The windy city of Chicago

“The Windy City” is not just its title, it certainly is a fact.  The wind is fierce, like being charged by a bull. My first trip to Chicago proved to be an interesting mix of winter and spring.  Either way, the wind still blew off Lake Michigan and roared up the street, blowing hats and scarves into a frenzy.  Since this was a business trip that took me to Chicago, I took Amtrak from Penn Station in NYC.

Michigan Avenue

My back to Lake Michigan, I'm being blown up Michigan Avenue

I loved my time in Chicago.  I loved the activity, the local cultural art centers, the interesting people, and the restaurants.   With only four days to spend, I tried to maximize my time and squeezed a lot in.

Hotel:

Comfortable accommodations

Blackstone's comfortable accommodations

The Renaissance Blackstone is a fabulous location with comfortable accommodations that included a large room, spacious closet space and a  luxurious bathroom.  There’s  a theater on the same block.  The Hilton Hotel is directly across the street from the theater with one of the best Irish pubs, brimming with activity and delicious Irish fare.   Kitty O’Sheas serves Fish and Chips, Irish potato leek soup and chicken pot pie, just to name a few.

Kitty O'Shea

Kitty O'Shea's Pub

An eight-block invigorating walk along Michigan Avenue will lead you to The Chicago Firehouse, a high-end restaurant/steakhouse with its delicious menu.  Check it out on their website.  The restaurant has special nights with an open table menu.  Their outdoor summer garden looks inviting with red umbrellas; a nice spot to leisurely dine with friends.  Its history is available in books and pictures as you enter into the doorway.

Chicago Firehouse Restaurant

The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant

Cultural Events:

Poetry flourishes in the Windy City at the Chicago Cultural Center.    Poetry slams are contagious.  They bring in high school students and well-published authors for a fun evening of recitation.  Patricia Smith, author of several books of poetry, read from her recent collection. I had the pleasant experience of meeting her one night at the cultural center.

West Chicago writers have a line-up of artists and poets who come out to spend time with emerging poets and writers, mixing and blending their art at Chicago Cultural Center.   This building was once a library.  It’s structure and marble entrance are intact and well preserved.  Enter on the West Washington Street entrance, you’ll be amazed and delighted by the beauty of this building.

 

Chicago Arts Center

Chicago Cultural Center

 

Photography:  Patricia Florio

 

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