Chicago Has It Going On…Ramble


Spontaneous getaways can be the ideal pick me up! I decided last Wednesday to come to Chicago for the weekend. There was so much going on in New York- Fashion Week, The US Open, San Genaro Festival (yes we forgot all about it until we ran into folks with powdered sugar on their faces didn’t we?), and those MTV VMA’s which added to the frenzy. When it was suggested to get a change of scene in Chicago, I said why not?

Our weekend got off to a whimsical start with dinner in Andersonville at Hamburger Mary’s.

The shoe may not be 'this season' but it is a fun way to serve a bill.

The shoe may not be 'this season' but it is a fun way to serve a bill.

A friend of mine hooked me up, putting me on invite list to see the men of Snow Patrol spin on Friday night at Underground in Chicago from 12-4 A.M. There’s a restaurant in my hometown which has the slogan ‘where mountain men and debutantes meet.’ The slogan for Underground should be ‘where business man and dirty, dirty ho’s exchange bodily fluids.’ The club is poorly laid out with two bars on one side, VIP tables to the left and down the center (so basically all seating) It was seriously a disgusting display of boney hoochie mamas unabashedly thrusting their way in all directions.

Honey, this is why I’m not a fan of clubs so I haven’t been in one in ages but when did club fashion include blazers? Half the men were wearing blazers and one was suede. It was 78 degrees outside! One of the folks from the record label who is a local, was horrified. She put up a disclaimer of responsibility for the club choice. When conversation turned to some poser trying to claim he owned the bar, she was happy to confirm it is owned by a corporation.

Underground certainly did know how to treat the clients trying to charge guestlisters $20 a head. Seriously? The best part is their website claims every guest is a VIP. Right. We decided to have a little fun with the fiasco that we were in, all for the love of Snow Patrol!

Me: You co-own this with Oprah don’t you?
Coolchick: I am Oprah. That’s just a costume I wear on the show.
Me: That’s such a great plan. You can check up on your investments without anyone harassing you.
Coolchick: It ….

She was then abducted by a guy wearing a suit. Of course! He had the ‘Men In Black’ uniform on complete with sunglasses and a neon green string to give people something to talk about other then the drunkards playing bumper cars with the clientele.

Snow Patrol need liquid courage to deal with Underground's patrons.

Snow Patrol need liquid courage to deal with Underground's patrons.

My favorite club-goer kept trying to get Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol to high-five him from the DJ booth every time he was spinning. Gary was a good sport as is his nature, yet you can see for yourself, the fellas needed some drinks to get through the night.

We set out Saturday morning in search of a recovery breakfast to clear away all remanents of underground from our head.

My sunglasses protect me from the sun & you from my bags!

My sunglasses protect me from the sun & you from my bags!

My sister is a champion who knows how to get things done!

What's my style? FABULOUS!

What's my style? FABULOUS!

Shopping in Wicker Park (no, not inspired by the Josh Harnett film, as if!) to check out one of my favorite shoe stores, John Fluevog was first on the agenda. Hello! This store was full, as usual, of attractive salesman ready to service, um, serve us a helping of funky footwear. Unfortunately we missed the annual sale by a week but they always have items on their website.

Post a fierce white fall hat purchase at Niche, we headed to
Beta Boutique where *everyday is a sample sale. The * part refers to them only being open Thursday- Sunday. Either way, my sister and I both scored gorgeous tops and got the approval of the beta fish (Waffles and Janice) in the dressing rooms. I was happy to nab a copy of CS magazine at the entrance with Eric Bana on the cover in a suit. Bantastic!

We continued the afternoon indulging in High Tea Service at The Drake Hotel. For $29 a piece, it is a worthwhile retreat from the every day hub bub of life.

Why yes that is a cream puff in the form of a SWAN!

Why yes that is a cream puff in the form of a SWAN!

It was so stunning in the tea room with a harpist playing and the enormous fountain, with flowers at the center, we quickly turned our tea into a mini photo shoot.

cq's 2009 chitown visit 015

A night with Chicago friends means someone is cooking. And trust me, folks do not mess around. They use strainers to puree rasberries to cover your dessert. Foodie heaven.

Mmm, wanna be my personal chef?

Mmm, wanna be my personal chef?

We enjoyed a roof deck and a bottle of Le Volte wine ‘with a hint of diesel’ thus proving it to be concocted by he who shall not be named, Lord Voldemort.

Sunday is saved for the Church right? Art museums are where my prayers get answered and in this case The Art Institute of Chicago. My favorite modern artist is Cy Twombly. His exhibition Cy Twombly: The Natural World, Selected Pieces 2000-2007 which closed today, not in October as the Art Institute’s website proclaimed and it was reason enough to hop on a plane. Was it worth it? Are you kidding me?

This is how I pray in the summer (to steal a line from Robbie Williams) and actually, every other time I’m in a museum. I seek out modern art hoping to catch some time with Mr. T (wombly.) Lucky me, eight of his sculptures are on display in New York beginning this week at the Gagosian Gallery!

Peony Blossom Painting

Peony based on Japanese Hiku

I felt so refreshed in joy after seeing the exhibit I had to go back by myself for a few minutes to take in the different themes, drinking it all. Chicago, just like Barcelona, is a city which truly supports art and music, dedicating so many spaces for the public to be exposed to it. The Target sponsored free hours are Thursday 5-8. I almost went bankrupt in the gift shop since I’ve never before found any books on Mr. Twombly and they were in abundance.

Sunday night we left for the preacher, BONO. These seats were made possible by some really amazing peeps. I have to admit, I was extremely excited to be able to take my sister to see Snow Patrol. I introduced her to their music and have seen them seven times. I can’t believe she has never seen them.

We got to Soldier Field very excited. It holds 61,500 people! The sensation of seeing it packed out and then the field covered with standing fans, filled us with awe. At 8:23 I even commented that I had never seen this many people arrive for the opening band. Snow Patrol was going to kill!

Me and Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol last time they toured. Sigh!

Me and Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol last time they toured. Sigh!

A few minutes later the lights went down, flashing of digital numbers commenced and Larry Mullen walks out much to our surprize. Um, he’s not in Snow Patrol! A look at the tickets revealed a 7 P.M. start time, not 8….oh no. We laughed and then enjoyed the incredible show that had begun.

Best Seats in Soldier Field!

Best Seats in Soldier Field!

Yeah, as in U2‘s lead singer. He’s quite the little showman if you get to see it. Jumping up and down to : Beautiful Day, Elevation, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For….the list goes on and on, was an incredible lift to my spirit. One of the highlights was when Bono leaned over a railing and scooped up a child in attendence. We could only imagine the parental units:
Mother: Bono stole my child!
Dad: Well, it’s worth it, it’s Bono!!!!

Stranger Danger?

Stranger Danger?

Hi, my name is Bono

Hi, my name is Bono

Let us live life in the City of Blinding Lights! Dancing commenced. The U2 spaceship provided a pathway to musical heaven!

U2 dreams big landing their 360 spaceship at our feet

U2 dreams big landing their 360 spaceship at our feet

Ah, lest we not forget the rest of the fellas! In fact, The Edge is my favorite member of U2. Larry and Adam you guys rock too.

Musical Church is in session!

Musical Church is in session!

The recipe for a perfect weekend? Sun, good company, art & music. Thank you Chicago, you are an absolutely charming destination!

Oh you look so beautiful tonight, why thank you U2!

Oh you look so beautiful tonight, why thank you U2!

Additional Random Items on Chicago:
1) The metro is $2.25 a ride, $2 for the bus
2) Don’t swim the beach water has some parasite in it left over from slaughterhouse days, go sailing instead!
3) There are sculptures everywhere so look out when you are walking around, you may miss a Picasso.
4) When we got to Damen station in Wicker Park, I made the SNL Da Bears joke as in Daaaa men. Don’t do that if asking for directions. It’s just a joke folks.

Two great brunch places:
Wishbone which has 3 locations. Brunch is delicious and they do believe in fantastic cocktails like the Mr. Funky. Open air seating with a really tremendous sense of fun.

Eleven City Diner an old school diner with subway tile decor. They serve up Junior’s Cheesecake (yeah Brooklyn!) and a fantastic cup of joe. It’s crazy on the weekends so save it for a weekday.

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2 thoughts on “Chicago Has It Going On…Ramble

  1. The line about the business men and the hobags exchanging bodily fluids literally made me laugh out loud. I am glad you found the escape you needed in Chicago. It was like Colleen Quill’s Day Off, only you didn’t hang out with Alan Ruck and go to a baseball game.

    • Chi-town has got me hooked. It was better than going to Aruba last year! I also loved finding out patrons we know a) have a photography wing in The Art Institute with their names on it b) live in the same building as Oprah! c) I wanted to adopt them as surrogate grandparents two years ago, now I just want to hug them for all their support of the arts. Providing artistic joy is beyond words.

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