Chinatown, Millennium Park, & Wicker Park

Chicago Travel Blog

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Chinatown, Chicago, IL

My girlfriend, Melissa, and I arrived in Chicago around noon. We had drove from Indianapolis to do some cheap, last-minute Christmas shopping in Chinatown and, more importantly, attend our first TravBuddy meet & greet. Upon entering the city, we immediately headed for Chinatown. I had never been to Chinatown but Melissa had been to the (much bigger) one in New York. She tends to be a little wary of unfamiliar places but is usually comfortable when she is with me (Vegas was a different story). We had a few hours to shop so we decided to hit every store on Wentworth Avenue. We quickly found the exact two gifts we were hoping to find; a "Coach" purse for her mother and a knife for her father. We even had time to eat at a local Chinese bakery.

Melissa at Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate, Chicago, IL
I had a piece of cheesecake and Melissa had a fruit pie. Both were delicious! We passed on the boiled chicken feet.

After leaving Chinatown, we drove downtown and found a parking space in the Grant Park North parking garage. The rates had increased considerably since the last time I used the garage in 2003, but I expected that. First, we visited Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate and took some pictures. I can confidently say it's the most unique sculpture I've ever seen. We also visited Frank Gehry's Jay Pritzker Pavilion and saw some sculptures designed by Mark di Suvero. We then took an hour to walk the "Mile." We didn't plan to buy anything, but it was a nice time to gaze at the lights.

We arrived in the Wicker Park neighborhood at 5:00 and quickly found parking on Milwaukee Avenue.

David & David
We reserved a couple tables at People Lounge and headed back out to do some window shopping. We returned to People Lounge at 6:30 and ordered drinks. Ten minutes later, Mark (travelman727) came through the door, looked at us, and said, "TravBuddies!?" 60 seconds after meeting Mark, I could describe him with one word...enthusiastic! Soon after Melissa and I met Mark, Raul arrived. Immediately, we could tell he was a very nice guy. By 7:00, most of the eventual 15 participants were at the restaurant. Each member of our table ordered a different tapas item to share with everyone else. We tried pan-seared scallops with yukon potato and vegetable ragout, chicken breast with roasted red pepper sauce and sweet pepper salad, potatoes with roasted red pepper aioli, calamari with salsa verde and aioli, garlic crusted bread with a goat cheese and tomato sauce dip, and skirtsteak with tomatoes, cornichons, and aged manchego cheese (as listed on the menu).
Juan, Joe, John, Carolyn, & Alicia
All of it was delicious! And I do mean DELICIOUS!

After I finished eating, I had a few minutes to speak with Juan (John1112). I was very excited to meet him because he is one of the members I speak to most often on the site. Hopefully I will get to see him in Guatemala some day soon. Melissa and I also enjoyed very much the company and companionship of Raul (raularanda2001), Jim (blenderboy), his son, David (davidthephotographer), and David's friend, David. I didn't get to speak much to the rest of the group but all seemed to be friendly, fun people.

List of participants:

Mark (travelman727)-Wichita, KS

Sybil (iheart2travel)-Los Angeles, CA

Juan (John1112)-Guatemala, Guatemala

John (xlibris)-Chicago, IL

Joe (John's friend)-Chicago, IL

Raul (raularanda2001)-Chicago, IL

Luke (juniorcbr)-Chicago, IL

Alicia (agarcia)-Chicago, IL

Cilvia (Alicia's sister)-Chicago, IL

Carolyn (Apache_Rose_Peacock)-Chicago, IL

Jim (blenderboy)-Milwaukee, WI

David (davidthephotographer, Jim's son)-Milwaukee, WI

David (David's friend)-Milwaukee, WI

Tim (TimothyMoffett)-Shelbyville, IN

Melissa (Tim's girlfriend)-Martinsville, IN

travelman727 says:
Fantastic blog and nice pics! I'm ready to head back to ChiTown when it's nice and WARM :-D
Posted on: Feb 27, 2008
agarcia says:
Great pics! ;)
Posted on: Jan 04, 2008
sybil says:
aaawwwww...great memories! :D
Posted on: Jan 04, 2008
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Chinatown, Chicago, IL
Chinatown, Chicago, IL
Melissa at Anish Kapoors Cloud Ga…
Melissa at Anish Kapoor's Cloud G…
David & David
David & David
Juan, Joe, John, Carolyn, & Alicia
Juan, Joe, John, Carolyn, & Alicia
Wentworth Avenue, Chinatown, Chica…
Wentworth Avenue, Chinatown, Chic…
Tim at Anish Kapoors Cloud Gate, …
Tim at Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate,…
Ceiling inside of Anish Kapoors C…
Ceiling inside of Anish Kapoor's …
Frank Gehrys Jay Pritzker Pavilio…
Frank Gehry's Jay Pritzker Pavili…
Carolyn & Alicia
Carolyn & Alicia
Sybil, Mark, & Luke
Sybil, Mark, & Luke
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photo by: mahoney