Here's my recent quick trip report for an interview in Chicago.
Arrived Saturday evening at O'Hare. Got my luggage and took the El to the Red Chicago stop (requiring a transfer). Compared to Atlanta, I was definitely a bit frustrated with the El, as it was rather dirty and smelly and not as convenient for someone with a big bag from the airport. Nonetheless, I arrived over an hour later at my stop, went into the Hilton Garden Inn to ask for directions, and walked over to the Fairfield Inn on Ontario. Decor was not as nice as Courtyard, but it was just fine for my needs (except for very slow internet in the room). I did not use their breakfast, unfortunately. Ate dinner at a nearby TGI Fridays which really hit the spot!
Had brunch at West Egg Sunday morning with friends and I enjoyed that, despite getting lost (we originally settled on Yolk but found it too crowded). Nonetheless, my getting lost meant that I got to inadvertently explore Streeterville, which I enjoyed. I took the El to the Art Institute of Chicago, stopping in the Palmer House to ask for directions (OMG the lobby was unreal. I didn't want to leave!). I loved the Art Institute and really marveled in the architecture and impressionism. Stayed maybe 2.5 hours there. I then took the El again to two more places, the Wicker Park area (Division) and Boystown (Belmont) taking time to explore both neighborhoods and walking around quite a bit. The Lakeview area was definitely much more appealing to me than the Wicker Park area - I'm more of a fan of larger apartment buildings and condos, and I appreciated the commercial options more in Lakeview than Wicker Parker. FWIW, an intern told me that he has a studio in Lincoln Park, so it's good to know that small but nice housing options are possible even on our low salary. Had a drink at Minibar, which I appreciated because it was elegant inside and not very crowded. Good "me time." High-tailed it back to Michigan Avenue for a bit of shopping before an early dinner and football watching at Grand Lux - again something that hit the spot.
Today was all interview until taking a cab to O'Hare. I definitely appreciated my hotel only being two blocks from the interview site. I didn't even get lost!
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