Putting the Chic in Chicago
(My room at the Thompson and the CHICago skyline #goldcoast #silvershoes)
Having grown up in the greater NYC area, I never felt a strong desire to visit Chicago. It just seemed like one of those satellite cities, orbiting the periphery of Manhattan. Even when one of my best friends moved there post-grad, I wasn’t captivated enough to plan a visit there (instead we would meet up in NYC whenever she was there for business).
However, I have recently had the opportunity to visit Chicago a few times for business, and I do like the city. It’s not a New York type of city for me, where I could visit hundreds of times and never be bored. The nightlife is a little too beer and (base)ball focused for this ~club rat~, and I find that the food scene isn’t quite on par with NYC/LA/Miami. That said, Chicago is swiftly becoming somewhere that I look forward to visiting.
Without further ado, these are my top 5 spots that put the chic in Chicago:
5) Millennium Park
(It’s me, snitchezzz)
I missed ~The Bean~ on my first trip to Chicago, so I was determined to take a selfie there on my next go-around. I happened to stumble into the landmark by accident while taking a postprandial walk, so I just took a quick, casual snap in the rare moment that I wasn’t surrounded by 83 other tourists. In addition to The Bean, there is other interesting architecture and hedge maze like gardens to wander around, so it’s a great spot to call your BFF (Hi, Lauren!) and complain about f*ckboys while working in a little visually stimulating exercise.
(Chic spot for psychoanalyzing Tinder freakaleeks)
4) Navy Pier
(Rihanna Navy Pier)
Recently, I attended a tech conference at Navy Pier, which meant that I got to visit this picturesque location for several days in a row. Though I could’ve taken a cab, I opted to walk back to my hotel every night so that I could appreciate the gorgeous lake vistas and sublime autumn weather (crisp and breezy but not yet cold) for just a bit longer during daily sojourns.
3) The Art Institute of Chicago
(If I were alive in the 14th century, bae would totally be a chic Flemish nobleman)
I was really excited to find out that the Art Institute of Chicago stays open late some nights, so I was able to squeeze in a visit after work. The downside was that I was already exhausted and starving when I arrived, so I didn’t get to spend as much time exploring the collection as I typically do. They had a temporary Bacchus-themed exhibit which seemed fun and well curated, but I didn’t have the stamina to work my way through the whole thing properly. That said, it was amazing to spend time with two iconic works, “American Gothic” by Grant Wood and “Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper, as well as some other great medieval and Latin American paintings that caught my eye.
(The look I made whenever anyone in Chicago tried to talk to me about ~sports~)
As I have grown older and lived on my own (or traveled on my own) in a new city, I have come to appreciate the Hopper work much more. When I was first introduced to the painting in college, the feeling of being alone and grabbing a bite late at night in the middle of a bustling city wasn’t one which particularly resonated with me. Now, it often feels like a daily occurrence, albeit one which I execute in a far less starkly elegant manner as Hopper’s figures (What up, Chipotle?).
(“Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper… Learn more here)
2) The Thompson Hotel/Nico Osteria
I had a gorgeous view, and certainly a seamless stay at this hotel. My only gripe was that there wasn’t a sexy rooftop bar with a pool, because the clientele of The Thompson would be the ideal demographic for the Windy City iteration of Le Bain. Perhaps the highlight of my visit was multiple trips to the in house, James Beard Award-winning restaurant, Nico Osteria. The food was phenomenal (loved their creative and expansive salad section and awesome carbzzzz), plus the cocktails were bomb. Thank you to the front desk for giving me like 6 free cocktail coupons, you da best I ever had.
(Tea party for 1 at Nico.)
1) Waldorf Astoria Chicago
The Waldorf Astoria Chicago front desk is actually the best I ever had, because they hooked me up with a free upgrade to the sickest suite. Not only is this Conde Nast Traveler’s #1 hotel in America, it is arguably the nicest hotel I’ve stayed at anywhere in the world. The courtyard is like something out of a Francophile’s dream. The fireplace in my suite’s living room which roared to life with the flick of one button was Mariah Carey in Aspen dreams. The giant bathroom was the size of my current (considerably sized) living room and stocked with endless Ferragamo goodies and #allmarbleeverything, and will be my interior design wet dream until I replicate it in my future dream apartment. Dreams on dreams on dreamzzzz.
(J’aimazing foyer and on fleek flowers which were replaced each day with a different colored bloom set. These are my people !!!)
(All I need in this life of sin)