I'm planning on traveling to Chicago from NYC for the first time in April, and I'm trying to find a place to stay (right now, via Airbnb). I've checked the recent Chicago travel questions, but they all seem rather car-centric, and I'm planning on commuting largely by subway/walking (and buses, if necessary). I'm trying to figure out how to stay somewhere safe, near a subway line. [more inside]
A good friend of mine is getting married, and asked me to enlist the hive mind to help her find a venue. She is looking for something budget-friendly but unique; located in the West or Northwest suburbs (about a 50 mile radius from Chicago but not further south than Plainfield), for about 150 guests. A place that would allow them to bring their own food and liquor would be ideal, and park district venues are acceptable.
On the day of my grandmother's funeral 21 years ago, my family discovered that, prior to her death, she had written a letter addressed to me on the back of a painting that hung in her house. As you can imagine, the painting (and the letter, which I have preserved) has enormous sentimental value for me - I often tell people that in the case of a fire, the only thing I'm carrying out of here is my painting. The painting is signed with the name "Julian", but the handwriting does not match any of the Julians in the artist directory books at the Library of Congress (oh yeah, I went to the LOC to research this issue). Here is a photo! [more inside]
I'm looking to move back to the bay area after about 7 years away. What's the best way to go about this and find a job? [more inside]
Running in Chicago in the wintertime. I'm not as worried about the cold (love running in the cold!) as I am about ice. (South Side location.) [more inside]
I'm going to have a long layover in Chicago next week, and will be able to spend about 8 hours in the city (daylight hours, thankfully). I have never been to Chicago before, and would like to take advantage of the opportunity to sightsee the key attractions. However I take it that this isn't necessarily the most clement time of year to visit that fair city, especially with the polar vortex returning. What are the key highlights of Chicago that I MUST see/do that are doable in sub-freezing weather? Alternatively, is there anything that this weather would actually improve (I saw some astonishing photos of Lake Michigan from earlier this month, for instance)? I will not have a car, and I also won't have a particularly warm coat. Any other tips?
A young neighbor is in trouble with the City of Chicago over parking tickets. How deep is the hole and how should he proceed to climb out? [more inside]
My fiancé and I are pondering a move to the Midwest to be closer to our respective families (fairly evenly distributed across the entire region). Chicago seems an obvious choice, but I've hated every trip I've ever taken there. Where are the good parts? Please show me it's not full of suck. [more inside]
I'll be attending an event at the University of Chicago, and need to find a place to stay nearby. The block of hotel rooms reserved for attendees is still more expensive than I'd like, especially x2 nights. Is there anything like a guesthouse or more dormitory-type accommodations available near campus? (Is this a total pipe dream?) [more inside]
In Chicago, especially in working-class neighborhoods, there are a lot of stores that seem from the outside like they sell a bit of everything: they have displays (often garish) with pots, pans, clothing, and other odds and ends. What are these stores? Who are they for? Who runs them, who buys from them? [more inside]
Catch: New Year's on a Wednesday. I don't have the surrounding days off. [more inside]
Help us realize our holiday dream of eating ice cream in front of the tube in matching track suits. [more inside]
I just moved to Evanston, IL from North Carolina. It snowed about an inch today, and unlike what I'm used to, everything didn't shut down in panic. What do I need to know in order to make my driving commute a safe one? [more inside]
This is pretty last minute, but I'm visiting Chicago tomorrow for a short period of time, and need to catch an early train back home the next day (it leaves Union Station at 6:00 AM). I'll be in Lake View and/or apparently Boys Town that night/morning. Particularly around the intersection of Halsted & Addison. I have two bus choices (151 and 8) to go from there to Union Station. 1) Should this area be safe after 4:30 AM to be waiting around for a bus for 10-20 minutes? 2) Do you have any experiences with either bus being on time this early? 3) Bus 8 actually doesn't drop me off right at Union Station, so how safe should the area around Union Station be around 5:30 AM? For what it's worth, I'm a guy, but I don't have any city living experience, and am definitely not threatening looking. (Also: I'm aware of the bus tracker web app, but my phone can't access it, so I can't just wait inside where I'll be until the bus is nearby) Thanks!
I was wondering if anyone knew of some place in Chicago that was still offering Thanksgiving pick-up that's somewhere in the vicinity of the lake or the loop. Everything I'm finding is way out west which isn't going to work for me, or sold out. Alternatively, given that it's just the two of us, is it better to just go to a restaurant? If so, any recommendations?
First Chicago winter for a California native. Need recommendations for stores that have good-quality but not-too-expensive winter coats. [more inside]
I'd like to leave my relatively stable (but likely dead-end) job for temp work, with the hope of landing in a position with more potential to be a career--or, at least, the potential for occasional promotions. If you've done this, I'd like to hear what worked well for you, what didn't, and what you wish you'd thought of ahead of time. [more inside]
I'm going to spend the day exploring Pilsen tomorrow. What are your restaurant, gallery and store recommendations?
Hello sage MeFites! Due to the usual vagaries of life (moving, grad school, etc), my usual wonderful cat-sitters are no longer quite so readily available to coddle the whims of my neurotic, adorable kitteh (SLYT of her torrid love affair with my humidifier). Do any Chicago MeFites know of a reliable, friendly cat-sitter who would be available for a north side kitty in November? [more inside]
Ok, so I'm living in Chicago with a few of my SO's old roommates from college. We've known them for less than a year and I can admit maybe we jumped into a year lease too soon. However, what recourse do we have right now? [more inside]
I need an excellent talk therapist who specializes in working with cancer patients in Chicago. [more inside]
What's a good dinner spot within reasonable walking distance of the Symphony Center in Chicago? Ideal price range would be, say, $12-25 entrees. I don't care if it's Asian or seafood or Italian or whatever as long as it's tasty. [more inside]
We have a roach infestation in our new apartment. Ha ha ha. What's a good gameplan? Is it weird that I've accepted it? [more inside]
I'm visiting Baltimore and am staying in the Mt. Vernon/Midtown area. Is there a good place nearby to watch the Chicago Bears game tomorrow?
Our car was stolen. Police here seem to shrug it off. Is there anything else I should or could be doing, or just take it as a rather abrupt lesson in the transience of possessions? [more inside]
Trying to figure out off-the-beaten-path ideas for Chicago-land activities with family during a Thanksgiving visit. We (Mrs. jferg, jferglets (5 & 7), and I) will be staying with my aunt and uncle in Valparaiso, IN for the days surrounding Thanksgiving; Wednesday-Saturday. Sister will be visiting her SO's family a little north of Milwaukee at the same time. Would like to meet up with sister and SO in Chicago area for one of those days. I'm looking for something fun to do that isn't going to be completely packed with other tourists and humanity (or, $DEITY-forbid, Black Friday shoppers), where we can actually interact and have fun rather than spend all day following each other around a crowded museum. We've done most of the standard Chicago tourist fare (museums and tall buildings) on previous trips, and after the packed (and expensive) aquarium trip last Black Friday, I kind of just don't want to set us up for that again. Weather is always a crap-shoot in November, so zoos and parks are ... not guaranteed to be an option. Suggestions from natives or people with more Chi-town knowledge than I? [more inside]
Please recommend your favorite stores for books for kids in Chicago. I am interested in finding used books, quirky books, and progressive books. Not necessarily all three and not necessarily in that order. Toddler Xalf is almost 1.5 years old, but I'm happy to buy books that will be over his head for the next few of years. Any part of Chicago is fine. Suburbs too, especially those to the north.
My dad and I are going to be in Chicago for a few days next week, and I'm trying to bash out an itinerary. Specifically, I'd like our focus to be a mix of sampling local beers, architecture, and nerdy things in the historical vein. I need the most help with the first part. Any suggestions for: Microbrews with public taprooms? Good bars with extensive local beer selection? Good neighborhoods within which one could happily wander? [more inside]
Hello, I'll be in Chicago soon, alone, for a conference in a hotel near the Navy Pier. I'll have two half days on my own, so I wanted suggestions for cool things to do for an art, design, food, music and comics nerd that will work with my limited time. [more inside]
We rented a house in Skokie, and the landlord used an office-supply-store-pre-printed lease form for the city. It included a copy of the Chicago RLTO as part of the form. Understanding that YANML, does this incorporate the requirements of the RLTO into the terms of the lease? If so, he'd be required to submit receipts meet deadlines for the return of the deposit. Or is he only bound by State Law (which for a single-family home, seems to require bupkus). He only returned half of our security deposit. Is it worth fighting for the other half ($600)? If I accept and deposit the $600 he sent, am I hurting my chances of getting the rest? [more inside]
In a few months, I am moving to Chicago. I will be working in Hyde Park, and am trying to decide where to live. I am rather enamored of Andersonville. What other neighborhoods might I like? [more inside]
My parents are coming to visit in Chicago and I'm trying to think of restaurants to take them. Doesn't have to be fancy, but they're in their mid-50s and 60s so nothing divey. They're not into ethnic food (although Thai is ok) and nothing super spicy. [more inside]
Looking for interesting things to see and do between NY and Chicago. [more inside]
Inspired by this and this, I am looking to compile a list of the "best" places to get cuisine of a specific nationality or region or ethnicity in Chicago. [more inside]
Hello, I am a long time allergy and asthma sufferer in Chicago. Recently this summer, I have been experiencing major headaches as the weather shifts dramatically. I have an ENT who has been working with me closely, but this is going beyond their area of expertise, as my sinuses, Eustachian, and nasal passages are clear. He thinks the problem/swelling is originating from above my sinus passages. (Sorry for TMI.) [more inside]
Please recommend a party venue (probably a bar backroom) on the north side of Chicago - details inside. [more inside]
I'm looking for a place to go camping for a night, preferably on/near Lake Michigan, over Labor Day weekend, within a 4 hour drive of Chicago. I have never camped before. I have a tent and a tarp. I need help with location, how to make fire, what to do about food, and other things a 32-year-old camping virgin should know before setting out. More details inside. [more inside]
Is 4AM late at night or early in the morning? [more inside]
I haven't had a primary care doctor in a long time and 'think it might be time for a chronic "doctor avoider" such as myself to have one. Due to obvious fear of illness, death, doctors, tests and the like I would love to find a really kind doctor with a great bedside manner who isn't averse to alternative medicine and is associated with a hospital. Thanks.
I blew through 3 or 4 unmanned Chicagoland toll booths last weekend. I was unprepared with neither an iPass nor loads of change, and naively thought I could go online and pay what I missed. It turns out I need to identify the date and exact tollbooth I missed. I can't remember, as I was driving all weekend all along the N/NW suburbs. I was in a rental car, and I'd like to avoid the "admin charges," in addition to any possible traffic fines. Any practical advice on what I should do? [more inside]
Tonight I need to get from O'Hare airport to a hotel at 540 N Michigan Avenue. It looks like I should take the Blue Line to Washington Station, walk to the Red Line Lake Station, and take the Red Line to Grand Station. Good plan? Would it be easier to change at Jackson Station? 2 more stops each way, but then it looks like less walking between trains.
Any recommendations for a smoke shop in Chicago with a good selection of bubblers and friendly employees? [more inside]
I've whittled down options for my bachelor party, which will be quirky but fun. Intended audience, around 25 to 30 bros in the 30-35 year old segment around the country, but mostly east coast. Everyone has jobs, few have kids. All played or play sports or like them. Want some thing different, fun and memorable. My options: Chicago for a weekend, or Memphis/Ole Miss for taste of the South. [more inside]
I'm moving to Chicago in a couple months and looking for recommendations about specific areas and neighborhoods. Snowflakey details follow. [more inside]
Family is taking the train into Union station tomorrow. Weather permitted we're walking to Navy Pier. We need a family friendly place to stop for lunch along the way chain restaurants OK, we have w 1 and 4 year who get picky eating out. We are trying to go direct as possible so no choices that would mean back tracking.
Visiting northwest side of Chicago this weekend, staying in Evanston. It's been YEARS since I've been back and I'm noticing on Yelp all my old favorite places have closed or gone terribly downhill. Can anyone recommend any cool places to check out? Chicago sights/tastes for my partner who hasn't seen much of the city? [more inside]
We're getting hitched Oct. 19th in Chicago and only have time for two nights somewhere within 4-5 hours driving distance. Please help us think of somewhere autumn/honeymoon appropriate to go! [more inside]
I'm currently studying law in a UK university, and am contemplating taking a semester off beginning August 2014 (about 4 months) to work and travel. The plan right now is to move to another city/country and work and stay there, and on the top of my list at the moment is Chicago. How viable is this? [more inside]
My fiancee are moving to Chicago in a month and are trying to get a handle on where safe places to live are. I am starting grad school at UIC and won't have a lot of income. I tend to be skeptical of claims that neighborhoods are "sketchy" because this is often rooted more in perception than reality. For reference, I've lived in the Petworth area of DC for several years now, and have always felt comfortable and haven't personally experienced crime. However, I'm not quite as familiar with Chicago and I wouldn't want to end up in a situation where my safety is compromised. Right now I am specifically checking out a couple places near Division & Rockwell. Does that raise any red flags? I know the area around Humboldt Park tends to have a bad reputation. We are also keeping our eye on Logan Square and Pilsen. Any thoughts?
Where's a good place to get all gussied up and go out to eat in Chicago? [more inside]