Chicago: City Guide

Chicago, IL. December 16-19, 2014. 
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What we did: 
– Played in the Midwest Orchestra and Band Conference held in the McCormick Convention Center!
– Ice-skated in Millenium Park.
– Visited the Art Institute of Chicago.
– Walked a million miles.
Froze.
– Found the most beautiful bookstore.
– Went to the Christkindlmarket – so many beautiful wooden German ornaments and figurines.
– Got very disoriented on the metro and bus system.
– Ran to get to the Midway airport at the busiest travel time of the year. Never again.
– Visited the William Harris Lee and Co. Instrument Shop – where my violin was made!
– Explored the public library.
– Rode the ferris wheel at Navy Pier. And froze again.
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Coffee @ bow truss chicago
Coffee @ bow truss chicago

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What we saw:
The city all dressed up for Christmas.
– Lots and lots of pictures in the Art Institute of Chicago, namely the famous blue Picasso painting.
– The Chicago Symphony Orchestra playing Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra!
– Sears Tower aka Willis Tower aka home of the biggest Christmas tree ever.
– Lots of business men in peacoats. Swoons.
– The Orient Theater – bummer we couldn’t get in. The lobby was very spiffy though.
– A jazz band playing in the metro station!
– Skyscrapers galore. Beautiful buildings.
– THE BEAN!!!
– The biggest Brooks Brothers I have ever seen. 3 floors at least.
– Famous restaurants that I’d only read about before.
– Lots of traffic.
Chicago lights
Chicago lights
What we ate: 
– Donuts at Stan’s Donut Shop in Wicker Park.
– Deep dish pizza at Giordano’s! The website boasts the “Best Chicago-Style Pizza,” and this seems to be a topic of high controversy among Chicago natives. There appears to be a toss-up between Gino’s East, Giordano’s, and Lou Malnati’s. To settle it, I would need: A deep-dish pizza pie from all three places, blindfolds, lots of friends to eat all the pizza (and to vote), and hot cocoa. And maybe skating in Millenium Park afterwards.
– Coffee at Bow Truss Roasters.
– The most amazing crepes ever at this place. And pancakes + omelet at this place. Get this: buttermilk pancakes layered with mascarpone, every berry you could imagine, and raspberry sauce. This also happened to be the place that I saw the most beautiful Italian man ever. It was a pretty memorable brunch.
– Burgers that were eaten in approx. 6 seconds.
– The most amazing hot Taro tea at a restaurant in Chinatown – just 15 minutes from our hotel! And noodle bowls. And then tea again. To quote a best friend: “[The tea] tastes like a flower.”
– Sushi and noodles and rice and miso at Hot Wok, Cool Sushi on Michigan Ave.
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