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Chicago, As Seen By the Times

By Matt Wood in Miscellaneous on Sep 15, 2006 6:15PM

chicagoist_2006_09_chiny.jpgChicagoist is always curious as to what people from other places think of our fair city, not counting the slack-jawed tourist teenagers in lettermen jackets on Michigan Avenue. Today's New York Times provides one glimpse from our bigger brother on the coast with a 36-hour tour of Chicago.

They suggest eschewing the usual tourist attractions to get a feel for our "City of Neighborhoods" reputation. Of course, they still can't pass up starting in Millennium Park, offering up one hidden gem, a miniature golf course on Monroe in Grant Park that we didn't even know was there. Next they swing through the West Loop for the obligatory Oprah-spotting, dinner at the new Saltaus, then some drinks and billiards at G-Cue on Randolph and Morgan. This last suggestion left us scratching our head, since we live around there and never thought that G-Cue, which is seemingly under constant construction because of the paper tacked to their windows, looked all that appealing. We would have stopped at the Chicago Chocolate Cafe instead.

The rest of the suggested trip is a mix of the old neighborhoods including Lincoln Square, Andersonville, Pilsen, and Hyde Park, plus guided tours like the ever-popular Architecture Foundation river cruise and our personal favorite, the Untouchables Gangster Tour. We know the bad pinstriped suits and cap guns are dorky, but to this day we love having taken it and being able to tell visitors exactly where John Dillinger was killed.

All in all a nice little weekend, and true to their promise they avoided many of the name-brand attractions. But let's see if we can top that. What kind of off-the-beaten-path tour would you put together if you had just 36 hours in Chicago?