Monday, September 30, 2013

Chicago

   I grow to love Chicago more every time I visit. By my count, i've been seven times now, and each time gets a little better. I started off visiting with my father almost a decade ago. We would go for the week between Christmas and New Years to enjoy some family time. My father loves the city. Jazz clubs like Andy's and fine cigars take him to his happy place.
   Luckily, my very good friend and roommate Ben from China now lives back in Chicago, his home since birth. What better way to explore a city than to have a local at your side? Luckily Ben is as interested food as I am. He's taken me to some amazing spots around the city, and promises more when I return. From what I can tell, you could eat at a new fantastic restaurant every day and never finish the list. He also took us to a home brew competition, where three amateur brewmasters have a quarterly beer brewing competition. What a fantastic idea. In fact, now I have four very good friends from my past living in Chicago, all from Cirque and Dragone. It's quickly becoming a second home.
   In fact, one of my current co-workers family also lives in Chicago. They offered us amazing hospitality last time we were in the city. John's father is an attorney, but spends most of his free time making and bottling his own wine with his neighbors. We were fortunate enough to spend a night in the wine room, stirring the must and sampling glasses from years past.
   Chicago is one of my favorite cities, and while i'll never love it as much as New York, it is much easer and cheaper to visit. It's slower, less crowded, and much more accessible. I've driven to and rented cars in Chicago many times without much hassle. What a prohibitive nightmare that would be in New York. It is, without a doubt, my second favorite c
ity in the country. The museums are world class, the pizza is just as good as you've heard it is, and there's never a lack of things to do. If you've never been, Chicago is a real treat, local friends or not.