Thursday, June 14, 2012

Travel Thursday....Chicago, IL

So while Chicago may not be exactly the sexiest or most exotic location, the boy and I visit often (monthly about) as his family is still in Chicago and it is probably the easiest two hour flight (thank you Southwest for providing service from LGA to Midway!).  Since I sometimes feel like I split my life between Chicago and NYC, I think this architecturally fabulous city deserves its own post. 

While the boy has been out here since Saturday, I flew in Tuesday night so as to catch the last day of Neocon (click on the link to discover what Neocon is- and wait until tomorrow for some updates on what I saw at Neocon!). 

In the last three years of visiting Chicago religiously I have compiled a list of to do's, to see's, and to stay's for friends and family visiting the windy city. This list is by no means comprehensive but is definitely a starting point and has enough to keep you busy for a long weekend. 

I had the pleasure of hearing Ian Schrager speak yesterday at Neocon. It was all very appropriate especially considering he just opened his first Chicago Hotel- the Public, photographed above. The Public Hotel also houses The Pump room, the sexy and always lively bar, a great place to check out even if you choose not to stay at the hotel. Although, what I find most interesting is Schrager's public statement that he plans on keeping rates at the hotel affordable- around $200. 

Chicago's food scene seems to be ever expanding and while I am always open to trying new spots, some of my favorites are so delicious and can be found no where so I highly suggest you dont skip out on them. Yolk is this great, inexpensive brunch spot that is always crowded unfortunately. If you go early or just drop by to put your name in, its not as painful. My absolute, most favorite restaurant in Chicago, RL does take reservations (Thank you, just make sure to book them WAY in advance. RL is the ONLY Ralph Lauren restaurant and staying true to the RL mantra, it will not leave you disappointed. The decor is exactly what you would expect - it mimics the wood panelling and buttery leathers you find at any RL store. The food manages to surpass the decor and I dont even know how that is possible because I give the decor a 10 (insider tip: lobster bisque, dover sole, steak salad). For dinner Table 52 is quite the little romantic spot. As the story goes, Oprah cut some deal with her chef basically stating that if he stayed with her for a certain number of years, she would help him open his own restaurant. Table 52 is quaint and the food is delicate and delicious. 

The best time to visit Chicago is by far in the summer. While the temperature heats up there is always a cool breeze. The city is architecturally divine and the river cruise is the best way to really see the architecture and learn the stories behind the buildings. The city is very walkable but from personal experience I only suggest doing one museum a day- all of the museums are enormous and have so much to see, its simply too exhausting to try to jam it all in one day. 
Photos courtesy of &

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