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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Thursday (4/9/09) 10:53am - ... wherein Peter does not like to travel spontaneously.

Some people can show up to a city and spontaneously discover fabulous adventures.

I am not one of those people.  (Surprise, surprise.)  If I make lots of plans for what to do on a trip, I have a great time.  If I just show up and see what happens, I have a lousy time.

So now I'm making plans for my BluesShout trip to Chicago -- my flight in arrives Thursday (4/30) afternoon, and my flight out leaves around midday on Monday.  I figure I'll put up an updated itinerary every week or so.



First off, I've signed up for the BluesShout "after 5pm" pass as opposed to the full event registration.  This means that I can go to the dances during every night, but not the workshops during the day.  Granted, I could use the instruction (and I do like how they're splitting the classes by interest, not level, this time), but going the dances-only route made sense for me.[1]  First off, when I do the full 'marathon of dance' at one of these events, I burn out on dancing after a couple of days (see last year).  Second off, I'm not going on a Chicago trip that doesn't involve actually visiting the city.[2]

According to the dance schedule, there are dances from 8pm-4am on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  (And let's recall that an 8pm dance actually starts at 9pm, if not later.)  There should be a dance of some sort on Thursday night that early-arrivals can attend, but nobody has details about that yet.

So basically, 9pm onwards is spoken for, and I'm probably waking up noonish every day.


Now we move on to non-dance stuff.

I bought myself a ticket to see the NPR "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!" taping on Thursday; check-in begins at 6:30pm, and seating is at 7pm.  Presumably after the taping I'll grab a bite to eat, go to that Thursday-night dance, and go to sleep.

On Friday afternoon I'll go see the Cubs/Marlins game with my brother (first baseball game for me!  w00t!), then go have dinner with him and his family.  After that, off to the night's dancing, and then sleep.


So that's everything I have scheduled so far.  This leaves Thursday afternoon and almost all of Saturday and Sunday open.

I know I'm going to visit the Art Institute at some point.  (Grr.  I'll miss the opening of their Modern Wing by a couple of weeks.)  I could also go to the science museum, the aquarium, and the zoo.

I need to sort out improv shows (or jams) to attend.  I need to gather more Chicago food recommendations.[3]  Hopefully I can work out an itinerary for the whole weekend.

__________
[1] Also, I can always change my mind and buy a day pass for BluesShout classes.

[2] Of course, if I were really determined, I would just visit the city for a whole week.  I suspect, though, that I'll be 100% ready to go home by Monday. 

[3] horsegirl615 has already made a few recommendations.

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[User Picture]
From:la_directora
Date:Thursday (4/9/09) 10:03am
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I do NOT recommend the Navy Pier. It isn't anywhere near as cool as it could be. There are far better places to spend your time.

If you dig on the whole "get up high and see the city spread beneath you" thing like I do, I do recommend a trip to the top of Hancock Tower. The view is spectacular.

At some point while you're there, you should have some traditional Chicago pizza. Believe it or not, the original Uno's is actually really good. And there may be other, better places to go.

I kind of wish you would go to Frontera Grill or Topolobampo and pay homage to Rick Bayliss, just because I can't. :)

I really enjoy Chicago. And though you aren't much for spontaneous, unplanned travel, I do recommend at least some time walking through downtown Chicago, especially on Miracle Mile, and a ride on the L if you can arrange it as part of what you're doing. It's a really neat city. Kind of like New York, if it were less dirty. And colder. :)

(STILL so jealous about "Wait...Wait...", but feeling better since they are coming to New York in the fall.)
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From:hujhax
Date:Thursday (4/9/09) 10:14am
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I will be sure to report back in detail re the "Wait Wait" taping, so you know more about what you have to look forward to. :)
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From:puppybane
Date:Thursday (4/9/09) 11:39am
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I second the Uno's recommendation, there's also Giordano's and Gino's, which come highly recommended by Chicagoans I know
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From:wanderlust_atx
Date:Thursday (4/9/09) 10:05am
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You should get a recommendation for a good Chicago pizza. I don't usually like deep dish pizza, but the stuff we had in Chicago was amazing. Unfortunately, I don't remember where any of it came from.

Also, Pegasus Restaurant is quite good.
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From:hujhax
Date:Thursday (4/9/09) 10:14am
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*makes notes*

Thanks!
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From:midorable
Date:Friday (4/10/09) 7:24am
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Don't forget to contact my friend on the improv thing.

I'm mighty jealous about the taping of Wait Wait... tell us how that goes and all the behind the scene stuff we don't hear on radio.

I'm w/ you friend that said don't waste time w/ Navy Pier. Don't waste time on Soldier Stadium either. I would go to the museum, it got a very good view. Go visit the Bean. There's a very cool McDonald on Clark street, that's an Original Rock n' Roll. It is the nicest Mickey D's I've seen, and it has a museum inside also one that's a drive thru too.

Pizzeria Uno is awesome, but don't be surprise if the wait is 45 mins to get a table and then another 45 to get a pizza. I would recommend Giordano's stuffed pizza as a good alternative.

If you want some cafe style food, go down to State Street past Superior (it's one street away from Michigan Ave.) But beware of the jazz clubs and steak houses, in that area, they call that the Viagra Triangle, because there's alot of 50-20s there.

Take some pics and make us jealous.
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From:hujhax
Date:Friday (4/10/09) 7:41am
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Thanks!  Will do.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:Friday (4/10/09) 1:08pm

Peter's coming to Chicago!

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Sweet! Peter, we should totally catch up! Get my phone number from my good-for-nothing brother and let me know when you're free :)!

Come to think of it I can actually recommend something for you for sunday night - I think this will be strangely right up your alley if you happen to be all done with dancing for the weekend. We should totally catch the sunday night uptown poetry slam at the Green Mill

http://www.greenmilljazz.com/

This is really good times, an authentic speakeasy - come armed (with poetry, preferably - you can win TEN BUCKS). Hop on the L, we can meet up at like 6:00 and grab a table.

Any rate, let me know what's going on with you!
Martin
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From:hujhax
Date:Friday (4/10/09) 1:25pm

Re: Peter's coming to Chicago!

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w00t!  Will do.  And yes, I'll have to see if I'm burned out on dancing by Sunday night -- a friend of mine recommended the Green Mill a while back, come to think of it...

Summary of life:  gots a job fixing LabVIEW; spends the rest of my time with improv and dancing(I remember identifying with all the idle Regency aristocrats when I read Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.)  Monthly summaries here.
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From:hujhax
Date:Wednesday (4/15/09) 10:06am

Re: Peter's coming to Chicago!

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Get my phone number from my good-for-nothing brother and let me know when you're free

I believe that, technically, judovitch is a "picaresque ne'er-do-well," right?
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From:happywaffle
Date:Friday (4/10/09) 2:52pm
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Ha! I will NOT miss the opening of the Modern Wing! Of course I need to decide how I'm splitting my time between Lego convention and everything else in the city.

The wife brought me back a shirt from Hot Doug's, which is a quirky and yummy hot dog place. So there's a non-pizza recommendation.
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From:hujhax
Date:Friday (4/10/09) 3:23pm
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Thanks!  *adds to restaurant list*
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