Summertime in Chicago: What to Do and See in The Windy City Part 1

| September 1, 2016 | Reply
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Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

In honor of #ThrowbackThursday I decided to share a recap of my trip to Chicago. This post is long overdue but that’s a story for another day. My trip to Chicago was a spur of the moment week-long trip. My grandmother reached out and said it would be great to spend a few days with me and the rest of the family while she was visiting. I wasn’t too sure about going but, last minute I decided getting out of New York City for a few days wouldn’t be a bad idea. I literally bought my flight two days before I was actually supposed to leave! Yeah, I know what was I thinking? I’m so glad I did though because it was a much-needed trip and I had the best time in the Windy City.

My family lives in the suburbs which was about 40 minutes away from downtown Chicago. However, I was only in the suburbs for a few hours a day because we would spend our whole day sightseeing. This wasn’t my first time in Chicago either, I went when I was much younger but I don’t remember much of it. So let’s just say this was my first trip to Chi-town and I documented every part of it. From the hidden gems to grab a bite to eat to the touristy spots that are a must-see. Have you visited Chicago? If so, I would love to know some of your favorite places. Comment below!

First stop: I had to visit Millennium Park, it was on the top of my list! The park is absolutely stunning because it’s filled with so much architecture and history. We sat on the grass at the Jay Pritzker Pavillion where they usually have free concerts and weekly movies. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch either but I did I enjoy just laying on the grass and looking up at the crisscrossing steel pipes.

All photos by: Samuel Lopez

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

From there we walked over to the main attraction, Cloud Gate also known as the “Bean.” We went on a Saturday afternoon, so you can already imagine the crowds. What I loved the most was was that you could see the Chicago skyline on the reflection, especially at night. We went back to the Bean a few days later on a weekday and it wasn’t too crowded. I definitely recommend going during the week in the late afternoon.

Cloude Gate aka the Bean

Cloude Gate aka the Bean

The photo below was taken at the Buckingham Fountain at Grant Park. This was the perfect spot for photos because it wasn’t crowded at all. Did you know that the Buckingham Fountain is  one of the world’s largest fountains? I had no idea! The next time you’re in Chicago stop by in the evening to be able to see the light and water show.

Buckingham Fountain at Grant Park

Buckingham Fountain at Grant Park

Every time I travel to a new city I absolutely love visiting the museums. It’s one of my favorite things to do. This time around it was a must on my list because my little brother has never ever visited a museum! As his big sister I had to show him what he was missing out on, so we visited the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. We saw the Kerry James Marshell: Mastry exhibit which portrayed African American history and his paintings over the last 35 years. If you’re going to be in Chicago this month definitely check out his work at MCA. The exhibit will be on display until September 25. Another exhibit that was really interesting was Witness. Witness is an LED installation by Alfredo Jaar (see below) and when you walk around the installation you can go inside to watch a video. The video is more documentary style on the life of photojournalist Kevin Carter and his Pulitzer Prize winning image of a little girl starving to death with a vulture only few steps away. Carter was on assignment in Sudan covering the Sudanese famine. This exhibit will be on display until February 2017. I’m not going to get into too much detail on the exhibits at MCA or Kevin Carter’s career but definitely check out the museum if you’re in town. Below are some of the images I took.

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Witness installation and my little brother posing in front of it.

 

The Propeller Group

The Propeller Group

 

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Kerry James Marshall

 

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Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

 

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Anne & John Kern Terrace Garden

As for the food, everyone raves about Chicago’s deep dish pizza so I went to the famous Giordano’s to give it a try. Don’t believe the hype, it’s good but it’s not amazing. It’s super overrated and it’s just a thick slice of pizza with layers of cheese and sauce. I wasn’t a fan and I prefer thin slices instead.

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Giordano’s

While I was in Chicago I met one of my really good friends for lunch at Hamburger Mary’s. I definitely have to thank her for finding this place, I had one of the tastiest burger and fries. It’s also a really cute burger joint that hosts drag shows and trivia nights. At the end of your meal when you ask for the check, it comes in a high-heeled shoe.

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Hamburger Mary’s

 

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Bacon cheeseburger with sweet potato fries. My fave!

As I was walking around Chicago, my brother and I stopped for breakfast at Sunny Side Up & Coffee Shop. I had the pancakes with strawberry on top and my brother had the bacon pancakes, both were so yummy! This little restaurant was in close proximity of the museum and the shopping district, so it was the perfect spot to stop in for coffee or lunch too.

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Sunny Side Up & Coffee Shop

 

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Pancakes overload

That’s a wrap of my trip to Chicago. I left a few things out which I’ll post about in part 2. Come back tomorrow to see the other spots I visited and a few of the outfits I wore on during my trip. Thanks for reading, I know this was a long one!

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