Chicago, a city of wonders.
I’m always taken aback, when I find myself visiting the lovely city of Chicago, by its charm and diversity of life. I remember saying once upon a time that this city is the place to be: watch yourself, Manhattan. Of course my friends teased me for thinking such atrocities and saying them aloud, but every time I come back here I only realize how accurate my statements were back then. This city really does have it all… and maybe more. As the photo above displays, Chicago also have a very diverse vespa community that I wasn’t really aware of. I was here last summer, but I don’t remember seeing near as many vespas running around and parked on the streets. This makes me very happy and makes a great deal of sense for getting about this sprawling city (if public transportation is a bit too taxing on your nerves).
Photo taken around The Garfield Park Conservatory.
The people I saw out on their scooters were all very sharp with their style too. Most of the time I was riding along in my car, looking for parking myself, so I couldn’t snap any photos of the best riders I saw pass by. This certainly is an advantage to having a vespa in Chicago: you get GREAT street parking when and where you decide. I know a few residential streets to park on and return to every visit in the city, so that has made my visits a bit easier, but usually parking here is a nightmare with either time spent looking or parking costs at lots. I wholeheartedly recommend NOT bringing a car into this city if you want to really gain access to it and experience it as the locals do. You really need to walk to experience this city and not worry about traffic nor finding street parking (and trying to understand those many confusing signs that seem to contradict one another). Of course I love driving here, but having a big car messes with your plans more than if helps you in the end. (Plus, gas is terribly expensive here. Always. Currently just under $4.00 a gallon throughout the city and nearby communities.)
This photo was taken in the Andersonville neighborhood, which is one of my favorite areas to frequent when visiting Chicago. They always have something funky and artistic, but this really excited me. Simple, yet effective. I wonder what else was there that people had already took? I suppose someone already took the “manicure” one. Darn. There are so many cute places around this cozy part of the city and offers up some of the most unusual knickknacks stores that will keep you busy for hours. I don’t suggest that you visit this part of the city if you want to keep your money, as there is too much cute stuff all around you in all the little stores and saying “no” takes a lot of diligence. Tip: Make sure to chat it up with the people who are working in the stores in this area of town, as they are always so helpful and nice. Plus, they know this part of the city and will guide you towards things that you need to know about while you are in town.
This is one of my favorite shots from my time in the conservatory, that helped me catch a break from the unbearable sun outside. This past week was a record breaker heat wave for many states across the country, as the temperatures were unbearably high and made being outside extremely dangerous for people. Luckily, the heat wave seems to be over and people have been able to come outdoors without as much dread nor fear of instant perspiration. This change of weather is just in time, as this weekend is the annual Taste of Chicago! It begins today, so if you are in the area and want to taste delicious plates from all over the world, check out this festival!
“Taste Information and Food Tickets: Taste Opens 11a.m. on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 and continues through 9p.m. Sunday, July 15, 2012. Admission and events are free (with the exception of seats for headliners in Petrillo Music Shell), but you must buy tickets to purchase food. Tickets are sold in strips of 12 for $8 (or $7 previous to the event at all Dominicks locations). Large items are usually 9 or 10 tickets, side portions are 6 or 7 tickets and soft drinks go for 4 tickets each. Restaurants also offer smaller “Taste Portions” for less tickets and smaller tastes. Grant Park (Jackson & Columbus): 11a.m. to 9p.m. each day.”
It begins open in less than 30 minutes from now!
Also happening soon, if you eat meat: Windy City RibFest 2012, with SmashMouth as headliner.
Everyone be safe outdoors and expect another Beyond the Scoot post on Chicago, when I get a bit faster internet! I wanted to be a travel writer for a bit of time there, so I want to write a small post about the joys and logistics of traveling to this amazing city.
Cheers, till then.