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Visiting Chicago - Come for the pizza, stay for the pizza

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Old
04-11-2012, 08:04 PM
  #1
DisgruntledHawkFan
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Visiting Chicago - Come for the pizza, stay for the pizza

We get asked enough. Post questions here and offer suggestions for our tourists looking to enjoy one of the world's finest cities.

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Old
04-11-2012, 08:28 PM
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BBH
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Welcome to the City Beautiful, Chicago!


History:
In the mid 18th century, the area was first inhabited by the Potawatomi Native American tribe, who had taken the place of the Miami and Saux and Fox peoples. In the 1780s, the first permanent non-native resident of Chicago, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, believed to be of Haitian and French heritage. In 1795, following the Northwest Indian War, an area that was to be part of Chicago was turned over by some Native Americans in the Treaty of Greenville to the United States for a military post.

In 1803, the United States Army built Fort Dearborn, which was destroyed in the War of 1812, Battle of Fort Dearborn. The Ottawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi had ceded additional land to the United States in the 1804 Treaty of St. Louis. The Potawatomi were eventually forcibly removed from their land following the Treaty of Chicago in 1833. On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was organized with a population of around 200 at that time. Within seven years it would grow to a population of over 4,000. On the 15th day of June, 1835, the first public land sales commenced with Edmund Dick Taylor as U.S. receiver of public moneys. The City of Chicago was incorporated on Saturday, March 4, 1837.

The name "Chicago" is derived from a French rendering of the Native American word shikaakwa, translated as "wild onion" or "wild garlic," from the Miami-Illinois language. The first known reference to the site of the current city of Chicago as "Checagou" was by Robert de LaSalle around 1679 in a memoir written about the time. The wild garlic plants, Allium tricoccum, were described by LaSalle's comrade, naturalist-diarist Henri Joutel, in his journal of LaSalle's last expedition.

As the site of the Chicago Portage, the city emerged as an important transportation hub between the eastern and western United States. Chicago's first railway, Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, opened in 1848, which also marked the opening of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. The canal allowed steamboats and sailing ships on the Great Lakes to connect to the Mississippi River. A flourishing economy brought residents from rural communities and immigrants abroad. Manufacturing and retail sectors became dominant among Midwestern cities, influencing the American economy, particularly in meatpacking, with the advent of the refrigerated rail car and the regional centrality of the city's Union Stock Yards.

In the 1850s Chicago gained national political prominence as the home of Senator Stephen Douglas, the champion of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and "popular sovereignty" approach to the issue of the spread of slavery. These issues also helped propel another Illinoisan, Abraham Lincoln, to the national stage. Lincoln was nominated in Chicago for the nation's presidency at the 1860 Republican National Convention and went on to defeat Douglas in the general election, setting the stage for the American Civil War.

Chicago experienced the fastest population growth in the world at one point, thus the city initiated infrastructure improvements. In February 1856, the Chesbrough plan for the building of Chicago's and the United States' first comprehensive sewerage system was approved by the Common Council. The project raised much of central Chicago to a new grade. While raising Chicago, and at first improving the health of the city, the untreated sewage and industrial waste now flowed into the Chicago River, then into Lake Michigan, polluting the primary source of fresh water for the city. Chicago responded by tunneling two miles (3 km) out into Lake Michigan to newly built water cribs. In 1900, the problem of sewage was largely resolved when the city undertook a major engineering feat. The city reversed the flow of the Chicago River so that the water flowed from Lake Michigan into the river, instead of flowing from the river into the lake. It began with the construction and improvement of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and completed with the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal leading to the Illinois River which joins the Mississippi River.

Sports:
Sports are a religion in Chicago. The city is home to two major league baseball teams, the White Sox, which occupy U.S. Cellular Field on the South Side, near Downtown, and the Cubs, who have called Wrigley Field their home for 98 years, on the North Side in Wrigleyville. Aside from those MLB teams, Chicago is home to an NFL football team, the Bears, who are undoubtedly the most popular team in Chicago, bar none. The two residents of the United Center, the Bulls NBA team which boasts such superstars in its history as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Derrick Rose, and the Blackhawks, our beloved NHL hockey team that is the most recent champion of Chicago, are both known to create one of the loudest atmospheres in sports.

Although unnoticed by many, the Chicago Fire are among the most successful teams in MLS history, playing in Toyota Park in Bridgeview. Also overlooked is the Chicago Sky WNBA team, which plays their home games in the Allstate Arena. Allstate is also the home of the Chicago Wolves AHL team, ironically the affiliates of the Vancouver Canucks. The Wolves are famous for their great showing each night and their very bright and boisterous pregame introduction, which includes the utilization of fireworks and flames.

Chicago is the former home of the Chicago Express, an ECHL team that called the Sears Centre Arena its home for one season in 2011-12 before folding on April 6, 2012, because of historically low attendance. Farther out is the Rockford IceHogs AHL team, affiliated with our own Chi-Hawks.

Things To Do:
Chicago has a wide array of activities presented to the public, and is one of the largest tourism destinations in the country, with O'Hare and Midway International Airports making Chicago the busiest air traffic city in the world by plane arrival and departure. There are such parks as Millennium Park, which provides the famed "face spit" splash pad and a concert hall. Grant Park is home to the annual Taste of Chicago and Lollapalooza, diverse food and music festivals, respectively.

Not going unnoticed would be the skyline of Chicago. Having been to the top of the Sears Tower (Seriously, nobody is going to call it the Willis Tower here, if you do, you should go live in England.) myself I must say it is one of the most breathtaking things you will see in your life. Another more family-centric location is the iconic Navy Pier, famous for its countless amount of boat tours and fishing docks, as well as its amusement rides and indoor garden.

Cuisine:
The diversity of Chicago cuisine, from Italian to Polish to Irish, is unmatched by almost any city. From Deep Dish Pizza to the Chicago-style hotdog to Italian beef sandwiches dipped in its own juices, you'll always be kept on your toes trying something new. The most popular eatery in Chicago is probably Gino's East Pizzeria or Morton's: The Steakhouse. A phenomenal array of sports bars also grace the city, including Harry Caray's, Champp's and Four Shadows.

Where To Stay:
TBC


Last edited by BBH: 04-11-2012 at 08:39 PM.
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Old
04-11-2012, 10:25 PM
  #3
ChiGuySez
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Frommers, Fodors or any number of the other travel books are your friends.

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Old
04-12-2012, 01:07 AM
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MurrayBannerman
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Just eat Maxwell Street when you come here. I will then accept you as my friend.

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Old
04-12-2012, 06:24 AM
  #6
Bubba88
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some day, I will come and visit this city

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Old
04-12-2012, 07:37 AM
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BBH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba88 View Post
some day, I will come and visit this city
Have I piqued your interest?

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Old
04-12-2012, 07:54 AM
  #8
Teemu
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Anything anyone needs to know

http://wikitravel.org/en/Chicago

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Old
04-12-2012, 10:26 AM
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Belugas, did you write all that yourself?

If so, you have far too much free time.

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Old
04-12-2012, 02:38 PM
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Blue Liner
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Finally. I was literally going to start a visiting thread today after reading the one started by the Canuck fan below. Then I read this. Way to step up, Mod!

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Old
04-12-2012, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IU Hawks fan View Post
Belugas, did you write all that yourself?

If so, you have far too much free time.
I'll take that first part as a compliment and ignore the second part.

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Old
04-12-2012, 05:28 PM
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I find this part hilarious

"The two residents of the United Center, the Bulls NBA team which boasts such superstars in its history as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Derrick Rose, and the Blackhawks, our beloved NHL hockey team that is the most recent champion of Chicago, are both known to create one of the loudest atmospheres in sports."



Bulls play in a library. People only get loud about T-shirt tosses and the last few minutes. Hell, I put the end of the game on the other night and half the 100 level was emptying out in the last 2 minutes.

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Old
04-12-2012, 05:29 PM
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IceHog1962
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http://www.pizanoschicago.com/

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Old
04-12-2012, 05:53 PM
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Go to Gino's for a beer, so you can say you've been there. Then go to Lou's for dinner.

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04-12-2012, 06:49 PM
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madgoat33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IU Hawks fan View Post
I find this part hilarious

"The two residents of the United Center, the Bulls NBA team which boasts such superstars in its history as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Derrick Rose, and the Blackhawks, our beloved NHL hockey team that is the most recent champion of Chicago, are both known to create one of the loudest atmospheres in sports."



Bulls play in a library. People only get loud about T-shirt tosses and the last few minutes. Hell, I put the end of the game on the other night and half the 100 level was emptying out in the last 2 minutes.

There's only so much mindless regular season wins a fanbase can take

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Old
04-13-2012, 01:30 AM
  #16
HawksFan74
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Can we edit to the title of this thread? /Ticket Exchange

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Old
04-13-2012, 03:36 AM
  #17
UsernameWasTaken
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I've been going to Chicago a couple of times a year since I was 7 (I'm 32 now so it's 25 yrs and counting). My aunt and her family has always lived on the north shore - firstly wilmette, and now Lake Forest.

There's a bunch of Chicago I've seen and have not seen...but when I'm headed out there for a wkend and have time to come into the city I always go to the art institute and hang around in that area. I'm very familiar with the area and have probably seen the basic "go to" sites a million times over.

Can anyone think of any hidden treasures right around that area I might have missed - things it might have never occurred to me to check out?

Leaving aside everything Chicago in general has to offer - if my uncle dropped me off in front of the art institute at 9 am on weekday and i had a few hours to kill, i'd visited the usual suspects in the area, and didn't want to leave the general area...what would you suggest i see that i might have missed?

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04-13-2012, 03:39 AM
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madgoat33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UsernameWasTaken View Post
I've been going to Chicago a couple of times a year since I was 7 (I'm 32 now so it's 25 yrs and counting). My aunt and her family has always lived on the north shore - firstly wilmette, and now Lake Forest.

There's a bunch of Chicago I've seen and have not seen...but when I'm headed out there for a wkend and have time to come into the city I always go to the art institute and hang around in that area. I'm very familiar with the area and have probably seen the basic "go to" sites a million times over.

Can anyone think of any hidden treasures right around that area I might have missed - things it might have never occurred to me to check out?

Leaving aside everything Chicago in general has to offer - if my uncle dropped me off in front of the art institute at 9 am on weekday and i had a few hours to kill, i'd visited the usual suspects in the area, and didn't want to leave the general area...what would you suggest i see that i might have missed?
I know some bars that are worth going to, but outside of booze, sports and a couple museums I got nothing.

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Old
07-19-2012, 11:29 AM
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Arcane
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Lollapalooza 2012

Oilers fan here.

I'll be attending Lolla this year and it will be my first time. Pretty amped, always loved Chicago.

We're there a few days early, what are some places I have to go?.

Our group is 27-28, we like to drink (a lot) and eat.

Any suggestions?

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Old
07-23-2012, 06:12 PM
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Ace Rothstein
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcane View Post
Oilers fan here.

I'll be attending Lolla this year and it will be my first time. Pretty amped, always loved Chicago.

We're there a few days early, what are some places I have to go?.

Our group is 27-28, we like to drink (a lot) and eat.

Any suggestions?
What exactly are you looking for? Museums? Sports? Bars? Chicago has a lot to offer.

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Old
07-23-2012, 06:47 PM
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madgoat33
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did we mention bars?

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Old
07-23-2012, 09:25 PM
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Jeffrey Lebowski
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If you're going to be downtown a lot... leave and go to the neighborhoods. Downtown is cool and all for touristy kinds of things but there's tons of culture and cooler bars/restaurants when you leave downtown.

My suggestion, if you're comfortable with it, is to buy a 3 or 5 day CTA pass and take the red or blue line to an area and explore the bars/restaurants around there. Ask around for neighborhoods to go check out and I'm sure you'll get an idea of some places to go.

Red and blue lines run 24/7 and as long as you don't venture too far away from the stop you get off, you can easily find your way back and just hop back on the train whenever you wanna leave.

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Old
07-23-2012, 09:39 PM
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Teemu
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Groupon sells discounted three day tickets for $9.

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Old
07-27-2012, 09:00 PM
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Max Denby
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I'm planning (hoping) to go to Chicago next year. 1 week in february or march. Hoping to catch at least 2 home games.
1: When should I buy tickets? (I know most games are sold out)
2: Which seats do you recommend? Traveling from Europe I would like decent seats. Price?
3. Hotel. Can you recommend a hotel "close" to United Center?

Thanks guys

Let's say:
TUE FEB 19, 2013 RED WINGS BLACKHAWKS
7:00 PM
FRI FEB 22, 2013 BLUE JACKETS BLACKHAWKS
7:30 PM
SUN FEB 24, 2013 CANUCKS BLACKHAWKS
6:00 PM


Last edited by Max Denby: 07-27-2012 at 09:14 PM.
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Old
07-28-2012, 07:12 PM
  #25
committedindian86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Denby View Post
I'm planning (hoping) to go to Chicago next year. 1 week in february or march. Hoping to catch at least 2 home games.
1: When should I buy tickets? (I know most games are sold out)
2: Which seats do you recommend? Traveling from Europe I would like decent seats. Price?
3. Hotel. Can you recommend a hotel "close" to United Center?

Thanks guys

Let's say:
TUE FEB 19, 2013 RED WINGS BLACKHAWKS
7:00 PM
FRI FEB 22, 2013 BLUE JACKETS BLACKHAWKS
7:30 PM
SUN FEB 24, 2013 CANUCKS BLACKHAWKS
6:00 PM
Every game sells out and whenever tickets go on sale is when you should get on the Hawks website to buy the tickets. I'm sure someone here knows the exact date they go onsale but I really don't.

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