Happy summer friends! It’s been a while now, but for good reason; I have barely been home for a month!
It all started with a trip to Chicago, IL (just so you know that it’s not a fake Chicago somewhere on the West Coast… You know, USA does that sometimes), with 2/3 of my female cousins (shoutout to Charano who didn’t make it). While barely making it to the gate on time (Shake Shack got to me), I flew for about 1.5 hours from JFK to the Windy City (the name has nothing to do with the wind). Because I’m a badass New Yorker, I decided to try the public transit, known as the CTA into town rather than taking a cab like most normal first-time visitors do. I still haven’t decided if I prefer the CTA to the MTA (New York’s Subway system), but their cards were much more pleasant to look at. Baby blue and light grey is a much more soothing color combination than New York’s deep yellow and dark blue. Once I got to the city, I had one goal. To save it – from my cousins. It was kind of useless, because clearly, Chicago doesn’t need any saving.
My first impression of Chicago made me breathless. Not only because I recognized it as part of Nolan’s Batman trilogy’s Gotham, but it was beautiful. I don’t think I have ever seen a city as clean and calm as Chicago. It made New York seem dirty and disgusting (and people weren’t afraid to hate on New York there). Whenever I would say I was from New York, it seemed like people wanted to hug me and tell me it was all going to be fine (followed by some raunchy comments about the massive garbage issue we face here). The people of Chicago were on to something. New York does in fact smell like garbage, and the summers heat up the garbage, just to ensure maximal danger. But hey – living in New York is a thrill, and this is just another factor for contribution – one also evolves by learning how to develop a temporary shutdown of the olfactory system.
The entire trip was a pre-birthday celebration, where we basically just ate and drank. There were only so many meals that we could fit into a day, and I honestly have not ever eaten as much as I did that week I spent with my cousins. We stayed at the Omni hotel and had a completely unexpected (pleasantly) experience thanks to our concierge. He managed to get us into bars and lounges with a fully booked list, free drinks several places including free Bloody Mary’s at the hotel, told us which places to go, and made the weekend memorable beyond any of our expectations.
The spots we went to, and that I can recommend are
- The Signature Lounge at 96th (Bar/Lounge, their chocolate martini elevates you from the 96th floor to heaven and back)
- The Paris Club Bistro and Bar (Restaurant that also has a nightclub, the lobster scrambled egg and salads are some of the best dishes I have ever had. Their onion soup may even be better than the one at Maison Kayser)
- Underground (Nightclub, a fun and crowded place with lots of interesting people and music that makes you want to dance. There are also girls dancing on top of furniture that makes you questions if what they are wearing qualify as clothes)
- David Burke’s Primehouse (Restaurant, they gave us free mimosas and tea, and their Eggs Benedict (Cumberbatch) are comparable to the ones at Sarabeth’s. May even be better)
- Vertigo Sky Lounge (Lounge, this is where I had the most fun)
- Nico Osteria (Seafood Restaurant, ever heard of Seafood Lasagna? This is where it’s served, and it is delicious)
- Giordano’s (Deep Dish Pizza, so good, but if you can eat more than a slice, you’re damn hungry)
So if you’re going to Chicago…