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Chicago in march

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Atlanta, Georgia
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Chicago in march

My 19 year old daughter and I will be in town first weekend of March. We are not bringing a car. Will be staying somewhere on Magnificent Mile. Ideas??? We love Soho, quirky type places. Happy reading in a bookstore/coffee shop. Our stay is three days. What, where, when would anyone put on "must see" list? Would love to see some architecture too. Thanks!!

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1. Re: Chicago in march

Welcome to TA.

For your architecture fix - http://www.architecture.org/ - plenty of tour options.

Check the calendar at - http://www.choosechicago.com/ - to see what's going on here during your visit.

If you like Soho - http://www.wickerparkbucktown.com/ - a quick ride along the blue line from downtown.

http://www.transitchicago.com/default.aspx - for public transit information.

Rensselaer, Indiana
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2. Re: Chicago in march

Highly agree with the Chicago Architecture Foundation suggestion of Dave's. Their main location is just across S. Michigan Avenue from the south end of the Art Institute. They have a wonderful giftshop which contains many options for you - books, DVDs (recommend you take a look at those of Geoffrey Baer, including the highly recommended CAF River Cruise - which, unfortunately, you'll be visiting too early to enjoy), and other interesting items.

The aforementioned Art Institute of Chicago is IMHO the top of the list for Chicago museums. It has many exhibits devoted to architecture, including an entire Trading Room of the now long-gone Chicago Stock Exchange Building, designed by Louis Sullivan. As you walk up the main staircase, the walls are adorned by pieces of architecture of the Chicago style - and I highly recommend that you two indulge in the cost of audio walking tours, which gives much insight into these. In addition, I think that your daughter would be enchanted with the Thorne Miniature Rooms (on the lowest level) and you might enjoy wandering through the Medieval arms, armor and handicraft exhibit.

Speaking of the Chicago Stock Exchange Building, if you have a few minutes during your research, please look up Richard Nickel - to whom anyone with appreciation of architecture owes a great deal. Take a look at information on either his book of photography or his biography and you will learn why I specifically mention him in correlation with the Trading Room. There may be some of his photographs on display at the AI as well...

The Art Institute sits just to the south of Millennium Park, which I'm sure you'll be visiting sometime during your stay. Just across Michigan Avenue from the north end of Millennium Park is the Chicago Cultural Center: choosechicago.com/articles/…

In addition to the building tours, the Visitor's Center, the free (and excellent) concerts and exhibits, and the bookstore this is the location where the free Chicago Greeter InstaGreeter Loop tours (held year-round on specific days) start: http://chicagogreeter.com/instagreeter/loop/

And, while you are in the immediate area, you might wish to visit Intelligensia's Randolph Street location: www.intelligentsiacoffee.com

Dave mentioned Wicker Park and Bucktown above, which are two adjacent Chicago neighborhoods. In the Wicker Park neighborhood, if the weather is decent, you might want to walk around and see the "Beer Baron Row": …cityofchicago.org/landmarksweb/…

I'm going to put a plug in for my old neighbohood - the Boystown area, specifically on N. Broadway, in the Lakeview neighborhood. The original location of Intelligentsia is located there, although if you prefer tea there is the Coffee and Tea Exchange. The original location of Pastoral: Artisan Bread, Cheese & Wine is there as well, although in March, you might wish to stop in at Soupbox/Icebox. The Unabridged Bookstore is as well as Bookleggers. Many good restaurants in the area. If you were interested in some fine out-of-the-Loop theatre offerings, the TimeLine Theatre is a gem (http://www.timelinetheatre.com/indexnfl.htm) but your daughter might enjoy Blue Man Group, which has an open run at the Briar Street Theatre.

To get there: The most scenic would be take the #145 or #146 NB CTA from points on Michigan Avenue. It travels north to the top of the Magnificent Mile (Oak Street - 1000 N.) and then goes express on the outer Lake Shore Drive to Belmont. Although you'll be too early to see this, imagine as you pass Belmont Harbor, all the sailboats which will be arriving during the next couple of months.

I'd suggest getting off at Hawthorne Place (3 stops north of Belmont) and walk one l-o-n-g block west to Broadway. You are walking through the Hawthorne Place District, a Chicago landmark district with big beautiful houses. Then turn south. If you like cinnamon rolls, the Ann Sathers near the corner is famous for theirs. If you get tired of the several blocks walk, the #36 bus is there. In fact, it goes all the way south to the Loop; and, as you walk south, you'll see the John Hancock Building looming up in the distance.

A somewhat quicker (but not as scenic) method would be to take the Red Line to the Belmont stop and walk east to N. Broadway.

Some of the places I've mentioned above are north of Belmont and some are south.

BTW, at Hawthorne & Broadway, you are only 5 blocks SE from Wrigley Field. If you walked north to Addison (a couple of blocks) and looked west, you'd see it from there.

If you have interest in seeing my old neighborhood, here is the URL for East Lakeview (aka Boystown): www.lakevieweast.com

Have fun visiting Chicago!

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3. Re: Chicago in march

If you like unique achitecture, another neat street is Alta Vista Terrace, near Wrigley Field. You can google it and get information but basically it's a street modeled after London townhouses...very cool to take a stroll down.

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4. Re: Chicago in march

I'll add a plug for the Hyde Park neighborhood, home to the University of Chicago, the city's best used bookshops, Obama's house, the Museum of Science and Industry, Court Theatre, and many beautiful old homes including FLW's Robie House. gowright.org/research/wright-robie-house.html

Edited: 2:10 pm, January 27, 2013
Rensselaer, Indiana
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5. Re: Chicago in march

I totally agree with you about Hyde Park. Although, with visitors not knowing the area, I normally only recommend that they explore it with the guidance of a local, such as a Chicago Greeter or InstaGreeter service (unfortunately, it's not the season for the OP).

One thing that the OP might find interesting is learning how this area was developed. "The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America" by Erik Larson is a fine read about the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 and the serial killer who operated then.

And, if you go down to the lowest level of the Museum of Science and Industry, I think they still have the photographs on the walls which shows how the structure was changed and fortified to the Museum of Science and Industry from the Palace of Fine Arts of the Columbian Exposition.

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6. Re: Chicago in march

There is this used bookstore which is near the Mag Mile area:


DD wants to go every trip...

There's another one called Open Books that we haven't actually made it to yet.


I agree that the best ones are in Hyde Park, though. We did fine with no guide there. Without a car, I recommend a taxi to get down there and back, but have a number to call a taxi to get back (we couldn't find one and walked to the MSI, which is fine in good weather, but who knows in early March). I had 312-TAXICAB recommended to me, but we ended up driving, so I didn't actually use it. Apparently you can call or text for a cab.


There's a free art museum at the University of Chicago.

We also liked this one:


For that one, we took the CTA to the Belmont stop and walked down Belmont Ave. If you keep going down Belmont you get to the Belmont Army store, which my daughter (15) also liked.


7. Re: Chicago in march

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