Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Best of Chicago

The Chicago Reader just published their annual “Best Of” issue.  While I like some of what they wrote, I think I can offer a few extra bests of my own. 

Best place in Chicago to get a drink where they mostly leave you the hell alone: Cunneen’s

A few wayward oddballs might come your way, but it’s a good place to be alone.  And drinking. 

Best place in Chicago to wait three hours for soft pretzels: Longman and Eagle.

But they’re pretty damn good.  And you get to drink while you wait.  Oh, and they serve other food as well, but I have no memory of that.  That’s what three hours of drinking will do. 

Best name of a Chicago restaurant that I will never visit: Girl and the Goat.

I’m sure the bone marrow is delicious but now that I know this is not a satanic metal themed eatery, I can’t see myself going there. 

Best place in Chicago to get an anonymous blowjob: The Bijou Theater.

I’m sure the Steamworks in Boystown is great, but it looks so clean and nice, not the right atmosphere for glory holes and not-so-private booths.  I mean, where’s the dank?

Best place in Chicago to find a severed lamb’s head: Howard Street Beach.

Uh huh. 

Best place in Chicago(land) to get a giant scoop of ice cream: The Plush Horse.

Way out of the city limits but worth the drive.

Best evidence of the former mayor’s shortsightedness and idiocy: the parking meter deal.

Burn in hell, Ritchie.  Burn in fucking hell. 

Best evidence of the current mayor’s tyrannical rule: too soon to tell.

I mean, pick one.  And he’s not done. 

Best fuck up of a great bookstore: Seminary Co-op’s move.

I know they had no choice in the matter, but damn, they had a great location that was part of the charm.  Now relocated to an ugly Soviet-style building, I can only cringe with each visit. 

Best bathroom in a used bookstore: Powell’s on 57th Street.

The graffiti ranging from “Talk nerdy to me” to quotes by Nietzsche provides reading almost as good as the many nearby books.  In some cases, the graffiti is better.

Best place to discuss politics and poetry while fending off a feisty feline: Selected Works Used Books & Sheet Music. 

2nd Fridays provide a chance to mingle with students, art lovers, quasi-philosophers, bookstore patrons wondering what the hell they wandered into, and Hodge the cat. 

Best place to go mad while looking for parking: the north side.

South siders, you’re right.  There’s nowhere to park.  You’d do better to stay on your side of town.  Please. 

Best place to spend a shit load of money on a useless degree: Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Studies.

Well, that is if you major in creative writing. 

Best place to find hipsters: Wicker Park.

While no longer the heroin capital of Chicago, there are still plenty of skinny people on Milwaukee and Damen, but they now wear skinny jeans.  And they intentionally buy ironic T-shirts as opposed to the junkies who bought theirs for 35 cents at a thrift store.

Best place to feel your soul slide out of you: rush hour traffic.

Pick an expressway, any expressway.

Best place to watch Wrigleyville burn when the Cubs win the World Series: The New York Private Residences. 

A highrise building with a view of the ballpark, when the Cubs finally go all the way, and the inevitable riot follows, The New York will be the best, safest place to be.  Pop some popcorn, crack an Old Style, and enjoy the show.  If you ask a Cubs fan, it'll happen next year. 

Best place to hate on tourists: The Magnificent Mile.

The Bank of American Theatre, now showing The Book of Mormon and previously the home of Jersey Boys, is a close contender, but you can't beat the Mag Mile for finding deer-in-the-headlight tourists who don't know how to obey traffic signals. 

Best place to get shot: too many.