artifacts recovered from the wreckage including a huge (15 tons?) piece of the ship itself. Your friend may want to pick up advance tickets for that if you're interested. And the rest of the museum is fascinating. Outside of the National Air and Space Museum, MSI is my favorite museum in the country. You could easily spend a day there.
Don't know what will be going on film-wise in July. A 70 mm restored print of Patton is supposed to play at the Music Box Theatre at some point, but I don't know if dates have been set. McClurg Court Theater is downtown (the best theater in the city) and may still have Episode II playing on its digital projector in early July.
If you like baseball, the White Sox will be in town against Detroit and Cleveland.
Ugh...there's probably tons of other stuff I could mention, but now I must get sleep!
 

Steve Zatkoff

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Chicago things to do:

Chinatown, which is a five minute ride south on the Redline from the Loop.

If you are into Antiquing(sp?), take a ride to the Belmont/Damen area or Lincoln/Irving Park area.

Rush and Division is good if you want to get stupid drunk and see lots of freaks.

Musicbox Theater on Southport for your more Art oriented films. Lot's of good restaurants and bars in this area.

If you like German food/beer, try Lincoln Square.

Al's beef is good. I think the best beef and gyros can be found at Zippy's in the NW Suburbs.

Murphy's on Belmont have great Chicago Style Dogs.

Gino's east deep dish pizza on Superior.

Bucktown for the Bohemian in you.

Andersonville for the Swede in you.

The Chicago Botanical Gardens.
 

Cal S

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Jeremy

You wouldn't happen to be going up for the Wizard World Comic Convention would you?

I'll be appearing there that weekend, so this thread is very helpful to me as well.

-Cal
 

Craig Robertson

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last time i was in Chicago, i spent HOURS at the Art Institute. until then, i didn't realize how cool it is to see great works of art up close and personal.
 

MikeAlletto

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Michael K, I used to live in Homewood (about 15 years ago though). Then moved to Frankfort. But I went to school at St. Joes down the street from aurelios (actually its across from the train station). My mom used to have a condo next to dunkin donuts there. Every time I go back to chicago the whole family meets old friends at aurelios. Eat a ton of pizza and beer...good fun.
 

Dean DeMass

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If you like Mexican food, give Frontera Grill a try. Very tasty.

Go to the Taste of Chicago, lots of good food. And do everything else that was mentioned above. Too bad the Cubs are out of town that weekend, even though they suck (as always), there is nothing better than seeing a ballgame at Wrigley Field.
Oh, and another vote for the boat tour. I did it a few years ago and it is very interesting.
I love Chicago.

-Dean-
 

MikeAlletto

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There are NO good mexican restaurants up in chicago. I used to think there were until I moved to texas, now I can't stand eating mexican up north. Italian and pizza are what chicago is all about...mmmmm...pizza
 

Dave E H

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I just looked at the weekend that you are in town - if you miss Taste of Chicago, you'll regret it. That is, of course, assuming you aren't prone to heat exhaustion - it can get darn hot that time of year.
 

Scott Van Dyke

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Take a night and make reservations for a show at the Baton!

My fiances cousin and his wife took us there twice now for a show. Sooo funny.

This may not sound like your cup of tea, but I garantee you will be surprised and not disapointed!

A1 quality transexuals doing braodway type performances on stage in a relatively small atmosphere.

Trust me.... can I get a witness anyone?
 

Philip_G

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I drove through Chicago about a month ago. MAN did I get lost. Looked like an awesome town! Wish I could have stayed to check it out.
 

Michael*K

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There are NO good mexican restaurants up in chicago.
As mentioned previously, Frontera Grill (and its "upscale" cousin Topolobampo) is one of the top dining experiences in any state. It has consistently won regional and national awards and its owner, Rick Bayless, is considered one of the top chefs by several culinary organizations. Taco Bell it ain't!
 

Bill Buklis

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I think the better Mexican restaurants in Chicago (for food, not atmosphere) are the smaller, local places rather than the larger and fancier eateries. I generally don't care for the "trendy" places. Usually they are just average in quality.

For museums, there are so many good ones in Chicago that you can't go wrong. The best are the Museum of Science and Industry, Art Institute, Shed Aquarium, and the Planetarium.

The Art Institute is home to many rather famous works of art including "American Gothic".

Also the conservatory in Lincoln Park Zoo (as well as the zoo in general) are quite nice.

If you want to visit the top floor in the Sears Tower, make sure you do that early in the day. The line can get quite long.
 

Seth Paxton

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You obviously have not eaten at Frontera Grill then.
Or have you guys not been to Houston or San Antonio yet?
I ask sincerely because I also found that after living in Houston that what is passed off as Mexican up here is lame, even the cool little "this is authentic" places. At best you are getting some regional Mexican farmers version of food rather than great "traditional" Mexican or Tex-Mex. Even chains like Pappasitos or Ninfa's destroy any thing here in Indy.
But all my Indy friends swear by these places and think I'm crazy. Personally I could get food twice as good at a Taco Cabana drive-thru...and a Margarita for the drive home.
DMWT!
Matt Stone and I are hitting McClurg's this FRI for an AOTC showing. Chicago is always a blast. I've read some great suggestions and many others that I will have to try. I'm hoping to finally catch my first Cubs game this year. I've done several Yanks/Sox games (Yanks are my team) but Comisky is pretty lame actually. I look forward to the Friendly Confines as a much cooler place to see a game.
 

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