For my entire life people have been telling me how much I would “fit in” in the Chicago area. I do like the people quite a bit, and I do like the city, but I never was able to shake the feeling that I wasn’t close to anything. Being in between has it’s merits, but I’d rather be next to or near the rest of the world.

Upon my second visit to Chicago I found myself much more enamored. The people seem so happy. Everything Chicago offers has some style to it. It’s old and new. We visited some cool stuff that would be extraordinarily popular in any city in the world.

Walking around the Loop is pretty perfect when it comes to city strolls, I wouldn’t stay in any other area (strangely the river walk isn’t as hopping as it should be. I sincerely hope there are big plans for the entire area lining the river). The lakeside walk is pretty standard… We were here for the National Restaurant Association show and Chicago was crawling with restaurant folk.

Notes to self:

-We tried to go to the girl and the goat (which was folly as it was booked for years I think, haha) but even though we didn’t get in, the Randolph street area is hopping as shit and wandering around there and finding a place to eat is easy peasy. We chose a cool place called Vivo which is now closed sadly…it was an institution.
-The Fulton Market area is ok I guess. We did go to a cool restaurant called Publican Quality Meats (place was rad, menu and service were not). The area seems like it will be better and more happening in a few years.
-We went to Ruxbin for Julies birthday. The place has the most interesting bathroom I have ever seen (like a secret entrance). The menu is only prix fixe which is totally annoying, but the place is really cool and the food was good. (it is a byob spot and they only allow one bottle of wine per couple…kinda douchey)
-Even though we’ve been to Eataly in NYC, the one here is actually really cool. And we had a killer Italian beef sandwich.
-While I think true Chicago style deep dish pizza is utterly ridiculous, if you’ve never had it, they do it well at Gino’s East and the scene is fun and interesting. We also just did Lou Malnati’s. They have a number of locations but this place is the jam. Busy at all times of day. They take your pizza order before you sit down to make sure you don’t wait too long for it. Great service. Cheese bread was money. We were fans.
-The bar at the top of the Hancock building is pretty sweet. Right above the Miracle Mile and even the bathrooms have crazy floor to ceiling windows.
-Chicago is cold as shit in the winter…why do that to oneself.
-Lastly, fuck the Pink Monkey. It’s BYOB WITH a 2 drink minimum. So you have to buy crappy $45 wine from the complete piece of shit bar next door, AND you have to buy crappy 8 dollar coca colas. Oh yeah, and it’s 30 bucks to get in. Oh yeah, and they don’t take credit cards. Oh yeah and lap dances cost 30 bucks. And OH YEAH, the ATM charges 13%. YUP! FUCK THE PINK MONKEY. Horrible everything. Someone with half a brain could crush it in the strip club business in Chicago.


Palmer House (May 2016)

W Lakeshore (Nov. 2005)