Off To Chicago
Posted on November 1, 2013 Posted by John Scalzi 44 Comments
Because Athena wants to visit the University of Chicago, which I as an alum want to encourage, and because the town has various culture-y stuff in it and we are going to partake in it. Expect posting to be light here over the weekend. You kids have fun.
Hopefully I’m preaching to the choir, but I hope that culture-y stuff includes some of Chicago’s amazing theater scene. If not, The Old Man and The Old Moon is still playing, and is absolutely brilliant, as is TimeLine’s production of A Raisin in the Sun.
Make sure to visit Pierce and gape, it is currently in the process of being demolished,
Looks like a great weekend to go, based on the pics from the “Why Evolution Is True” website. I was there last week with my daughter–had a great time at the Field Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry, and, of course, ate some pizza.
If you go to Chez Quis, tell them Abe Froman sent you.
Isn’t U of C in a pretty bad neigborhood? I went to DePaul (north side of Chicago) and I had friends who went to U of Chicago. They told me they were told its a bad neighborhood when they got there and were told to be careful where they walked. I did go down to U of C my junior/senior years alot since you guys had a better library and I was doing research.
Cool. My parents worked at a college so I thought about college very early. They also took me to visit their alma mater, Middlebury, which has a lovely campus but I knew I wanted to go to college in a city.
Chicago native here. Make sure you take her to Portillo’s for some great hot dogs/italian beef. Is teh yumz! :-)
Just finished that college app process myself – I’m a freshman at emory. I actually ended up choosing here over u chicago – tell her to apply! It’s beautiful, warm, and if she’s interested in writing the creative writing program here is one of the best – I’m in a 12 person class with the us poet laureate my first semester.
You picked lousy weather for it–at least so far. Tell Athena that the Quad looks much cooler in sunlight . . .
If you find yourself next to the Naf Naf at Washington and Franklin or up on Michigan, go in. Best pita bread in the world.*
*”The world” meaning “Chicago,” as reports of places that aren’t Chicago are not to be trusted.
Waving toward downtown from the western suburbs. Have fun!
The Maroons are in Cleveland this weekend. Not too late to change plans. Or you could go next week and catch Carnegie-Mellon at Stagg Field.
Fun things to do in Chicago: The Field Museum has opened its 1893 World’s Fair vault for display. http://worldsfair.fieldmuseum.org/
The Oriental Museum is pretty cool. Despite its name, it’s all about Babylon, Sumeria, and that area.
Just don’t expose her to that stuff they mistakenly claim is pizza.
Origuy @11:57: The Oriental Institute is one of the best museums in Chicago. And “Oriental” does not historically mean the Far East. It simply means East and was used to refer to basically anything that wasn’t Europe or Africa. It also applied to the Roman Prefecture that would become the Eastern Roman Empire (better known today as Byzantium). Part of the estrangement between the European powers/Roman Catholic Church and the Byzantine Empire during the latter’s long decline was that it was considered corrupted due to being “too oriental.”
Geds: Actually I knew that, I just didn’t have time to put that in. Thanks for expanding on my comment. When I was there, they had a interesting exhibit on the development of writing. It’s right on the U of C campus.
Timing’s just slightly off. Windycon isn’t until next weekend.
Harold’s Chicken, that’s all I’ll say.
Ah, fond memories. I told all my classmates there that I went for the social life (which was true–my alternative was CalTech), which got me the most *amazing* looks. But it’s an awesome place. A couple of responses to comments:
* Hyde Park’s actually not particularly bad, at least when I was there (82-86). The areas surrounding Hyde Park weren’t awesome, but I went walking at night plenty with no fear actually in the UofC neighborhood.
* You’re welcome to name it something else, but Chicago Pizza is awesome and it’s be a crime to visit the city and not have some.
* Harold’s Chicken, on the other hand, is a “treat” that I think should be reserved for the students, especially for when they’re pulling an all night studying with friends and need some combination of grease and hot sauce to keep them fueled and awake. A vivid memory, but not a way I’d introduce someone to the city.
@ Maxutility – I eat a lot of crappy stuff, but I could never understand Harold’s Chicken. The very thought of it makes my stomach heave! I loved my time at UofC, but ye gods!
Hope you brought a crowbar, which you may need to pry her away from the more interesting bits. (In my case, my first time in the U.Ga. main library was a life-changing experience. I like to never got out of that folklore section.)
I’m sure you will be home before Sunday night but my mom and her ‘husband-equivalent’ will be at this place: http://honkytonkbbqchicago.com/live-music/. 14 year old friendly if she can stand ol fashioned jazz. I grew up on it, so I can only stand it intermittently.
I was there 05-09. You do have to be careful but you have to be careful anywhere in a large city. I never had any issues. I LOVED my time there. I hope she has a wonderful visit! It makes me so excited to learn that you’re an alum as well!
Is it just me or are all of his posts incredibly boring? It’s like he’s phoning it in or something.
Thetruth @3:32 pm—it’s you.
The only time I was in Chicago was to visit Uni friends and to see David Bowie in The Elephant Man,. 1980 I think. I loved the galleries. The drive from Waterloo (Ontario) in a 1960 VW Beetle was interesting. Ah, the good times. Nostalgia for a car with no gas gauge or heat.
I have the Oriental Institute on my list because of Elizabeth Peters (RIP MPM!) –she used the Institute as background for at least one of her mysteries and referenced it in others. Plus, that’s where she was trained herself. (And of course, Indiana Jones, fictional archaeologist.)
I hear you met a fan in privileges. :) And yeah, deep dish isn’t pizza. And Kathy, Hyde Park is in the city, downtown in a smaller area in the city _center_. ;)
Yeah, that was me in the Reg. Hope I wasn’t terrifyingly fangirlish!
Deepdish is the only pizza worthy of the name. (I gather The Medici no longer serves it…do they at least still have those killer hot fudge sundaes?)
I loved U Chicago… applied there after going to several of their high school Model United Nations Conferences, and was thrilled to be accepted. Their accepted students weekend was amazing. The people there were truly wonderful, and I know I would have been happy there.
Went to another school instead. That choice was the hardest I ever had to make.
Not at all. Lovely to meet you!
Huh. Okay. Just got it. For some reason my brain has been conflating U of Chicago with Northwestern, every time it’s been mentioned here lately for lo these many moons. The concerns about “bad neighborhoods” was really confusing me.
I wish someone had started indoctrinating me about which college/university to dream of attending when I was 14. Not that it would have likely made any difference, since @ 14 I was just far too lazy to care much. In the small IL farming town I grew up in, there was no notion that anyone should even begin to think about college choices until the summer before their senior year. Which meant that of my HS graduating class about 5 kids actually went on to schools they really really wanted to attend, and the rest of us college-bounds pretty much went where we were 1st accepted.
Wonderful school in one of my favorite cities. Don’t miss the Art Institute. But anything you do there should be fun!
Hope you’re enjoying it out there, Scalzi. As a more recent alumn, I just want you to enjoy fall in Chi town for those of us living in places with 2 or fewer seasons.
Oh, enjoy! I loved my time at the U of C (Div School). Say hello to the Reg and the Quads and the gargoyles and the lake and the Art Institute and and and for me.
I took my 12 year old to see the campus on our way back into town a couple weeks ago. She knew I went to law school there and has lived her whole life in the North suburbs but had no idea where it was. She couldn’t believe a place that gorgeous was hidden off of Stony Island. Her sister chose Northwestern (my undergrad), but I’m kind of hoping she ends up at U of C. Enjoy your time here.
Chicago has great food, I recall. I’ve very much enjoyed my visits. Has Athena been to ChiTown before or is this her first visit?
A pity Professor Norman Maclean no longer teaches there. I would kill puppies for a time machine…
Deep dish is a very lovely casserole.
Pizza, however, it is not.
I’ll second Annie’s comment. A Chicago Pizza is really good food, and you should have some while you’re there, even though it’s not an actual pizza.
A decade or so ago my department held a meeting in Chicago, and for entertainment we took a boat tour of the canals and rivers that narrated all the different architecture in the city. My coworker who’s a former architect and I got to geek out about all the art deco and Saarinen buildings, and there was a full moon over the lake. And its a good city to walk through tunnels from one con hotel to another.
You want your daughter to attend school in the murder capital of the nation?
One of the “wilding” cities?
A city whose police force is on the ragged crumbling edge of open rebellion?
The new Detroit?
And you’re thinking in terms of pizza and museums?
I hope you had a lovely time. And deep dish is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. As is a good Chicago steakhouse. And hot dogs.
I haven’t been since Worldcon last year, but I always enjoy it. Protip for other Worldcons: offering the members free running through a planetarium for an evening is THE BEST. We went on that river architecture tour the day after and I learned many things I never knew as well as getting a tan.
Really a great city.