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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Favorite Things About Chicago (now that I'm leaving)

I’ve lived in Chicago for a few years now, and I realize I haven’t always been nice about Chicago, mainly because my Seasonal Affective Disorder couldn’t handle the cold grayness, and also because I got robbed twice.  BUT now that I’m leaving Chi (I’m coming, San Francisco!!), of course I’m reflecting on the great things about this city.  So, in the spirit of loving before leaving, here are my favorite things about Chicago, AFTER the spectacular friends I made here, who truly made my years here worthwhile:

1. The food!  This city is on par with New York or ANY other city when it comes to food.  In my neighborhood alone, I had some of the best food of my life, and I didn’t set foot inside a fraction of the lauded restaurants in Chicago (never went to Next, Au Cheval, etc. etc.).  Some of my favorites: Senza ( – gluten-free food that even gluten-lovers love, and one of the best meals I’ve ever had.  North Pond Restaurant (  – best steak I’ve had in years (better than Fulton’s, FWIW), in the most gorgeous setting of any Chicago restaurant.  Blackbird (  Publican (  Avec (   Peasantry – best burger I’ve had in years ( Piccolo Sogno ( Bongo Room for brunch ( La Crêperie in Lakeview.  Gyu Kaku downtown (yeah, it’s a worldwide chain, so what).   I could go on and on. 

2. And, because it’s a category unto itself, Alinea!  See my previous blog post!  Maybe the most expensive restaurant in the universe, but worth every penny.

3. Landmark Century Centre Cinema ('scenturycentrecinema.htm).  My. Favorite. Theater. Ever.  I went here almost every week, and just saw whatever was showing there, because it was almost always fantastic.  

4.  Looseleaf Lounge ( – one of my fav work spots, staffed by some of the nicest peeps in Chicago.  Great tea selection, fantastic food. 

5. Lakeview Pantry (  If you want to do something SUPER fun and equally rewarding, volunteer for this place.  It was always my best night of the week.  

6. North Pond Nature Sanctuary (  We didn’t have much good weather during our 3 years here, since we always left for the summers, but when the weather WAS good, this place was my sanctuary. 

7. Friar Tuck ( - BEST dive bar, with cheap drinks, nice bartenders, free popcorn AND Wordster.  If you don’t know Wordster, you betta learn! 

8. So many rock climbing gyms!

So, thanks for all that, Chicago.  I’ll come visit you again.  Laterrrr!

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