Here’s the lay of the somewhat centrally-divided land: the places to go, the people to see, the customs, traditions, and tribal rites to be aware of when you cross the line. Don’t worry: Your side is still totally the best side.
At age 5, she told her parents that a beagle was speaking her name. Puzzled, they listened closer and discovered it was. Now she’s 20, and more and more people are talking about this unpredictable, tenacious, refreshingly unscripted soccer player.
CHICAGO: Operating as Chicago’s only truly “green” farmer’s market supporting and promoting local, sustainable agricultural practices,The Green City Market in Lincoln Park is a great way to spend a Saturday morning.
CHICAGO: The traditional Chicago dog: all beef wiener with onions, a whole pickle spear, sport peppers, tomato slices, bright green sweet pickle relish, celery salt, and yellow mustard on a poppy seed bun.
CHICAGO: Warm honey chocolate souffle tart + burnt honey ice cream + handmade pretzel from Mindy's Hot Chocolate. Owner and pastry chef Mindy Segal is the recipient of the 2012 James Beard award for Outstanding Pastry Chef.
CHICAGO: Chicago's public art is worth an afternoon walking tour. "Monument with Standing Beast" is a sculpture by Jean Dubuffet in front of the The James R. Thompson Center, W. Randolph St. in the Loop.
CHICAGO: "Cloud Gate" is the original name of the sculpture by British artist Anish Kapoor, but it's referred to by locals as "The Bean". It weighs 110 tons, is 66 ft. long x 33 ft. high, and was created with individual stainless steel plates polished to a seamless mirrored surface. Resembling a giant drop of liquid mercury, it reflects the cityscape and was simply stunning on the sunny day we visited. In Millennium Park.
CHICAGO: Crown Fountain in MIllenium Park, an interactive video sculpture designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. Consisting of two 50' glass block towers at each end of a reflecting pool, the sculpture projects video images of various Chicago citizens.
CHICAGO: The Aviary's version of an Old Fashioned, renamed "In The Rocks". Buffalo Trace bourbon, sugar syrup, and orange bitters are injected into a sphere of ice and shattered by the snap of a spiked slingshot. One of the coolest cocktails I've ever seen. And pretty tasty too.
CHICAGO: Slang for “little sister” XOCO is all about big flavor. Lines form out the door for Rick Bayless's versions of Mexican street food. Hot, sweet churros, flaky empanadas, thick Mexican hot chocolate (ground from cacao beans); crusty tortas (sandwiches) and warm caldos (soups).
Reading programs abound in summer (The Cincinnati Public Library and Joseph-Beth Booksellers are two terrific options) but even the most ardent young readers need a push in June, July and August. In this entirely unscientific poll of area bookworms aged 9-12, we’ve curated a literary menu for all palates.