Chicago: Much researched and still much to learn
OK, for many of you, researching and learning more about a place you plan to visit is actually a big part of the fun. I am listing some interesting books that talk about lives, social issues, and historic events in Chicago. Some might find these books fascinating and some may think that I am going off on a tangent here. But here it is. These are my favorites and by no means it is a complete list. I welcome any input/expansion of the list.
Off the books: The underground economy of the urban poor. Sudhir Venkatesh, 2006.
There are no children here: The story of two boys growing up in the other America. Alex Kotlowitz, 1992.
The sexual organization of the city. Edward Laumann, 2005.
Hope dies last: Keeping the faith in difficult times. Studs Terkel, 2003.
Will the circle be unbroken? Studs Terkel, 2002.
(he is an oral historian, although not a native Chicagoan, he's been working/living here for the longest time. He just had his 95th birthday)
Mama might be better off dead: The failure of health care in urban America. Laurie Kaye Abraham, 1992.
Heat wave. Eric Klinenberg, 2003.
When work disappears: The world of the new urban poor. William Julius Wilson, 1997.
The truly disadvantaged: The inner city, the underclass, and public policy. William Julius Wilson, 1990.
(my ultimate favorite guy. He taught at the U of Chicago for a long time and move to Harvard)
American Project: The rise and fall of a modern ghetto. Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, 2002.
Slim's Table: Race, respectability, and masculinity. Mitchell Duneier, 1994.
Chicago Architecture Foundation River Tour
This really is a must-do thing while in Chi-town. It only runs in the summer months and cruises down the Chicago river where you see all the amazing buildings that have made the city famous. You also get historical information on the Worlds Fair and the Great Chicago Fire. It was only 20 bucks or so, and well worth it. Here's the website: http://www.cruisechicago.com/cflady/arcsell.html
Take a drive along Lakeshore...
Take a drive along Lakeshore Drive which is right next to Lake Michigan and the lake is beautiful. While driving along the drive you'll pass the Buckingham Fountian and the Navy Pier. The Navy Pier is cool and it's where you can take boat rides for descent prices.
I always dreamed of having bleachers on my roof...
Many houses outside Wrigley Field have bleachers on their roofs. Now, why would you have bleachers on your roof? To see the game, that's why.
These houses are outside the outfield wall, and can see into Wrigley Field. I don't think the seats are free though. Everyone's gotta make money. Still, a unique part of the Wrigley Field experience
If you are here during tourist season and the museums do not have discounts/free days and you are planning to cram a lot into your visit, you might consider getting a CityPass which includes the following 5 attractions:
The Hancock Observatory (includes audio tour and Fast Pass) OR Sears Tower Skydeck (fastpass)
The Field Museum (special exhibits not included)
Shedd Aquarium (VIP pass that avoids lines to all three parts)
Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
Museum of Science and Industry (includes Omnimax)
You have 9 days to visit all of the museums from the date of first use, the cost is $69 for adults, $59 for kids. Visit the website to see if it's really a good value for you.
NOTE: One thing that is different from other museum passes is that it appears that there are tickets for each attraction so you can only visit once.