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amarsh Chicago - A travel report by Ashley
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Chicago,  United States - flag United States -  Illinois
3637 readers

amarsh's travel reports

Bucktown and Wicker Park

  17 votes
Chicago is especially amazing in the summer - the weather really lifts everyone's spirits. You can't beat the full lakefront as a public park/beach and the huge array of amazing concerts, many of them free!!

Bean in Millenium Park
Bean in Millenium Park
The Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhood is a recently gentrified one, which was once largely Polish. It's rumored actually that Chicago has the second largest Polish population in the world, second only to Warsaw. Maybe it's true? So let's see... great places to go- ok so this list is L-O-N-G. If you're interested in checking out some random other neighborhoods, I'd recommend stopping by the Persian Town (Albany Park) on Lawrence and Kedzie. You can take the Brown line there. The City Noor Kabab is just north of the Kedzie stop and an AMAZING Persian dinner!!! The neighborhood is not dangerous if you're on the main drag. You can also peek into the random shops that sell everything from dried mint by the pound (so funny because it looks like a giant bag of marijuana) to full tea sets to pita made fresh just down the street. They are so interesting. Walk in and say Salaam and although they'll know you have no idea what you're talking about, they'll smile and laugh. My advised schedule- which is packed, but hopefully worth it. Friday dinner- Tango Sur- give yourself 2.5 hrs.; Entertainment- Neo Futurists Saturday- head over to Armitage. Red line to armitage, walk north to Armitage (yeah the stops in Chicago don't always make sense). Then west along Armitage - get some italian ice, jog to Cortland and check out the forgery along hte way. Then walk over the bridge under the interstate to Bucktown. When you hit Damen, you've arrived. Stop by the Map Room for a break. Kill as much time as you need. Grab dinner at Sultans (cheap) or Le Bouchon (nicer) and dessert at Margie's Candies. Grab the Blue Line right back to the loop.

Favourite spots:
View from Signature Room, John Hancock
View from Signature Room, John Hancock
If you like beer, you have to stop by The Map Room on Armitage and Hoyne (it was two blocks from my place on Homer and Leavitt). It was ranked as the #5 place in America to grab a pint, mostly because their selection of rare beers from around the world is impossible to beat in Chicago. Go early in the day to avoid the late night crowd. Nearby is Le Bouchon, Armitage and Damen SW corner. It's a small hole in the wall french restaurant with excellent food and wine. If you like Middle Eastern cuisine, this cheap place called Sultan's Market is unbeatable. It's on North just west of Damen. Kababs, falafel, and the works For dessert, you have to drop by Margie's Candies on Western and Damen. On the south edge of Wicker Park is Letizia's Natural Bakery, 2144 W Division St which is Division and Leavitt. It's an Italian Bakery with good coffee. This FABULOUS BYOB Argentinian grill called Tango Sur is a hole in the wall, Grace and Southport. Amazing!

What's really great:
View of city from the Chicago river
View of city from the Chicago river
As a final recommendation since I pretty much just gave you food options, this totally hole in the wall theater run by the Neo Futurists (it's above an old funeral home) runs this great show called Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, or tmlmbgb for short. I was at the show a few years ago, it's 30 plays in 60 mins. You roll the dice to determine your admission charge so tickets will range from $8 -13. Totally a deal and hilarous. Be prepared to participate. Shows are at 11:30 pm Friday and Sat. Tickets are first come, first serve so be in line by 10:45-11 and you should be ok. Ashland and Foster, probably want to cab it.

View from IIT campus dorms
View from IIT campus dorms
Millenium Park, Oak Park for Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, IIT campus, Michigan Avenue.

Published on Tuesday September 5th, 2006

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Sun, Sep 24 2006 - 04:52 AM rating by marianne

You have given a good overview, very helpful. I especially like your black-and-white pictures

Thu, Sep 14 2006 - 05:58 AM rating by eirekay

Geat report about one of my favorite cities!

Sun, Sep 10 2006 - 07:11 AM rating by gloriajames

nice report and cool b&w bean shot pic.

Wed, Sep 06 2006 - 04:30 PM rating by st.vincent

We certainly won't go hungry in Chicago after your tips. I like the idea of stopping off for a beer at the Map Room, Cheers

Wed, Sep 06 2006 - 11:31 AM rating by bear495

Chicago can be a truly amazing city. What was your impression of the people in the city. During my last visit, I found that the people and the businesses in the area were the rudest and least helpful of any place that I have visited in the world.

Wed, Sep 06 2006 - 10:59 AM rating by frenchfrog

Nice to read this report as I am planning a trip to Chicago my self. Many thanks

Tue, Sep 05 2006 - 02:08 PM rating by mrscanada

Chicago is my kind of 'town'. I like it better than NY.

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