I’ve just returned from a 10 day extravaganza in Chicago and its various suburbs. I saw just about every family member and friend that I have. And I sat in traffic for endless hours.
One thing I don’t miss is car ownership. I love my insular little life here on the UWS that does not require me to drive on 290 in Illinois.
So what did I do? A summary and some observations:
- Girls in Chicago love sundresses and flip-flops. Effortless chic.
- I went to a baby shower, and saw firsthand the obesity problem our country is experiencing. Girls, please start moving! We are an unhealthy country.
- North Avenue Beach in the city is a hotbed of social activity. Hotties looking to hook up at one end, and mommies and kids on the other. Guess which side I was on?
- The suburbs have some amazing water parks. The Lombard Park District and Naperville’s Centennial Beach were impressive. I will grudgingly admit that some aspects of suburban living are positive.
- I hung out with my sister and friends in Andersonville and Lincoln Square. Both are really vibrant neighborhoods, if a bit far from the expressways.
- Blackhawks and Cubs gear are the unofficial uniforms of men in Chicago. I saw a lot of Crocs, too. Sigh.
- I managed to somehow lose two pounds while I was there. I’m totally writing a book about the hot dog/sausage pizza/HoHo/ice cream/no walking Chicago diet. It will sell millions. Speaking of hot dogs…
- God, I love a good hot dog. And damn, are they great in Chicago. If you ever visit, it’s a must-do. Hit any neighborhood hot dog stand. You won’t be disappointed.
- There was a near-Armageddon storm that blew out the electricity for several hours. I took the kids to see Toy Story 3. If you have children who have monkey phobias, under no circumstance should they see this film. I sat on a bench outside the theater for the last half hour of the movie with my five-year-old who was convinced the monkey was an agent of Satan.
- I wrote some articles for Fashionista about shopping in Chicago. Read them here and here.
- Probably the weirdest thing I saw was in a playground in Arlington Heights. A woman in a bikini (who was at the playground alone sans children) with a very leathery tan hopped on a swing and then lit up a ciggy. Classic. And classy.
Click through my slideshow below for more Chicago moments. You can click on individual pictures to enlarge them: