Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chicago tips part II

- Fruit and salads- Fresh fruit and veg are much better than in the UK. In summer I would say it is impossible to sample the traditional pancakes, french toast, waffles, etc - temperatures are around 30 degrees and you just don't feel like stodge
- Teas - again better than in the UK. Hard to hear I know.
- Mexican food
- Brush up on your Spanish, almost as much spoken as English.
- The architectural boat tour

- The Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the Herbie Hancock building, fantastic view of Chicago for the price of a coffee. No dress codes or uncertain entry like in the UK.

- The Millennium park with the Anish Kapoor "bean" 
and the Art Institute of Chicago
My favourite pieces in the Art Institute of Chicago

- The Garden Cafe of the Art Institute of Chicago, possibly one of the best places to be in the world on a hot summer day.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Chicago trip part I

Things I recommend in Chicago:

- Try to visit in late spring/summer - the warm weather starts sometime during May. Lots of sudden downpours and light (by american standards) storms.
- Friends there who can show you the things locals enjoy are best of course!
- The "beach" - the part of the lake that is in Chicago
- Bars with open-air areas: I went to four in the Damen area, most of which were considered cycle bars, i.e. bars where cyclists go.

Some also had a place to park bicycles or decorations made from bicycle parts. One of the bars had ping-pong tables.

- Breakfast cafes, the ones I went to were Ballou, Atomix, Filter and Earwax.

Admire the efortlessly vintage decoration, and wonder if this in America is just considered some old bits of furniture.
You can while away the time on your laptop - all have free wireless.

- Nightclubs - worth it for the weirdness, went to two, the one on Saturday was called Musicbox. Very open lesbian scene. The ones I saw had photobooths for the drunk punters to spend money on.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The weather in Chicago

DayWeatherMax. DayTemperature
Min. NightTemperature
Wind Direction and Speed
Thu Day weather
Light Rain
Light Rain
1812North Easterly876%1023mbVery goodMore info for Thursday's weather
Fri Day weather
Sunny Intervals
Sunny Intervals
3023Southerly1364%1017mbVery goodMore info for Friday's weather
Sat Day weather
3216West North Westerly657%1016mbVery goodMore info for Saturday's weather
Sun Day weather
Sunny Intervals
Sunny Intervals
1912North North Easterly782%1019mbVery goodMore info for Sunday's weather
Mon Day weather
3220South South Easterly1158%1013mbVery goodMore info for Monday's weather

It was 31 degrees when I arrived on Monday, since then it has gone down to under 20 today, then it will climb back up to 30 tomorrow. If you think planning what to wear in London is hard, you should see how it is here...


A note written at O'Hare airport on May 30 (and which incidentally has made me use bluetooth for the first time)

Big group of very trendy middle-aged japanese behind me at check-in. Look very different from the young japanese we see in london - for example the haircut fashion at the moment is obviously a short very structured bob, preferrably with a bit of wave. Nothing else to do in the hour-long queue for border control except people-watch. And of course be worried you won't be let into the country - people are much tenser than in a  border queue in the uk. 

Travel by elevated train from airport to my friend's house.  Lovely old-looking train stations, everything in this area looks from the 50s at the latest.

My friend lives in a equally lovely old house in an area called the Ukrainian Village.
We had a wonderful barbeque in the outside area on the day I arrived. I managed to last until 9pm (1am UK time) before crashing out.

The house has some wonderful vintage furniture, examples coming up soon.