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Chicago - Things to do

  1. Mar 12, 2008 #1
    Ok, this weekend (Thursday Night through Sunday) I'll be in Chicago, and though I've been there so many times I cannot count, some of the people I'm going with haven't (or at least not as much).

    Does anyone have ideas for us to do:
    Me - PhD Phys Student (USA)
    Girlfriend - Electrical Engineer (USA)
    Friend 1 - Phd Phys Student (India)
    Friend 2 - Phd Phys Student (Ukraine)

    (Hope they're not offended I'm posting this)

    Other than the standard Fields/Arts/Aquarium/Planetarium, is there anything else of interest we could do? Is Fermilab open to tours? How is the Museum of Science and Industry (near UofChicago).
    We're HEP students, and looking for a good time. I plan on having the nightlife covered, and you can only do so much shopping in cold weather.

    Thanks for any helpful suggestions!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 12, 2008 #2

    Integral

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    PM Zapper Z maybe you can talk him into a tour of his work place.(Argonne labs??)
     
  4. Mar 12, 2008 #3
    Ah yes, I forgot about Argonne. I worked at Sandia Labs for a while (NM), and if i remember correctly they weren't too keen on allowing foreign nationals (non-citizens) in for tours of anything much more than the front gate lobby, unless of course we were cleared prior.
     
  5. Mar 12, 2008 #4

    Integral

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    Yeah, I got to thinking about that after I posted. You may be right.
     
  6. Mar 12, 2008 #5

    ZapperZ

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    If you are a US citizen, I could have arranged for a visit to Argonne in short notice. But if it includes non-US citizens, then it will take longer and a bit more paper work.

    As for Fermilab, you can no longer just "walk in" up to the Wilson building. After Sept. 11, you will need a gate pass for visitors as well.

    As for things to do in Chicago, you didn't mention where you will be staying and if you'll have wheels or will depend entirely on public transportation. In downtown, there's always Millennium Park and "The Bean", Navy Pier, going to the top observation deck of Sears Tower, etc. The Museum Campus is also within "walking distance" or just take the free Trolley. It'll get you to the Field Museum (go say hi to Sue), the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium.

    If you wish to leave downtown and go more into a "neighborhoody" type of place, then I'd suggest visiting my neighborhood - Lakeview/Wrigleyville. Take the Red Line north and get off at Belmont. Then walk... walk east towards the lake along Halsted, Clark, Broadway, etc. and take in the small shops, eclectic neighborhood, and wonderful eating places. Are you in the mood for asian noodles? Try Joy's or Penny's. Moroccan? Try Andulous. Ethiopian? Try Mama Desta. Or you can stick to Belmont and walk straight to the lake to Belmont harbor. Tourists usually don't visit the lake front around these parts.

    Zz.
     
  7. Mar 12, 2008 #6

    robphy

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    Some unique places to eat:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold's_Chicken_Shack
    http://www.haroldschicken.com/2007/07/chicken_bag_directory.html
    http://www.billygoattavern.com/home.html
    Chicago deep-dish pizzerias (folks will argue about which is the best... but New York thin-crust is the best :rofl: )


    The UofC area has some good bookstores [with technical books]... in addition to the main bookstore, there's
    http://semcoop.booksense.com/NASApp/store/IndexJsp?s=storehours& (http://guides.travelchannel.com/chicago/shopping/bookshops/specialty/17692.html)
    http://www.powellschicago.com/html/stores.html

    Fermilab has a nice atrium... and a nice view from the top of the tower.
    http://www.fnal.gov/pub/about/communication/currentstatus.html
    ..maybe you can catch a nice seminar there or at one of the universities in the Chicago area.

    There are a lot of museums... including the Museum of Science and Industry (http://www.msichicago.org/) (as you mentioned), the Art Institute (http://www.artic.edu/), and the Shedd Aquarium (http://www.sheddaquarium.org/). [Oops... after reading your post more carefully, you've got that covered.]

    Other things to do...
    http://www.secondcity.com/
    and various blues clubs in Chicago.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2008
  8. Mar 12, 2008 #7
    Chicago is famous for architecture. By all means take one of the architecture boat tours.
     
  9. Mar 12, 2008 #8

    ZapperZ

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    Er.. not in the middle of winter! :)

    They're coming this weekend. I wouldn't recommend that. Besides, I'm not even sure if the boat tours are running till late spring! :)

    Zz.
     
  10. Mar 12, 2008 #9

    ZapperZ

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    As a Chicagoan, I have no qualms in saying that I like the NY thin-crust pizza better! But of course, you'll never catch me saying that in large crowds here. :)

    Zz.
     
  11. Mar 12, 2008 #10
    I hadn't thought of that (not exactly the middle of winter, but I don't know the climate in Chicago). Wendella tours will be operating on Saturday and perhaps other boats too, but it may be too cold.

    Sit and shiver
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2008
  12. Mar 12, 2008 #11

    robphy

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  13. Mar 12, 2008 #12
    For the most fun you can have in Chicago go to New York. Go Yankees
     
  14. Mar 12, 2008 #13
    Go to the Springer show.
     
  15. Mar 12, 2008 #14
    Thanks for all the suggestions, keep them coming!

    Yes I'll have a car, but I'll be staying at my parents condo while they're gone in Elgin. I'm driving from Detroit. So I had either planned on driving downtown and paying the outrageous parking, or just taking the Metra train in from Elgin to Downtown.
     
  16. Mar 12, 2008 #15
    Ha, yeah my brother lived on Belmont near the lake for a few years, and a bunch of my friends had a place across from Philly's Best just east of redline. Spent many mornings at Clarks.
     
  17. Mar 12, 2008 #16

    ZapperZ

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    Ah, then you should be familiar with the area. I recommended Moonbear to stay at a small hotel right on Belmont when she was here last summer, and I think she really loved that neighborhood. It is so much more fun than staying in a downtown area. Besides, it is easy access to go to downtown using the trains, and you get a lot more interesting (and affordable) places to eat!

    Zz.
     
  18. Mar 12, 2008 #17
    He'd be better off renting a copy of Bumfights to watch while sitting in a tub of popcorn and giving himself a frontal lobotomy with a spork.
     
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