If you were an unsupervised 18 year old dude, what would you want to do in Chicago? Other than that?
July 17, 2010 9:27 AM   Subscribe

[Chicago Filter] My just-turned-18-about-to-go-to-college cousin from Florida is taking a road trip with two of his buddies across the country, and will be visiting me here in Chicago for about 24 hours on (probably) August 3 and 4th. Where should I take them so as to cement my place as the cool one in the family?

My cousin has been to Chicago a couple of times before, has seen Cubs, Sox, and Bears games, has eaten pizza, has been to most of the museums, has spent plenty of time in and around the Mag Mile, has been to the Goat...basically he's already done everything I would take a visitor to do. This is his first time in Chicago without any parents.

I'm going to let them run the show, but I'd like to supply them with some good ideas. Is there anything going on those days that we should check out? I never get to see my cousin alone, so I'm not really sure what he's into. He's recently taken up (electric) guitar and is into "urban streetwear" (he designed a brand a couple years ago and sold a bunch of shirts with his logo), if that helps. Even though he's 18 now I'm not sure if the other two are yet, so please keep that in mind. I'm not going to let them do anything illegal. (Sorry.)

I need ideas for dinner on Tuesday, something to do that night, and things to do on Wednesday morning and afternoon. They'll probably leave around 5pm on Wednesday. (They'll be staying at my place, so cheap hotels/camping recommendations aren't needed.) We'll have access to a car (obviously) and transit, so anywhere in the city is good.

posted by phunniemee to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Hot Doug's Weds morning. Maybe Kuma's for dinner on Tuesday? The Bad Apple is also good.

Bring them down to Wicker Park and let them wander. Lots of cool places they would like.

I can't think of anything going on, but will comment again if I think of something.
posted by bibliogrrl at 9:52 AM on July 17, 2010

Best answer: Do they like comedy? How about a show at the Improv Olympic?
posted by mmascolino at 10:41 AM on July 17, 2010

More comedy? Check out some of the previous threads on Chicago.
posted by stratastar at 12:50 PM on July 17, 2010

Best answer: Seconding Wicker Park.

Take them to a coffee shop. Eat lunch at a place called 'Earwax,' which despite the terrible name, is pretty good. And trendy. And I think vegan.

Wander around Milwaukee and North and Damen -- lots of cool shops and stuff like that.
posted by chicago2penn at 3:15 PM on July 17, 2010

Have they been to the Chicago Cultural Center? I missed it for the first several visits I made to Chicago, and now it's one of my favorite places.
posted by yomimono at 4:48 PM on July 17, 2010

Check ID's. Everyone is 18? Hit a burlesque show.
posted by emilyclaire at 8:22 PM on July 17, 2010

Nthing Wicker Park, although I am thinking mostly of bars. Is Big Star 21+? They serve tacos a la carte and have huge picnic tables out front... cool atmosphere. There's a couple very cool veg*n places if they're into that (feel free to MeMail me). Otherwise, see if there's any free outdoor concerts going on.

I think the coolest thing you could possibly do is take them to Binny's and let them surreptitiously select a few things but that would not be so legal.
posted by ista at 6:40 PM on July 18, 2010

Kuma's sounds perfect for you.
posted by achmorrison at 5:11 AM on July 19, 2010

Response by poster: Realistically, how crowded is Kuma's on a Tuesday night?

I've been there once, many years ago, before it got popular, and sat down right away, but now isn't it, like, a ridiculously long wait?

I called them and asked what their Tuesdays are like, and was told to show up at 4:30 or 5. Which isn't feasible for us. I don't want them to spend several hours of their 24 in Chicago waiting to eat dinner.

(If you guys think Kuma's is doable, I'm all over that. Help!)
posted by phunniemee at 7:24 AM on July 19, 2010

Response by poster: And I'm thinking an iO show (duh, I don't know why I didn't think of that) after dinner on Tuesday and Hot Doug's Wednesday for lunch.

Thanks for all the ideas so far!
posted by phunniemee at 7:28 AM on July 19, 2010

Guitarist? - Swing by the Old Town School on Lincoln (4500) if they want to do some guitar shopping.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:53 AM on July 19, 2010

Also, don't forget that Transformers 3 is filming in the Loop. I think they're shooting on upper Wacker, for the next day or two.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:07 PM on July 19, 2010

Jazz then Comedy? Green Mill then The Annoyance theater would do you guys right (they're on the same block, to boot). Plus, Annoyance has the Skinprov thing which features partial nudity along with their improv.
posted by leo. at 6:40 PM on July 20, 2010

Response by poster: And finally, the long-delayed update!

Thanks for all the great suggestions. The visit was a rousing success.

Because the timing wasn't going to work out with waiting for a seat, the guys opted to get all you can eat sushi at Sushi Para II. After that we went north and walked around Wrigleyville for a while (did you know that this city has approximately 856 head shops within two blocks of each other?) until going to iO for a show (saw Michael Pizza and The Scene, both were hilarious (especially The Scene) and much enjoyed by the guys).

The next day we went to the Field Museum (their choice!) and got in for free by accident (no, really), hit up the Mag Mile for some window shopping, and went to Chinatown for lunch (Lao Sze Chuan, got 3 cup chicken, Mongolian lamb, and spicy pan-fried pork). Then we headed to Wicker Park. We went to Myopic Books and saw bibliogrrl (and the guys all got books!), I went into an Urban Outfitters for the first time in my life (where one of the guys accidentally (no really) stole (and then went back and paid for) a wallet), and got delicious froofy coffee drinks at The Wormhole (there was a Delorean in the window! we couldn't not go in). I have absolutely no recollection of what we did for dinner, but after that the guys wanted to go to a hookah bar. We walked probably three miles back and forth from Wicker Park to the Ukranian Village to the River West following google's nearby location recommendations on my cousin's iPhone. Fun fact: at least two of the hookah places listed by google have been turned into Japanese restaurants in the last six months. We finally found one, some place called Arabia, but we ended up leaving prematurely because they wanted to charge us each five bucks just for being present while their belly dancer performed. At least they told us ahead of time. And then getting home was a nightmare because apparently the Milwaukee bus doesn't run after a certain time and then when we transferred off the blue line to get the bus to my place we had to wait for an HOUR (ok, 50 minutes, but STILL) for it to come, even though we could have walked (it's only a mile and a half) but we were all too pooped to move.

And the next morning I made them blueberry pancakes for breakfast and they packed up and left to finish their 10,000 mile journey. Whew.

Best part? Getting to say to them: "This weekend was brought to you by the internet!"
posted by phunniemee at 9:24 PM on September 8, 2010

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