I’ve lived in Chicago for going on 12 years now. And although I’ve lived here for so long there are quite a few touristy (and even local) things that I haven’t done. I’ve never been to a Cubs game (I know GASP!) nor a Bears game. I’ve never gone to the Southside St. Patricks Day Parade. Last year was my first time going to the Festival of Lights Parade and I’ve never gone to a music festival here in the city. I typically stay away from touristy things in the city because it truly is part of my love/hate relationship with Chicago. There are so many great things about the city but it can be quite frustrating when you’re going someplace (especially in the summer) in a hurry and a crowd of tourists are literally blocking the entire sidewalk to watch a street performer. As a general rule, I stay away from Michigan Avenue in the Summertime (and State Street for that matter) and right around Christmas. The sidewalks are packed with out of towners and can make even what should be a quick errand turn into hours. Tourism though is great for Chicago, and I can understand why people want to come check out the city and all the things it has to offer!
Even though I generally avoid big touristy spots like Navy Pier (I used to actually work as an intern at The Chicago Shakespeare Theater so I was there on a regular basis) this past weekend I had to head up there…on a Saturday…when the weather was beautiful. I was popping into a College Fair to speak to two reps for some colleges overseas about switching my current grad program to something new and the options, perks and help the schools provide for international students. Good thing I did! They both told me for a Fall Semester, you need to apply ASAP, the grad programs are small and the space is VERY limited. So now I’m full speed ahead for grad school applications. Yippee Skippee!
After my little meet and greet I decided to walk outside along the pier because there were hundreds of high school students and their parents milling around plus a ton of tourists walking around inside. Outside was slightly less crowded and the sun was out!