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MrsHouseLibrary and I will be in your fair city for 4 days - arriving the afternoon of 4-July, returning to Austin on the afternoon of the 8th.
We mostly want to go to Art Museums and Book Stores, but I'd also like to get together with as many LT-ites (-ers?) as possible, in the evening, or to join us during the day as well. We've got reservations at the Wyndham Blake Hotel. What can you suggest?
I will be newly-retired and fancy-free (other than the afternoon of July 7, when I have theatre tickets), so would love to meet you.
You will be just a couple of blocks from Printers Row Fine & Rare Books, which is a lovely store, worth a visit even if you don't buy anything.
Music: Don't know if you're into jazz, but you'll also be very close to Jazz Showcase, one of the premier venues for jazz in Chicago, and if you're into blues, you'll be right by Buddy Guy's Legends. There are all kinds of free concerts at Millennium Park.
Architecture: Try to take the Chicago Architecture Foundation's River cruise; it's the best!
I recommend that you head south to Hyde Park (my neighborhood!). We have a couple of great used bookstores (Powell's and O'Gara & Wilson's - within a half-block of each other), and Seminary Co-op Books and its sister store, 57th Street Books, are great places to while away some time. While you're there, you can visit Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House (down the street from Seminary Co-op), and the Smart Museum of Art (always free).
Chicago's also a great theater town: http://www.theatreinchicago.com/nowplayingrs.php
Lots of good restaurants near your hotel, too.
I'll look forward to hearing what date works.
Sounds like my apartment . . .
We're still in 'planning mode' - spending lots of time on Google Earth adding various colored pushpins for different venues - museums are yellow, bookstore are blue...
MrsHouseLibrary is adamant about visiting as many art museums as possible, a daytime activity, I presume. And you're welcome to tag along with us if you'd like. Evenings, however, seem to be a good time for a gathering - whether it's dinner, or coffee, or burgers, or meet at a bookstore - it's all fine to me. As Lilithcat has already said Thursday afternoon is spoken for, how does Wednesday evening work for everyone?
I'd prefer that YOU folks choose the site, because we're not familiar with the area. We're flexible, except for my food allergy thing.
In smaller museums, I've already mentioned the Smart, and then there's the National Museum of Mexican Art, a bit off the beaten track, but easily accessible by public transportation.
Wednesday evening is fine for me. I'll think about a venue. What is your food allergy?
All red (and some purple) fruits and vegetables, except watermelon, go figure!
Onion, garlic, peppers, spices (think basil, rosemary, cinnamon, sage, thyme...)
Alcohol, tannic acid...
MrsHouseLibrary has learned that food actually tastes pretty good without the "embellishments".
Those things are, in the literal, narrow sense of the word DEADLY for me, although I have survived the few accidental ingestions.
But, the resulting ulcers and other complications are not much fun, either.
I've had good luck with restaurants preparing food for me, but I have to be explicit with the waitperson as to my limitations.
I'm happy to report I've never had to sue anyone, nor would I.
So, I tend to avoid Italian, Ethiopian, Peruvian, Mexican restaurants - and you wouldn't believe how many of them we have here in Texas.
We could meet at a bar, but I'm only going to have a diet soda, and as long as it's not noisy, I'll actually be able to hear you.
I had been thinking about The Artist's Café, which is pretty close to your hotel. It's casual, with an outdoor space if the weather's nice, and liquor for them as wants it. The building it's in is worth a look all on its own, and houses what was just voted "best bookstore with a cat": http://www.selworkschicago.com/_/Home.html Take a look at the menu and see if you can work with it.
Maybe other folks can chime in with ideas, too!
I'm scratching the Artist's Cafe off the list as a place to go.
We're still doing the itinerary planning thing - what to see, and when - but the Hyde Park area looks to be a full-day visit, and we could easily pencil it in for Wednesday.
Since this is your part of town, lilithcat, what are good places to meet in that area? Perhaps the Obamas would let them use their living room.
(Just kidding, Secret Service folks! Really, I'm harmless.)
And would this work for the rest of you folks?
Neither of these places has a liquor license, though, since they're across the street from a school.
On the other hand, they're on the same block as 57th Street Books.
If people want to drink, there's another Thai place, Chant, on 53rd, somewhat more upscale, or Park 52, though that's a lot more upscale (i.e. expensive).
MrsHouseLibrary read that there is a large colony of feral Quaker Parrots somewhere in the Hyde Park area of Chicago. She's the Pet Person in the family, not me. She wants to see them, as up close and personal as she possibly can. For me, the view is just fine from my kitchen window.
So, does anyone know their semi-exact location? Where the 10-tons of poop per day lands? (That's a best-guesstimate interpolation based on my experience with her now-deceased pocket parrot, her escapee light-blue parakeet and the bane of my existence - her cockatiel (sadly, still breathing).
Still looking to meet as many Chicago LT-lings as I can. (People are more my comfort species.)
They move around the neighborhood, but they mostly tend to be in the northern part of Hyde Park, within a couple of blocks of 53rd Street (which is the main business district of that part of Hyde Park). Here's a description of one place to start looking, in the northeast part of Hyde Park:
And here's another, focused on Nichols Park, which is about a half mile southwest of Harold Washington Park:
From 1992 to 1996 I lived at the north end of Nichols Park, at 54th and Kimbark, and back then a bunch of the parrots had their nests in utility poles in the alley behind the houses on the west side of Kimbark, facing Nichols Park. But the nests caused shorts and other problems, so in 1997, I think, the city took down the nests and the parrots had to find new homes.
Think you may be able to join us Wednesday evening?
Signing off. Have to get up in 5 hours to get to the airport. My next message will be, if all goes well, from the hotel room in Chicago.
And an equally good time with BTRIPP, who gave us a tour of the Library, and the Printer's Row neighborhood.
We're leaving in the morning to fly back to Austin, but we'll definitely be back.