Ballgame Does Chicago: A Review

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So this past weekend I was in Chicago. Lot’s of people go to Chicago in February, it makes sense. The cold wasn’t any worse than Boston and not seeing a snowbank that’s over my head on every corner was actually pretty mentally up lifting. Anyways, I’m just going to break down different areas of my trip here.

Don’t go to Navy Pier. I hate to start of with a negative here but just don’t do it, at least not in the winter. I think the outdoor stuff in the summer is fun but right now it’s the equivalent of a packed mall food court. Apparently there was a bar crawl there so one of our buddies bought us tickets thinking it might be fun. It was well intentioned but we showed up and left immediately.

Do go to the Rock n’ Roll McDonald’s. This was about a block from our hotel so it became the defacto breakfast spot. It’s just a gigantic McDonald’s. Like, the biggest McDonald’s you’ve ever seen. I’m actually pissed I never went in there late night because I imagine it is a scene and a half.

The bars. We must have went to at least a dozen bars in our time there but I’ll break down some notables:

– The Kerryman – This was basically right next to our hotel so it became kind of a ‘home base’. The off-the-boat Irish bartender Marie was a beauty. It’s kind of a different scene at night but it’s enjoyable.

– Rossi’s Liquors – One of the divest dive bars I’ve ever been to and that’s saying something. It’s a tiny little place but it’s definitely got some character. Also, if somebody offers you a shot of Malort’s just politely decline, do not take it.

– Declan’s/Old Town Pour House – I’m lumping these together because they’re only a few hundred yards away from each other in Old Town. I’d actually been to both these bars before. If you’re a normal dude who wants to drink, have sports on the TV’s and have solid female talent around I’d recommend spending your time here.

– Sedgwick’s – So we hit Sedgwicks on Saturday afternoon for like 3 hours. Apparently it’s a Nova bar but a couple of us were on Nova and we caught the second half there with some Nova bros so it worked out. Also, the waitress set us up with a 2 hour Bud/Bud light/well drinks open bar for $20 bucks a guy which was awesome. If setting up your own happy hours in Chicago is a common thing I might seriously consider moving.

– Stanley’s – I’ve been to Stanley’s a few times previously and it’s my favorite bar in Chicago. Also right next door to Sedgwick’s. If you’re out in Chicago get to Stanley’s and tell Artie behind the bar you read 114 Pembroke.

– The Hangge Uppe – The Hanggee Uppe is a late night bar. Meaning it’s open until (I think) 5am on the weekends and people don’t go there until regular bars get out at 3. I ended up here by myself at like 330am and it’s completely no holds barred in Moscow in the place. The downstairs is chaos. I’d say it’s worth checking out.

The United Center. I was a big fan of the United Center. The place is gigantic. We were sitting way up here:

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And then here for the 3rd:

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But even being way up top wasn’t a bad seat. They also have little bar set ups on the concourse which I thoroughly enjoyed. There was also lot’s of B’s fans in attendance. Hopefully this wasn’t my last visit to the UC.

Few random things:

– Italian Beef sandwiches are legit.

– Cabs are cheaper than Boston and way easier to flag down (which was to be expected).

– We were out with a few guys from the Chicago area that we knew and they would always use directions like north/east/south/west to describe where something is. Like this bar is east of whatever street. Is that a Chicago thing or am I stupid?

– Taking the train to and from O’Hare is kind of a long ride but incredibly convenient and cheap.

Overall I had a blast. Chicago’s a phenomenal city, even in the winter. With that being said, hopefully my next visit’s this summer.

– Ballgame


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