chicago - the bean

Hello Week Three and Hello Chicago!

This week we are visiting the city best known for it’s relation to Al Capone, Frank Lloyd Wright and the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture.  A city that whether you’re a prohibition pundit, an art aficionado or a student of architecture, is full of Instagram worthy places to visit.  So, if you are on the hunt for that perfect selfie here are our top must see sites to get it.

The Bean

Cloud Gate (or The Bean) is a public sculpture located at AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park.  Inspired by liquid mercury, the stainless steel structure reflects Chicago’s skyline.  It also gives visitors the opportunity to walk around and beneath it, distorting the surrounding landscape as they do.  Bring a camera, a cell phone, a go pro, and explore the reality the Bean creates.

Second City

The club that launched some of the world’s most famous comedians is a Chicago hot spot not to be missed.  Open since 1959, improv experts such as Tina Fey, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Mike Myers have graced the stage.  Book tickets well in advance and get your abs ready to laugh until they hurt.  The stars of Second City are the real deal.

Our own experience was one of those ‘almost can’t believe it’s real’ stories. We booked tickets expecting to see the late show but at the last minute were switched to the early show. Thinking nothing of it, we were surprised when the host announced that the performance would be extended.  Not even in our wildest dreams could we have imagined what would happen next.  Several Second City alumni and Saturday Night Live favourites had just flown in and could not pass up the opportunity to visit the club that gave them their start.  To our disbelief, Jason Sudeikis, Olivia Wilde, and Kenan Thompson walked on stage! It was absolutely wild!

Old Town Ale House

A trip to Second City warrants a visit to another famous local gem. Grab your coat after the show and hop over to the Old Town Ale House located across the street. Featured in Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” it is one of the best ‘dives’ we have ever been to. Belly up to the bar, order yourself a pint and a shot, and take a look around.

The bar is happily stuck in the 60’s and you wouldn’t want it any other way. We are quite sure the gentleman managing the front door has been doing so since the place originally opened in 1958.  Coined ‘the best bar in the world that I know of’ by Roger Ebert, people watching is at its peak.  Nicotine stained regulars, comedy students, off duty waitresses and hipster tourists fill the space alongside an eclectic mix of original art work.  Stay awhile, it will be hard not to because trust us, you will fall in love with this place.

If you have more time on your hands pick up a CityPass.  It’s one booklet that offers admission to the rest of Chicago’s exciting attractions for a single price.  You also get the added benefit of skipping lines and various VIP opportunities.