Archive for the ‘List Planning’ Category

Where is the Best Hat Shop in the City?


So I own a lot of hats. On my wall are rice hats, a hard hat, fireman helmet, stetson, fedoras, baseball caps, and ties. I know where to get ties and don’t need them too often but always like a good hat. Where are Chicago’s best hats?

Goorin Brothers?


Hats Plus?

Optimo Hats?

More New Ideas for the Chicago Bucket List


Sitting back at Mirabell on the northwest side at FeliciaCago’s tweetup, I got to meet some new characters and pick their brains on Chicago’s best things. Here are some of their ideas:

Padrak (@PadConnelly) from Daytona Beach, Florida

1. Chicago Tunnels Tour

2. Next Restaurant

3. A pint at the Berghoff

4. Play the Wurlitzer at the Chicago Theatre

5. Expresso Macchiato at Intelligentsia

Next is coming soon brought to you by the wizards of Alinea. Will it cost any less? No doubt the food will be just as good. I have yet to try the legendary Berghoff and will need to stop by and investigate why so many people love it. Intelligentsia? I always thought it was some Seattle brand coffee, but looks like Intelligentsia is a pure Chicago invention if you could believe it!

Sean (Princess_Sean) from Seoul, Korea, Columbus, Ohio, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Pohang, South Korea, Chicago Suburbs, Champaign, Illinois and Chicago, Illinois

1. Run the Chicago Marathon (or be a spectator)

2. Architectural boat tours

3. Go to the Signature Room ladies room

Every year the Chicago Marathon hits town, my parents decide to close their nail salon for half of the day. They tell me that they number of people in the street just ruins business, so maybe I will join them next year to watch. I’ll always have a friend running so that means I’ll always have a horse in the race! Sean says word on the street is that the best view in the city is in the Signature Room ladies room – now the question is can a man go in and not get arrested or thrown out?

Tony (@TheTonyHam) from Chicago, Illinois

1. Eat at Alinea

2. Cubs game at Wrigley Field (playoff game!?)

3. Charter fishing off Lake Michigan

4. Italian Beef tour

5. Eat at Harold’s Chicken Shack

Going to a Cubs game is a great idea but now I am reminded that they have tours of Wrigley Field during the season. I will make sure to sign up for one of these stat as it’s about $25 to catch a tour of Wrigley. Tony made charter fishing seem super exciting, so it will be worth it to round up some people who love to fish and hit the lake to catch some salmon. The Italian Beef Crawl is always a blast but a self-organized beef tour to try the best Italian beefs in the city is manageable. Harold’s chicken rules – added to the list.

Mitch (@refrigeration)

1. Danny’s Tavern

2. Japanese Garden (Osaka Garden)

3. SushiSamba

4. Buckingham Fountain

5. Blues Fest

Danny’s is a great spot in Bucktown/Wicker Park to get your dance on and I’ve always had a great tiem there. I have no ventured forth to Osaka Garden but can make this trip in the spring. SushiSamba is interesting since I’ve always gone there for cocktails and still haven’t eaten there yet!!

Tammie (@tamj) from Des Plaines, Illinois

1. Maxwell Street Polish at Express Grill or Jim’s Original

2. Go to Lincoln Park Zoo

3. Check out an event or concert in Grant Park

4. Architectural boat tour

5. Shopping on Michigan Avenue

6. A night out in Viagra Triangle

7. Kit Kat Lounge in Boystown

8. Cubs game and barhop in Wrigleyville

9. Visit Bahai Temple in Wilmette

10. Get a Chicago style hot dog at Portillo’s

11. Have pizza at Pizano’s

12. Skydeck at Sears Tower

13. The Signature Room at the Hancock Observatory

14. Tea at the Drake Hotel

15. Great America

16. Random casino junket thingie

This is an impressive to do list covering food, the arts, shopping, and random adventure. Have I have a Jim’s Original Maxwell Street Polish Sausage? Ashamedly so, I have not and it’s been added to my list! A trip to Lincoln Park Zoo would probably give me the opportunity to try out my telezoom lens. I have seen the Bahai Temple at night in Wilmette, it had a pristine look to it with the lights shining directly on it, maybe they have tours for the interior.

That’s all for today’s Chicago Bucket List suggestions, please send more in if you have any great ideas!

New Ideas for the Chicago Bucket List


Having the chance to meet quite a few people last week, I took the opporunity to pick their brains and get more ideas for the Chicago Bucket List. There’s nothing better than learning about new in Chicago that I didn’t know about before!

Gina (@gLorinJewelry) from Wisconsin:

1. The Matchbox – drink the Pineapple Gimlet

2. Lill Street Art Center pottery lesson

3. Jump in Lake Michigan

4. Mirai Sushi – Eat the makimono which is spicy octopus and spicy tuna

5. Richard’s – dance and drink margaritas, eat the boneless chicken dinner, and have a hard boiled egg.

I have tried only jumping in Lake Michigan. A trip to Mirai might be well warranted, but where is the best sushi in Chicago without spending $100? I’ve also been over at Ricard’s very briefly but didn’t have ID so I didn’t get a chance to check it out for very long.

Mary (not_contrary) from Louisiana:

1. Eat at Kuma’s

2. Ice skate at Millennium Park

3. Take a boat ride (either architectural boat tour or a sail boat)

4. Go to a Bears / Cubs / Sox game

5. Throw a big party on a roof!

I have eaten a Kuma’s burger and gone skating in Millennium Park. I fell too many times to count and won’t be looking to ice skate anytime soon! It’s funny, every year I tell myself I’m going on a boat tour and totally forget. I’m going to have to take care of this once the weather warms up. Now, where to throw a party on a good roof….

Jeanelle (@chowbelle) from Chicago:

1. Eat at Alinea

2. Eat Mario’s Italian Lemonade

3. Go on the Chicago Architectural Foundation river cruise

4. Sit at the 50-yard line of a Bears game

5. Dance at a set with DJ Kwest-on

6. Listen to jazz at The Green Mill

Alinea, Alinea, Alinea. I’ve the scratch for this but would feel terrible going through so much money for dinner. The juice is likely worth the squeeze but I will have to arrange a crew to go for it. Jazz and slam poetry can be achieved on Sundays at the Green Mill.

Lisa (@Lisa_Pugliese) from Chicago Suburbs:

1. Mario’s Italian Lemonade

2. Architectural river cruise

3. Italian restaurant crawl

4. Italian Beef at Serelli’s

5. Ice cream at Capannari’s in Mount Prospect!!

It’s looking like this Mario’s Italian Lemonade has got to be excellent or something since I’ve heard from no less than half a dozen people about how good it is. Is Serelli’s better than Mr. Beef & Pizza or Jay’s? I may have to go investigate.

Tom Rubin (El_Chorizo) from Oak Forest

1. Pizano’s Pizza

2. Skydive in Sandwich, Illinis

3. Chocolate Bar at the Peninsula Hotel

4. Chicago Ghost Tour

5. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse

6. Bachelor’s Grove

With the Peninsula winning some Michelin stars, the Chocolate Bar there should be worth taking a close look at. Sandwich, Illinois frightens me but I have survived a trip out there before. Pizano’s is an unknown but I’ve had the luck to go to school right by one and enjoy their great pies.

Thanks everyone for your ideas, I still have more to post up this weekend!

New Ideas from the RedEye / Metromix Tweetup


(Source: Metromix Chicago)

One of the finest qualities of a good old fashioned tweetup is that you’re always able to get in touch with a large mass of people, all with divergent opinions, ideas, experience, and expertise. This effect is amplified when you attend a RedEye Metromix party since everyone is out and about and some of the most social beasts in the city. At the recent RedEye / Metromix tweetup at Goose Island, I got to sample some Hefe-Hawks-Win and Big Buff Ale. I also got to sample some of the encyclopedic knowledge of bars, restaurants, and the arts that accompanies the people who come to RedEye / Metromix tweetups. I posed the question, “What would you do if you had to leave Chicago for good?”  Here were some of the answers:

Kathy, @crushgear’s childhood friend, had to complete her own bucket list before moving away recently:

1. Drinks at the Signature Room

2. Go to Second City and catch a show

3. Take the Red Line and take a picture at every stop

4. Bike to Evanston to North Avenue and back

5. Get Pho on Argyle

6. Drive from Museum Campus to Evanston on Lake Shore Drive at night.

A very eclectic mix of activities with lots of travel. The lakefront is one of my favorite courses to navigate, since I can collect Foursquare points faster than a trick or treater can collect candy. I definitely can’t knock off #4 since I’m unable to ride a bike, but I need to add learning how to ride a bike at Lake Michigan on my bucket list. The only question would be who would be brave enough to lend me a bicycle? Stopping at every stop on the Red Line also makes my CTA quest a bit more complicated. Will I take every CTA line in one day or will I stop at each one? The possibilities are endless

@staticfritz won the beer naming contest with his brilliant “Hefe-Hawks-Win!” moniker.

1. Kincaid’s $1.00 beer on Wednesdays

2. Visit the Adler Planetarium and Navy Pier

3. Go to the Modern Art Wing of the Art Institute

4. Visit the local Microbreweries – 3 Floyd’s, Metropolitan, Half Acre, Revolution Brewing, Flossmoor, Goose Island

5. $1 beer at any local bar

Being the winner of the beer naming contest, it’s no surprise that @staticfritz is likely a member of the Beer Appreciation Society. While I have gone to Kincaid’s for $1.00, it’s been awhile and a visit back to amateur hour might be well warranted. Visiting the local microbreweries is definitely on the horizon with 3 Floyds at the top of the list. $1 beer at a local bar is feasible, but I miss the days of 25¢ beer at My Bar that no longer exists.

@CokeHat was wearing a straw hat like myself and I got to pick his brain for some bucket list ideas:

1. Grab a slice of Pizzeria Due

2. Dance to real house at Green Dolphin in the Boom Boom Room

3. Eat a Skyway Dog

4. Eat a Rainbow Cone at 92nd & Western

5. Visit Haunted Trails minigolf off of Harlem.

I love exploring the south side and usually like to line up a few things when I go deep, deep into the south side. The south side is still a part of Chicago and I’m sure there are plenty of people from the south side who don’t venture to the north side on any regular basis. I guess I am a bit south side shy since I don’t know too many people who live down there and don’t know which neighborhoods are safe vs. crazy dangerous. @CokeHat’s ideas are delicious for the foodie in me.

After the tweetup ended, @torihatesyou drove @ErnestWilkins@henjealy@trendyrende, one other guy, and myself from Goose Island to Messner’s. We had to cut our way through Boystown then chugged along through Wrigleyville right after the Cubs game.@torihatesyou displayed her driving mastery while Chicagoans did their best to impede our way. Eventually, we ended up at Messner’s with replay of Uruguay’s slaughtering of South Africa in the background. After awhile, @ErnestWilkins left the bar, Grandma @henjealy had to go to bed, and I decided to bounce too.

Unfortunately, I left the bar and walked a few blocks away before realizing that I had left my backpack in the bar! Fearing losing my darts and camera, I rushed back to find it where I left it – under the table. I had forgotten to ask anyone at Messner’s about their ideas on what is cool to check out in Chicago, so I got a quick rundown.

@letspotteryyall’s list:

1. Get a Whoopski Dog at Superdawg

2. Go swim in Lake Michigan

3. Take a class at Lill Street on Montrose

4. Eat pizza at Spacca Napoli by Sunnyside & Ravenswood and Lou Malnati’s in Lincolnwood

5. Eat Harold’s Chicken Shack on Milwaukee, then have a bacon party

There are some interesting food combinations such as Harold’s Chicken Shack and a bacon party. I don’t know what a bacon party would entail, but it does sound like there would be plenty of crispy bacon. I suppose those with a deathwish should do the deadly daily double of Harold’s Chicken directly followed by bacon! I have definitely had a Superdawg before, but never this Whooski dog. I have set foot in the old Lill Studio and like clay, but haven’t had a chance to try real pottery before.

Finally, former art auctioneer, @trendyrende gave her suggestions for the Chicago Bucket List:

1. Go to Wrigley Field for a ballgame

2. Head to the 59th Street Art Fair

3. Go to Clarke’s for a milkshake and pancakes

4. Catch independent improv at Playground Theatre

5. Find the Mark Chagall paintings in Chicago

The arts seems to be high on the list of things to do with an art fair, improv show, and Marc Chagall. Unfortunately for me, the 59th Street Art Fair was June 5-6th (DOH!). Sixty-two years in the make and I’ll have to catch its sixty-third incarnation next year. I’m a little bit overwhelmed with all of the ideas that everyone’s put together and how to get them all done. Luckily, summer’s just beginning with the solstice on Monday and I have plenty of time for adventuring!

Until next time, friends!

Becky’s Bucket List Suggestions


Crown Fountain

Becky currently lives in Chicago and threw her hat into the ring. Here are her ideas, practical for all seasons!

1) Spend an entire day at the beach picnic-ing, reading books, and buying silly tropical drinks at Castaways
2) Go to the Lincoln Park Zoo AND buy some popcorn and soda from the vendor carts
3) A round of mini-golf at Grant Park
4) Attend an Adults Only night at the Planetarium (third Thursday of every month)
5) Visit the Farmer’s Markets and make dinner from the produce I buy
6) Geocaching around the city
7) Indian Food on Devon
8) Ghost Tour
9) Ride every color of train from beginning to end
10) Get sprayed by the Crown Fountain!
11) Participate in the No Pants day (by Improv Everywhere)
12) MP3 Flash Mob at Navy Pier
13) Get dressed up for the Lyric Opera
14) See one of the Chicago specific fashion shows

Things to do during the colder months:
15) Ice skating at Millennium Park
16) Ride the Holiday Train
17) Tree Lighting
18) Thanksgiving Parade