Sunday, June 05, 2005

home sweet home

Since i'm definitely stuck in this city for the next two months (bar study leaves no time for travel) of course i'm getting homesick for all the places i've lived.

Things I love about Chicago (some of these are up to 45 min. out of the city but they’re worth the commute if you can get there):

Ravinia: a beautiful outdoor music pavilion (kind of like D.C.’s Wolftrap). Lawn tickets are $10, free for students. Bring: a quilt, good food, better wine, and my mother and I always make sure to bring candles and a tiny vase with flowers to add an extra touch Martha Stewart style. Bring a sweater b/c it’ll get cold. Go early. i went home specifically for michael cerveris, audra mcdonald, and patty lupone doing sondheim's "sunday in the park with george" and it was SO WORTH IT.

The beaches: along the lakeshore.

Clark & Belmont: where you can find Pennys noodle shop, Orange’s brunch (get the frushi and the pancake flight), and the Pick me up café (where go for a cup of coffee at 4am).

Nacional 27: one of my most favorite restaurants in the city. I used to work for Lettuce Entertain You and had the sweetest discount. Get the sashimi, a mango martini.

Arlington Racetrack: my mother used to take me there on my birthdays. I used to bet on horses by their silks. When I was old enough to understand the handbook I started using stats but now I never win. I should go back to the old way. My mother always bets on the first grey mare she sees. Don’t pay for a reserved table. Run down to the paddock before each race to look all the horses in the eye. This place is beautiful, take it all in.

Oakbrook mall: my stomping ground when I’m home. It’s the MOST beautiful outdoor mall. It has a Nordstrom (and ALL the other necessaries) and the restaurant I used to work at, Antico Posto (you must go if you’re anywhere near there! Get the ricotta gnocchi, you’ll thank me later).

PORTILLO’S: the best hot dogs. Period. They’re building one in L.A. near my mother so I’m thrilled. you haven't lived if you haven't had a chicago style hot dog (fresh tomato, cucumber, relish, hot peppers, pickle, onion, celery salt). NY'ers go to the shake shack at madison square party. they import vienna hotdogs from chicago for it.

The pizza: Lou malnatti’s, Eduardos or Giordanos. Or try Pizza and Oven Grinder, get the flatbread, skip the salads, and try the pot pie pizza’s with wheat dough.

The Lyric Opera: which is twice as good as the Met, I think. Actually, I think the metropolitan opera house is just damn ugly. I had season tickets all through junior high and high school (I was a dork, we don’t need to go over it again). These two old guys used to stand near the door and yell, in perfect unison, “librettos. Enjoy the opera with a libretto…and opera glasses!” I’d get a bottle of Orangina. I always wore this beautiful nanette lepore dress.

Second City: where I used to watch Rachel Dratch before anybody knew who she was. Chicago is THE home for good improv. It's where anybody who is anybody funny got their start.

Lombard at this time: it’s the lilac capital of the state (maybe even country), its an amazing place in May.

Long Grove: a quaint little town with cutesy shops. Not a place for most men. They have an apple cider mill and they make the BEST apple cider doughnuts. Get the day old doughnuts for half price, they’re better than the fresh ones. Also, hit their chocolate confectionary (which is world renown).

Ithaca will be next....

20 people who played with me:

Blogger cadiz12 said...

i'm biased, but the chicago area is just about the best place i've ever been (and i've done a pretty good amount of traveling/living elsewhere.)

ravinia is close to how i'd imagine heaven.

hey jazz, you know that they give away free lilac plants every year at lilacia park, right? i saw it in the paper. that way you can enjoy it wherever you are.

6/05/2005 6:42 PM  
Blogger Digitalicat said...

I just love Chicago. I don't have to go anywhere, I don't have to do anything. It's just one of those weird zen things where I just have to be there. I could just sit and feel the city move around me.

6/05/2005 6:52 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

My Chicago experience is mostly limited to wandering around O’Hare airport, waiting for my connecting flight. So it’s safe to say I cannot legitimately comment on anything about this post. I also drove through Chicago once, but it was snowing heavily, I was going about 15 mph and it was pretty much a white out, so I can’t really say that I saw much from the freeway either.

6/05/2005 7:52 PM  
Blogger jazz said...

jon: go back. do those things on my list. you'll die happy.

6/05/2005 8:09 PM  
Blogger jazz said...

cadiz: i did not know that! i'll have to tell my grandparents to start getting them for me when the season rolls around.

6/05/2005 8:14 PM  
Blogger Jae said...

wow all these places sound amazing i think i might have to make a trip over to see the lombard and chicago.

6/05/2005 9:32 PM  
Blogger Amber Lynn said...

I need to get out more. I have never been to New York City or Chicago.


6/05/2005 9:46 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

Am I going to die that happy death immediately after I do those things? If so, I’ll have to postpone the trip awhile, there still a few other things I’d like to do before I make my exit, even if it is a happy one. I imagine I’ll make it there again someday anyway. I’m one of those fools who dreams of visiting every major league baseball park in the country, so I have two to visit there. It’s weird; you didn’t mention them on your list. I thought that was funny because you are probably the biggest baseball fan I know. Every other post you do is about baseball. We all get it, you like baseball. You don’t need to remind us every other day. My current stadium tally is 3… not very impressive, but it should be 5 by the end of this season. I know awhile back you had requested that I talk about baseball a lot more when I comment on you blog, so I’m just trying to accommodate. I promise from now on to address baseball at least once in every comment because I respect your wishes.

6/05/2005 10:15 PM  
Blogger jazz said...

jon: re the baseball comiskey (or whatever it's called) is just not as good as old comiskey where i found my love for the game in the first place. i like wrigley. it's quaint. what i like more is how many cute guys are milling about wrigleyville on game days. i'm a yankees fan now and people at home hate me for it. it's a touchy subject.

btw, good job on the talking up of baseball. comments you leave w/o talking about baseball...well they just kinda suck. no offense man.

6/05/2005 10:19 PM  
Blogger cadiz12 said...

yeah, *u.s. cellular* field is not as good as the good old comiskey.
wrigley seems to be more fun in the bleachers.

i used to work with a guy who wanted to visit every single ballpark. his poor wife; all of their vacations had to have a baseball element. but i was impressed to hear that he's only got about 11 left on his list. he's 50. so you'd better get crackin', jon.

6/05/2005 10:41 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

No offense taken. I knew all the other comments sucked, I just didn’t know why until today. I’ve heard good things about Wrigley, and I’d rather see that one. I’m more of a National League guy anyway. Which is why I hate the Yankees. Why couldn’t you be a Mets Fan? Or just stay true to your town?

Cadiz: 50? I hope I win the lottery before that. Then I could knock out every park in one season, or maybe two. I’d love to follow my team around. That would take care of a lot of stadiums, and I wouldn’t miss any games.

6/06/2005 12:54 AM  
Blogger 1 said...

Jazz, what a "profile" pic! Just as an experiment, why don't you make an observation on how readership (male in specific) will jum by leaps and then bounds.

Chicago is my third favorite city. San Francisco is second. New York first.

6/06/2005 9:14 AM  
Blogger mrsmogul said...

you know, I've never been to Chicago, but would love to try the deep dish pizza!

6/06/2005 10:28 AM  
Blogger omar said...

I went to Chicago for my old roommate's wedding a couple of years ago. Nice city. In the aquarium, I saw two turtles having sex. I got it on video, and I put that clip in the middle of his wedding video. It was funnier to me than to his wife.

That's what I think of when I think "Chicago."

6/06/2005 12:59 PM  
Blogger jazz said...

-g.d.: have discussed it and think the profile pic is too much. some old woman took it of us (it's just our chests, all of us) but i'm leaning in to tell her where the button is that takes the picture. i thought, "well this doesn't have my face..." but i think i'll stick something less booby up.

6/06/2005 4:07 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

I’m thinking for your next profile pic, you should dress up as a penguin, or maybe a giraffe… yeah, I think that would be awesome…

And Omar, your version of Chicago has now replaced my blizzard version. Thanks!

6/06/2005 10:19 PM  
Blogger cadiz12 said...

hey jazz, not to be rude, but i just had a portillo's hot dog and it was divine.

hey, turtles and blizzards aren't that bad. but if you really want a taste of the real deal, show up during either june or late august/early sept and give yourself one whole day to laze around with no itinerary. take in some small cafes and walk along the beach. maybe if you're real nice, i might tell you about this small beach on the north side that's hidden in a park. it's where, for the first time in my life, i ever truly unclenched the fist around my heart. and no matter what has happened since, it will always be the most beautiful place in the world.

6/07/2005 2:48 AM  
Blogger jazz said...

i love portillo's! why are you being rude? or is divine not a good word when you use it?

please tell me about the beach!

6/07/2005 8:19 AM  
Blogger EsotericWombat said...

Second City is awesome. I was actually taught improv last semester by someone who teaches at Second City. I'm considering staying in Chicago next summer and enrolling there.

Can't say I'm familiar with anything else there, though. I'll have to check it out. I do, however, humbly put forth that Gourmand has the best coffee in Chicago

6/07/2005 2:04 PM  
Blogger cadiz12 said...

oh i just didn't want to throw it in your face. do they have portillo's in ny?

next time you're in chi and have time to relax, let me know; i'll give you directions.

6/09/2005 3:20 AM  

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