Last full day in Chicago started off in the highest building in the western hemisphere (Willis Tower). Felt like if we could pay for admission just for a photo, we should at least attempt to help a homeless person get fed and watered at lunchtime. A large black coffee with 15 SUGARS, and the beef 'n' cheese beigel I picked up in Walgreen's.
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So often these days, I post news about a vintage building losing its sign. This is the story of a forgotten Chicago hamburger stand that got its sign back. What you see here is the 1930s terra-cotta tile home of a long-defunct hamburger chain called Snappy Service System. Looks like White Castle right? Yep, it hails from an era when hamburger stands wanted to emphasize sanitary exactitude and kitchen efficiency, with names like “White Rose System” — clean, ordered, safe. Snappy — that name is so 1930s right? (“Lookie here, see, make it snappy, pal, see!) Five-cent-a-slider Snappy vanished years ago, and the facade would end up slathered with yellow paint when it served as a taco restaurant, the beloved La Pasadita, starting in 1976. When that location closed in 2013, the paint was scraped off and there, waiting patiently for decades, was Snappy Service System. A succession of businesses that have filled the space since have kept the original facade, once again gleaming, clean and efficient. History has a funny way of reasserting itself — and it can wait. After all, it is playing the long game.
Its been a hot minute since I’ve been in Chicago, and boy did I miss it! Yesterday, my baby brother took me to do the Tilt at the John Hancock building and was I sure shaken in my boots! I may or may not have yelled out a swear or two. You’re super shocked, I know! But this view was wayyyyyyyyy worth the terror of leaning off the 94th floor!
My 4 days in Chicago are over. It’s been AMAZING. If you wanna plan a wintry trip here any time, here’s what we did, and… what we ATE. •
Went to @HarryCarays and saw Bill Murray’s ACTUAL Ghostbusters suit, and ate an All American COBB salad – one of my fave foods in the US. Basically cos it’s full of bacon and blue cheese. Stayed at the @martplaza, with an incredible view over the city – especially from the hotel bar. •
FRIDAY: Breakfast done right at @LouMitchells565. Almost 100 years old, it’s been feeding people at the start of Route 66 for YEARS. You get a donut on arrival. YEP! We got high at @SkydeckChicago. 103 floors, and 1353 feet high. Then we got in the Christmas mood at the @ChristmasChi ChristKindl Market at Daley Plaza, where the Picasso sculpture is. Went on a festive tour round @Macys, admiring the decorations. Off to @Millennium_Park for a pic by The Bean, and then it was authentic Chicago pizza @GinosEast, followed by a performance by the iconic @BlueManGroup.
SATURDAY: Got our science on at the Museum of Science and Industry @msichicago with more than 50 decorated Christmas trees from around the world. Lunch was Italian at @LabriolaChicago – the salmon was EPIC. Walked along the Riverwalk home. And then dressed up warm for @TheMagMile Electric Lights turn on. Stood on the @EnjoyIllinois bus waving my flag at the crowd. Followed by a hearty dinner and a few glasses of wine at the @ElephantCastle ‘English’ Pub in downtown Chicago. •
SUNDAY: Started our Sunday off right with an all you can eat Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues @HOBChicago. SO much fun. And then I went off to check out the hipster shops of the Lincoln Park area. Then, went to actual Lincoln Park and ended up at the free Lincoln Park zoo. Monkeys! Took this pic from the zoo, and then tried to go up to @signatureroom95, but queues. So walked the @TheMagMile back to the hotel, ready for the next adventure!
And now, I’m in Springfield, the capital of Illinois. Just here for 24 hours to learn alllll about Abraham Lincoln by the looks of the itinerary, AND to get ma kicks on Route 66. •