Around here at 4-Star this particular blogger will be coming to her 25th birthday soon. With the concept of mortality (not to mention that eligible dating prospects are just about as shallow as a kiddy pool, the fact that everyday my breasts droop down lower towards the Earth, and constant nagging from my Nana about just when I think I’m going to get married and have some children) ever looming over my head I threw around the idea of creating a Bucket List. I got to thinking if the idea of someone who has only been on the planet for a quarter of a century making a bucket list isn’t too preposterous then, why can’t a city have one? Bring in 4-Star’s Ten Things to Do in Chicago Before You Die List.
10. Take It In Deep
Whether it’s Giordano’s or maybe Lou Malnati’s is more your drift it is essential to pay homage to one of the official native Chicagoan dishes, deep dish pizza, which is one of the many things we do better than New York. For an added challenge try to make it over to Burt’s Place, located between Lincoln and Capulina. Owned by Burt Katz, who pretty much pioneered awesome Chicago pizza making, try to make it before the 73 year-old closes up for good and this miraculous heavenly slice of decadence is lost to you forever.
9. View from the Top
What is often written off as a silly thing for tourists to gawk at and marvel over, it is 4-Star’s opinion that you just ain’t Chicagoan until you’ve been to the top. So skip, hop or shimmy yourself down to the Sears, I mean…Willis Tower (But seriously, what decent urbanite calls it Willis?) give the stewardess a smile and head on up to the 103rd floor of this almost 40 year-old prominent monument. Just don’t tap dance on the reinforced glass…
With a bone crushing football team, a star-studded basketball team, count em’-two division leading baseball teams, two hockey teams, and one fiery soccer team; it’s pretty safe to say that Chicago’s got game. Aim to be a part of one of those history-making moments that have made Chicago’s various sports teams famous. Because nothing says team spirit like rooting on Brian Urlacher in the freezing cold. Go Bears!
7. The City That Time Forgot
Museums are a fun way for visitor and city dweller alike to take in a little bit of knowledge about the place they stay. Many Chicagoans walk around everyday completely clueless on just how influential the city has been. We suggest you visit the Chicago History Museum and capture some of those proud moments in Chicago history. Al Capone, the Great Chicago Fire, and let’s not forget the great institution that was Mike Ditka. All forgotten gems brought back to life through the various exhibits found in our prestigious museum.
6. Keep Both Hands on the Handlebars
Don’t be sheepish. Chicago’s annual Naked Bike Race is one of the only times it’s o.k. to stare. Since 2004, this world event has been cruising around clothing-free on 1025 West Randolph annually. Whether you dare to bare or decide this is purely a spectator’s sport, you can relax, there’s no private pictures allowed. You can bike, skateboard, or roller blade and don’t worry we won’t judge your secret Lance Armstrong obsession.
5. Savor the “Taste”
Weighing in as the nation’s largest food festival Chicago shows what it does best during the Taste of Chicago. You simply haven’t lived if you haven’t gone to this famous event and risked heat exhaustion and indigestion by sampling from over 35 citywide culinary vendors. Make sure you check out 4-Star’s article on this year’s 2012 Taste of Chicago.
4. For Christ Sakes Get the Kid a Hotdog!!!
Don’t you dare. Don’t you dare in your rabid behind mind come into a vicinity of Chicago and not try one of our famous Chicago-style hotdogs. Ingredients so good they need their own song: one beef hotdog, onions, relish, pickles, tomatoes, peppers on a poppy seed bun. And please out-of-towners…don’t ask for ketchup.
3. Our City Has PRIDE
Be you queer or ally there’s something for everyone to see and enjoy at Chicago’s Gay Pride Parade. Chicago is lucky enough to have one of the most “gay-friendly” communities in the nation. Boystown has been set up as a LGBT cornerstone in the city for years and welcomes residents of all colors and creeds into its welcoming arms as long as you are one for acceptance. I went, I saw, I partied and this single straight girl danced her life away!
2. Where Everyone Knows Your Name…
This past party girl can personally attest to the nightlife mecca that is Rush and Division. These famous intersecting lanes are visited by young party-goers and seasoned nightlife patrons alike. We guarantee you’ll have some of the best times you’ll never remember with bars like Original Mother’s which had so much sound blasting greatness that they had to extend it to their more chill bar Mother’s Too. How about some booze from Bootleggers? And there’s plenty of shenanigans at She-nannigans House of Beer, oh what with the personal lighted stage equipped with stripper poles that have been used by many a drunk girl and bride-to-be alike. And don’t get caught sleeping in Detention, the school girl clad go-go dancers will not be pleased. With the strip of over 10 bars occupying the street there are plenty of memories that can become secrets that only you and your friends take to the grave.
1. Pick Your Spot and Stand on It
Whether it’s from one of the city’s many beaches, looking on from a neighboring suburb or my personal favorite while riding down Lake Shore Drive, the Chicago Skyline is what makes our city reign supreme. There have been many buildings that have joined the picturesque snapshot over the years but it’s something relaxing and life affirming about seeing that beautiful landscape all lit up at night.
Anything that should have made the list that we forgot? Any special places you’ve been that you want to share? Let us know! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter @4StarExplorer and like us at Facebook.com/4StarExplorer