There is this craze all around the country that is taking the youth by storm (it’s actually been happening for quite some time but ignore that). There are these groups of people called hipsters who revel in an amalgamation of cultures both old and new. These hipsters, who can be found listening to music on vinyl instead of on their phones can be spotted if you know what you are looking for; men rock pompadours and women rock bowler caps.
That’s the extent of my research, but if you’re looking for pockets of hipster society, then
the city of Chicago should be on your destination list for places to check out. Chicago is a beautiful city with a vibrant downtown area that can be reminiscent of New York City when turning particular corners.
There is still much more to this city outside of the loop, and it’s definitely not something you could do in a single weekend. For the tourist attractions instead of the Sears Tower (It’s called the Willis Tower now, but I’ve always known it to be the Sears Tower, and by-god, it will remain that way), consider the John Hancock building. You save yourself the long lines for a similar view and enjoy a drink at The Signature Lounge overlooking the city, assuming you can drink.
If you want to go see the bean (Pictured below) for a nice photo op, consider a time early in the morning, then go even earlier than that; unless it’s the middle of the week then maybe you can get lucky. Make sure you take the time to go out to see Lake Michigan, take my word for it. There are lovely views at the Navy Pier, but there are even quieter and often more beautiful views north of the city which the Red line can conveniently take you on for a low price.
Uber Pool works great and is often cheap enough to be an alternative to public transportation. If on the other hand, you don’t mind walking to local stops or stations, a Week or 4-Day card can get you practically anywhere in the city by either train or bus, and you can buy them almost anywhere. O’Hare has a station at the airport where you can buy a card. For more information about the public transportation system, train maps, bus maps, and times click here.
If you’re looking for bars in the downtown area, I’m letting you know now, you’re doing it wrong. Most of the places where you want to spend your time enjoying a night out are all found outside the city loop. Wrigleyville is a strip across the street from Wrigley Field with a more sporty nightlife.
Sluggers is probably the most public bar on that strip, and if you don’t consider going upstairs you’ll miss out on the occasional dueling piano nights, which is neat, and their batting cages. Down the strip you’ll find many other bars and gastropubs and but best yet, the Addison Red Line Stop is literally around the corner.
Outside of Wrigleyville, there are many hip spots if you like Jazz and Blues littered around the city. If that is too old for you, then you are probably one of these hipsters in which case you’re in luck. Chicago has many places where you could get a drink with great ambiance.
Logan Square is a great spot right, off the blue line that has plenty of cocktails ready for a busy night of drinking. Buck Town and Wicker Park are artsier and smell more of hipsters (I don’t know what hipsters smell like, I imagine they all smell different), but the ambiance is chill yet still upbeat and fun. Wicker Park is also home to what I believed was a rad bar ever.
The Emporium Arcade Bar is a great place if you’re a geek like me, where you can spend your night drinking delicious beer and playing all types of arcades or in my case, pinball because my friends and I were competing for a high score to determine who bought the next round.
Links Taproom is another great in Wicker Park for the beer drinker. They have a great
system that highlights their beer list, type, alcohol percentage, and availability. It’s just overall elegant with a great selection of local craft brews to back up the statement that local craft beers in Chicago are worth checking out.
One of my favorite bars in all of Chicago though is not on a strip, and it’s probably a place where locals go, but I believe that’s why it is one of my favorite bars. Southport Lanes and Billiards is two blocks south of the Brown line Southport Station. They play great rock music from the 80’s and 90’s but great music from outside that time. They have pool tables that on certain days are ping pong tables, they have bowling lanes, they have the music, and they have drinks and food. If you’re looking for a quaint spot in this city where this hipster craze can call out to you, make a stop at Southport to check them out.
For what it’s worth, this is a small sample of the city, and if you haven’t read through my sarcasm on the hipster thing, then you probably haven’t realized that those were the coolest places in town. Chicago offers so much to see and do and so much food that this post would be doubly longer had I taken the time to try and do it some justice. For now, revel in this city of Jazz and Blues, in a city of culture and intelligence, where dozens of protesters are always giving the finger to Trump Towers in the City Loop.