Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Windy City

In a rare example of gamekeeper turns poacher, No Crowds' Editor offers some great tips on how to enjoy Chicago in January. 

I was back in Chicago, the birthplace of both my parents, last weekend for an important family event.  I have mixed emotions about the City:  I spent most holidays with my grandparents in the Chicago burbs in my late teens and early twenties.  My parents had left in 1946 to find fame and fortune back East and lived mostly overseas.

First, Chicago is not a city you visit in mid-January, unless you have a good reason:  your niece and nephew’s coming of age celebration or the Bears playoff game.  Chicago is a very American city: brash and smug.  It has everything:  several sports teams, multinational company HQs, a thriving restaurant culture (we tried to get into Rick Bayliss’s place, but it was booked!), world class cultural icons (the Symphony and Art Institute, although my favourite is the Science Museum where you can board a U boat captured in WWII) and lots of interesting places to live and play.   It is also the home of the Efficient Market Theory  - which is a little frayed at the edges these days!

Aside from the family celebrations, my favourite take-aways from this visit were:

A haircut at the Medinah Barber Shop.  The shop is named after the former Shriners HQs on North Michigan Avenue (now Bloomingdales) where it was once located.  I have had my hair cut at Geo F. Trumper (Prince Charles’s barber in London), but this took the biscuit.  The reading material ranged from Playboy to Charles Darwin.  Free drinks are provided as well as TV along with Chicago history (courtesy of Ronald Edwards—The Barber).  Needless to say the haircut was superb.

A deep dish pizza at Pizzeria Uno.  My son, Mac, who is always hungry texted his frat brother as we cabbed in from Midway to ascertain where to get the best pizza.  After checking in at the Marriott, we ambled over (despite the concierge trying to divert us to Giordano’s, a chain which also has a great reputation).  We ordered a medium Spinach pizza (as Mac says:  “I hate spinach but I ‘m told a Spinach deep dish is the best”).  It took 45 minutes to arrive (as advertised).  It was delicious and we could only eat three quarters of it.  All this for $30 bucks!!

If you go to the Windy City, enjoy the culture and sports, but don’t forget to get a haircut and have a deep dish pizza.  The Marriott is in a great location, minutes away on foot from the Art Institute, Uno’s, shopping on the Magnificent Mile and Medinah’s.

Medinah Barber Shop—3 East Huron (hours 7am to 6pm—closed Wednesday & Sunday)
 Tel 312 844 1549

Pizzeria Uno—29 East Ohio (open daily 11 to 11)  Tel 312 321 1000

Marriott Chicago Downtown—540 North Michigan.  Tel 312 836 6139

No comments:

Post a Comment