The Adler Planetarium

Monday, June 23, 2008 | Labels: , , , , , | 0 comments |

The Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum is America's first and oldest planetarium. Located alongside the Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum of Natural History on the shores of Lake Michigan, it was founded and built in 1930 by Max Adler and Philip Fox. In 1987 the Adler Planetarium was declared a National Historic Landmark.

Adler Planetarium hosts plenty of shows and exhibits that are sure to lure children and grown ups alike into astronomy. One of its featured attractions is Shoot for the Moon, a permanent exhibition that highlights exciting stories of space exploration and America's bold plans to return to the Moon.

Visit their website for more info.

Picasso In Chicago

Monday, June 16, 2008 | Labels: , , , , , , | 0 comments |

One well known Downtown Chicago landmark is the Chicago Picasso, or The Picasso. As the name implies, it is a metal sculpture by Pablo Picasso, a Spanish artist best known for co-founding the Cubist movement. The Picasso stands 50 feet, weighs more than 160 tons, and can be found in Daley Plaza in the Chicago Loop. It has become a popular meeting spot among Chicagoans because of its unmistakable features.

What or who exactly is depicted in the Chicago Picasso is still debated. Some say it is a bird or an Afghan hound, and some even say it is inspired by a woman named Lydia Corbett, one of Picasso's models. A copper maquette of the structure is entitled TĂȘte de Baboon, or Baboon Head.

Bo Diddley Dies at Age 79

Tuesday, June 3, 2008 | Labels: , , , | 0 comments |

Legendary blues and rock and roll legend Bo Diddley passed away Monday, June 2 2008, due to heart failure. Spokeswoman Susan Clary said Bo died at his home in Archer, Fla. Bo Diddley suffered a heart attack August last year, and a stroke three months before that.

Bo Diddley's hard-edged guitar sounds made him one of the founding fathers of rock and roll. As a youth, he started his music career playing guitar in the streets of Chicago and later at the 708 Club on Chicago's South Side. He is also widely know for his unusual rectangular guitar.

More info can be found here.

The Big List of Chicago's Nicknames

Monday, May 26, 2008 | Labels: , | 0 comments |

Chicago has been called many names before, and more will come for sure as development of this great city never ends.

One of the most popular Chicago monikers would be "The Windy City." There has been much debate and confusion as to how Chicago got this monicker. Some say because Chicago is a naturally breezy area due to it's proximity to Lake Michigan. Some say it came from former rival city Cincinnati, describing Chicago as "windy" or full of bluster. The most popular origin of this nickname is that it was coined by the editor of the New York Sun, Charles Anderson Dana, in 1890 in reference to the city's claims for the World's Columbian Exposition.

Another popular nickname for Chicago is "Second City." Some people think that this nickname refers to Chicago being the second largest city, when in actuality it refers to Chicago's rebirth after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Here are some more minor Chicago nicknames:

  • Chi-Town or Chitown
  • Chicagoland
  • The White City
  • City by the Lake
  • City of the Big Shoulders
  • City of Broad Shoulders
  • City of the Century
  • The 312
  • City on the Make
  • The City That Works
  • The Big Onion
  • City in a Garden
  • Hog-Butcher to the World
  • Beirut by the Lake
  • New York Done Right
  • Illville
  • I Will City
  • Paris on the Prairie
  • Sweet Home
  • Heart of America
  • The 773
  • The Alley Capital of America
Do you have a nickname that is not on this list?

Dream Reaper's Haunted House

Monday, May 19, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | 0 comments |

Although we're still a couple of months short of November, there's nothing like a good scare. Dream Reaper's Haunted House and Nightmares Inc. will give you just that. One of Chicago's top haunted house attractions, Dream Reaper is a favorite amongst young people looking for a cheap thrills and plenty of earsplitting shrills.

Located at Melrose Park, IL, Dream Reaper is a 14000 SqFt. haunted house with over 22 rooms actors and animatronics alike with sole purpose of scaring the living daylight out of their visitors. Kids are not encouraged to come, but will be welcomed with an adult's consent.

Head over their website for more info and check out their gallery.

Buddy Guy's Legends

Sunday, May 11, 2008 | Labels: , , , , , , | 0 comments |

Buddy Guy's Legends is hands down one of the best Blues bar in Chicago. Since it opened in 1989, the who's who of Blues and Rock graced its stage including Bo Diddley, The Black Crowes, and ZZ Top just to name a few. As the name suggests, Buddy Guy's is owned by Buddy Guy.

Buddy Guy is a multi Grammy Award-winning blues and rock guitarist. He is well known for his performances which involves playing the guitar with his feet or teeth and playing it behind his back. He is known to be a major influence to Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton's music.

Visit Buddy Guy's Legends website for more information about Buddy and his bar.

A New Berwyn Spindle?

Monday, May 5, 2008 | Labels: , , | 0 comments |

Although the 50-foot Berwyn Spindle was taken down Friday to make room for a new Walgreens, the top two cars - a Volkswagen Beetle and a BMW - was kept by the mall management in hopes of resurrecting the towering artwork.

Dustin Schuler, the creator and copyright owner of the sculpture, is optimistic about the deal, but has not been contacted yet about the details.

The Chicago Blues Festival

Monday, April 28, 2008 | Labels: , , , , , | 0 comments |

The Chicago Blues Festival is a Chicago tradition for over 20 years. It is an annual event that features performances by top blues musicians. It is held for four days at Grant Park.

The festival began in 1984, a year after the death of Muddy Waters, the father of Chicago blues. Some notable past performers were Bo Diddley, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Lee Hooker, and Etta James just to name a few.

This years Chicago Blues Festival will be held from June 5 to 8 and will be closed by none other than the legendary B.B. King.

Visit their official website for more information.

Taste of Chicago 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008 | Labels: , , , , , | 0 comments |

The Taste of Chicago is the Midwest's and the world's largest food festival. It is held at Grant Park every year for two weeks, starting from the final week of June. Chicago's best restaurants get to feature their best dishes ranging from family favorites to the exotic. Entertainment is also provided by musical artists on different stages.

This year, Taste of Chicago 2008 will start on June 27 and end on July 6. Admission, as always, is free. Visit the Taste of Chicago's official website for more information.

The Berwin Spindle Auction on E-Bay

Sunday, April 13, 2008 | Labels: , | 0 comments |

The iconic Berwin Spindle is up for auction on e-Bay. As of this writing, the sculpture has 0 bids, but its page views is steadily rising. Bid starts at $50,000 plus $100,000 shipping.

The Berwin Spindle is a towering structure of eight cars impaled by a 40-foot spike. It has been featured on popular culture many times including in 1992's Wayne's World.

The spindle needs to be removed to make way for a Walgreens.

See e-Bay auction here.

Fun Facts About Chicago

Thursday, April 10, 2008 | Labels: , | 0 comments |

  • Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable - "The Father of Chicago," the first settler in Chicago, Illinois.
  • William B. Ogden - Chicago's first mayor.
  • Jane M. Byrne - Chicago's first and only woman mayor.
  • Harold Washington - Chicago's first African-American mayor.
  • Ernie Banks - the first Chicago Cubs African-American player.
  • Chicago's Mercy Hospital - Illinois' first hospital.
  • The Adler Planetarium - the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Western Avenue - the world's longest street.
  • Harold Washington Library/The Chicago Public Library - the world's largest public library.
  • The Chicago Post Office - the only drive-thourgh post office in the world.
  • Nabisco - the largest cookie and cracker factory in the world is located in Chicago.
  • Keebler - the world's largest ice cream cone factory is located in Chicago.
  • Charles Dana - a New York Sun editor that coined the now famous monicker "Windy City."
  • The Taste of Chicago - the world's largest free outdorr food festival.
  • These Are My Children - first TV daytime soap opera ever aired, making Chicago the birthplace of TV daytime soap opera.
  • Playboy - first published in Chicago in 1953.

The Shedd Aquarium

Tuesday, April 8, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | 0 comments |

The Shedd Aquarium, or more formally, The John G. Shedd Aquarium, is an indoor aquarium boasting 5 million gallons of water and roughly 2100 species of marine animals. Opened to the public in 1930, the Shedd Aquarium was once the largest indoor aquarium in the world.

Kids will surely enjoy the aquarium's various exhibits including Wild Reef, Oceanarium, Amazon Rising, Waters of the World, and Caribbean Reef. Some notable animals on display are Beluga Whales, Giant Pacific Octopus, Moon Jellies, and of course Penguins.

Admission tickets go from $8 to $27.50 and The Shedd Aquarium is open from 9am to 5pm on weekdays and up to 6pm on weekends.

The aquarium will hold a Reptile Fest this coming April 12 to 13. Lizards and reptiles will highlight the said event, plus a special presentation about Komodo dragons.

Visit for more info.

Lollapalooza 2008 Lineup

Wednesday, April 2, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | 0 comments | will announce this year's Lollapalooza's lineup on April 7, 2008, although the festival is still a couple of month's away.

Lollapalooza is a music festival featuring all kinds of music and performances that one can think of. It was conceived by Perry Farrell (Jane's Addiction) as a farewell tour for his band. Originally, Lollapalooza tours from city to city, but on 2006 Chicago Park District and Capital Sports & Entertainment signed a deal to keep the festival at Grant Park in Chicago until 2011.
Some Notable Lollapalooza Acts

  • Jane's Addiction
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Rollins Band
  • Primus
  • Arrested Development
  • The Smashing Pumpkins
  • The Ramones
  • Rancid
  • Weezer
Lollapalooza will be held on August 1 -3 2008 on Grant Park Chicago. For more info visit their official website

The Chicago Water Tower

Sunday, March 30, 2008 | Labels: , , , | 0 comments |

One of the most notable landmarks in Chicago, Illinois is the Chicago Water Tower. Designed in a castellated-Gothic Revival style, the Chicago Water Tower was built on 1869 and has achieved Chicago landmark status on October 6, 1971.

Located at the heart of the Magnificent Mile, this historic building was falsely believed by some to be the only survivor of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. It is now the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau Visitor's Welcome Center.

Some Chicagoists see the towering building as a monument to Chicago's will to continue, survive, and prosper.

Illinois-Shaped Cornflake Sold for $1350

Monday, March 24, 2008 | Labels: , , | 0 comments |

If you're guessing ebay, then you're correct.

Two sisters from Virginia, Emily and Melissa, sold a piece of cornflake resembling the state of Illinois for a whopping $1350. The lucky winner of the auction, Monty Kerr of, will add the said cornflake to his traveling museum.

Chicago at Night

Monday, March 17, 2008 | Labels: | 0 comments |

Chicago's beauty doesn't end at sunset. This is a perfect picture of Chicago at night.

Via myelectricsheep

The Hancock Observatory: A Unique View of Chicago

Monday, March 10, 2008 | Labels: , , | 0 comments |

Boasting an amazing view spanning 80 miles and 4 states, The NEW Hancock Observatory quickly became one of the most visited attractions here in Chicago. It acts like a one-stop tour of Chicago.

The Hancock Observatory's Skywalk is an open-air viewing area sitting at the height of 1,000 feet. You will know as soon as you step inside why they call Chicago "The Windy City." Other attractions includes Soundscope, Sky Tours, History Wall, and my favorite, the photo opps! There's nothing like a good photo to share after a nice vacation.

For more info, visit their website here.

Chicago on Film

Friday, March 7, 2008 | Labels: , | 0 comments |

Chicago's beautiful scenery and rich culture has been the topic of a many fictional tales. Here are just some of many movies set and/or filmed in or around Chicago, Illinois.

The Untouchables (1987)
A Brian De Palma film based on the TV series based on Elliot Ness's account of his efforts to take down Chicago mob boss Al Capone and bring him to justice. It stars Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, and Sean Connery (which won and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor).

Chicago (2002)
A musical film about celebrities and scandals during the mid 1920s, starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Richard Gere. It won a total of 6 Academy Awards in 2003, including Best Picture.

A League of Their Own (1992)
A film loosely based on the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). It stars Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan, their manager, and Geena Davis and Lori Petty as the two rival sisters.

Child's Play (1988)
Child's Play is a horror movie about a doll possessed by a notorious murderer, and his attempts to transfer his soul to a young boy. The movie was a moderate success in the box office but has a devout cult following.

Dick Tracy (1990)
Based on the comic strip of the same name, Dick Tracy is starred, directed, and produced by Warren Beatty. The story mainly follows detective Tracy as he try to foil the plans of mobster Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice played by Al Pacino.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Starring Matthew Broderick, Ferris Bueller's Day Off follows Ferris and his friends as they skip school. The film received various critical acclaim including the number ten spot on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 Best High School Movies.

Home Alone (1990)
A comedy film starring young Macaulay Culkin as Kevin, a young boy left alone at home by his family when he was accidentally left behind from their vacation. It grossed $477,561,243 worldwide making it spawn three sequels.

Wayne's World (1992)
Based on a Saturday Night Live sketch, this comedy film stars Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as two metalheads. It was voted by readers of Total Film magazine as the 1st greatest comedy film of all time.

SPECIAL MENTION: The following movies, all by John Hughes, are set in the fictional town of Shermer, IL

Sixteen Candles
The Breakfast Club
Pretty in Pink

Geja's Cafe: Romantic Fondue Dining

Tuesday, March 4, 2008 | Labels: , | 0 comments |

Nothing says romance more than fondue. And there's no better place in Chicago to dine on fondue than Geja's Cafe.

Located at 340 West Armitage, Chicago, Illinois, Geja's menu consists of chocolate and cheese fondues, and a long list of wines to wash it all down. To set the mood even more are live entertainers playing flamenco and classical guitar tunes.

Visit their website for more info.

The Chicago Theatre

Thursday, February 28, 2008 | Labels: , , | 0 comments |

Also known as the "Wonder Theatre of the World," the Chicago Theatre is one of the most recognizable Chicago landmarks. Its brightly colored marquee is well-known because of its appearances on various movies and tv shows.

The Chicago Theatre opened its doors on October 26, 1921, mainly featuring films, stage shows, and live entertainment. It was also known for its live jazz shows. Some famous performers were Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, and Judy Garland. Some more recent performers were Coldpplay, Christina Aguilera, Neil Young, and Morrissey.

Check out their website for more info and schedule of performances.

Chicago Children's Museum

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 | Labels: , , | 0 comments |

Founded in 1982, the Chicago Children's Museum is one of the best places to visit in Chicago especially if you have kids. Locals and tourists alike, both young and old, will have tons of fun while learning through various exhibits the museum offers. My personal favorites are the Dinosaur Expedition, the Inventing Lab, and the Treehouse Trails. Aside from the usual exhibits, Chicago Children's museum also holds special exhibits from time to time.

Click here to go to the Chicago Children's Museum's official website to check upcoming schedules and events.

Famous People from Chicago

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 | Labels: | 0 comments |

In line with the upcoming X-Files movie sequel (due this year, hopefully), I've been spending most nights watching X-Files marathons and re-acquainting myself with the characters. I was surfing one evening when I saw that Gillian Anderson is born right here in Chicago!

So I did a quick search and found several more 'famous' sons and daughters of Chicago.

  • Walt Disney - Born Walter Elias Disney, he is a film producer, screenwriter, and director among many things. And for the two people who don't know, he founded The Walt Disney Company.
  • Al Capone - Alphonse Gabriel Capone, the real-life Scarface, is one of the most famous Italian-American gangsters from the 1920's and 1930's. Although originally from Brooklyn, New York, he made his name in Chicago where he founded the Chicago Outfit.
  • Harrison Ford - An actor best known for his roles as Han Solo (Star Wars), Indiana Jones (Indiana Jones), and Rick Deckard (The Blade Runner) just to name a few.
  • Hugh Heffner - The big boss of Playboy Enterprises, responsible for managing the Playboy magazine empire.
  • Benny Goodman - An American Jazz musician, widely known as the "King of Swing."
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs - Author that created our favorite jungle hero Tarzan.
  • Michelle Obama - Wife of Illinois Senator Barrack Obama.
Did I miss anyone? Drop a comment!

The Sears Tower

Thursday, February 21, 2008 | Labels: , , , | 0 comments |

Our first stop is of course, The Sears Tower. With the height of 1,450 feet, it was the world's tallest building until the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia dethroned it.

On June 22, 1974, The Sears Tower opened it's Skydeck to the public. Sitting on the 103rd floor, it quickly became one of the top tourist attractions in Chicago. You can even feel the building sway on a windy day!

FUN FACT: The highest restrooms in the world can be found on the Skydeck, which is about 412 m above street level.

The City of Chicago


CHICAGO. Some call it The Windy City, others The Second City. Some even call it ChiTown. I call it home.

Join me in commemorating everything about Chicago; places to stay, places to visit, people to meet, and its rich history.