On my air-mile accumulating trip to Brazil, I had Â 10-hour layover in Chicago. Â Initially I thought I would need to do some computer work during that time, but it turns out I managed to finish some things the day before, so I took the L into the city to take a look around. Â It was windy (naturally) but a balmy 3 degrees and sunny, so it was a good day to walk around.
Advice if you ever have a long layover in Chicago: Â take the Blue line to Washington. Â You will walk up to State street between Monroe and Washington. Â Walk 2-3 blocks to Michigan and enjoy the ‘magnificent mile’ of cool architecture,Â millenniumÂ park with all the public art, the lakeshore, and the Chicago Institute of Art. Â The Institute has some classic impressionists and lots of Americans: Warhol, Pollack, Wood, O’Keefe, etc.. Â It is worth a visit even if you hate art; Â they have a $1 bag check and great washrooms so it makes a nice starting place for a walkabout, and is close enough to the subway to swing by and get your bag on the way back to the airport.
Foods: working solely on intuition, I followed an ancient L track along van Buren and found an outstanding modern Isreali-style deli called Benjiyehuda.Â I had a bitchin’ falafel on rice with hotÂ sauceÂ and a buffet of 5-6 outstanding salads. I read the local free weekly while a Matisyahu concert played on a big screen tv. Â Keeping it real with everyoneÂ favouriteÂ hasidic reggae star! Â Later I felt like something sweet and stumbled upon the Magnolia Bakery; I got aÂ pieceÂ of banana cream pie to eat at the airport.
Overall, Chicago was pretty cool and I would go back. Â Maybe it would be a bit prettier in the spring, but if you go for a museum winter is probably best. Â 🙂