Friday, March 30, 2012


 Madison/Wabash stop serves Millennium Park and the Lakefront, and you can connect to the #124 Navy Pier bus from the station.

Some highlights of this stop are:

Storefront Theatre: The DCA Storefront Theatre offers a wide-range of exciting plays and productions with affordable ticket prices and is designed to foster the growth of Chicago's theatre companies as well as encourage public awareness and cultural appreciation of the performing arts.

Millennium Monument by OWP/P: The Millennium Monument designed by OWP/P is a nearly full-size replica of the peristyle originally in the same location between 1917 and 1953. Its columns are made of Indiana limestone while the base is built from French limestone. In appreciation of the park's founders, their names are etched into the base. Wrigley Square's tree-lined area is an inviting space for visitors to relax, stroll, and view the monument.

Being Born by Virgino Ferrari: When you drive into downtown Chicago for the first time from out of state, one of the first things you may see is Virgino Ferrari's public sculpture. Personally, I see it being a growing womb of Chicago- growing with meaning or growing with life. The inner circle being the womb, and the outer shell being Chicago's C.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion: The Jay Pritzker Pavilion is one of my favorite places to go- enjoy free concerts and rehearsals while surrounded by the music in this cool bandshell which is more of a work of art than a building.

Michigan Avenue Bridge: The beautiful Michigan Avenue Bridge connects Chicago's north and south and accommodates thousands of cars and foot passengers each day.
In the summer of 2006, the McCormick Tribune Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum opened in the southwest tower of the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Here, visitors can learn about the history of the river and view the giant gears of the bridge. This bridgehouse also once housed the men who tended to the opening and closing of the bridge to make way for passing ships.
Lake Shore Drive's Millennium Park Bike Path: The beginning of Lake Shore Drive's Millennium Park beautiful bike path starts here, and the lakefront spans about 19 miles of walking and biking trails, beaches, and parks.  

The next stop on the Loop is State/Lake.

Back to the Loop. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Some highlights off of the Madison Wabash stop of the Loop are:

Bank of America Theatre: The Bank of America Theatre was formerly named the LaSalle Bank Theatre, the Sam Shubert Theatre and the Majestic Theatre. Being the first theater built in Chicago after the Iroquois Theatre fire, the theatre was specially credited for its fire safety, also constructed to bring a more elegant audience into the vaudeville circuit. The architects, Edmund R. Krause and the Rapp Brothers, thought that by using decadent colors and textures they could attract a more upper-class crowd than vaudeville was used to. Now the theatre presents touring Broadway shows.

The Four Seasons by Mark Chagall: The Four Seasons mosaic was a gift to the city of Chicago, dedicated in 1974. This beautiful piece is located in the Chase Tower Plaza and is an attraction that many tourists and Chicagoans enjoy. 

Jewelers Row: The Jewelers Row District is a historical district known for its wholesale and retail jewelery stores, running along Wabash Avenue, primarily between East Washington Street and East Monroe Street. The buildings in the district were built between 1872 to 1941 and were designed by many architects, and the district was designated a Chicago landmark in 2003.

Chicago Cultural Center: The unique architecture of the Chicago Cultural Center is one of the attractions of the city's tourism. The Randolf St entrance and stairway with beautiful doric columns and mahogany doors, the Washington St entrance, lobby with walls of white marble and mosaic, the Tiffany dome that is supposed to be the largest in the world and the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial are all architectural highlights that draw tourists and Chicagoans alike to the Cultural Center. The building is also apart of the Chicago Pedway system.

Crown Fountain by Juame Plensa: Crown Fountain is an interactive piece of public art comprised of a black granite reflecting pool placed between a pair of giant glass towers that use LEDs to display digital videos on their inward faces. Weather permitting, the cascading water operates between May and October, with a spout of water coming out of the nozzle in the towers front face.

Cloud Gate: Also called "The Bean", Cloud Gate was said to be inspired by liquid mercury and was made to distort the skyline in an unusual, eye-catching way.

Chicago by Joan Miro: This sculpture is 39 feet and made of steel, wire, mesh, concrete, bronze and ceramic tile. It was originally named The Sun, the Moon and one Star. Its located between the Cook County Administration Building and the Chicago Temple building, just south of the Daley Center and the Picasso.

The next stop on the Loop is Randolf/Wabash.

Back to the Loop.


Adams/Wabash is the the CTA stop closest to the Symphony Center and the Art Institute of Chicago. You can connect to the #1 Indiana/Hyde Park bus off of this stop.

Some highlights of this stop are:

Symphony Center: Home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Chicago Symphony Center includes the over 2,500-seat Orchestra Hall (which dates from 1904); Buntrock Hall, a rehearsal and performance space; Grainger Ballroom, an event space overlooking Michigan Avenue and the Art Institute of Chicago; a public multi-story rotunda; Rhapsody restaurant; and administrative offices. As you can see, the elegance of the architecture of both the interior and exterior of this building is breathtaking.

Lions Sculptures by Edward Kemey: Guarding the entrance of the Art Institute of Chicago, these lions are among the city's most beloved and recognizable sculptures. The lions are made in bronze, and were installed in the front of the building in 1894.

 Art Institute of Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago was founded in 1879 as both a museum and a school. It opened at its current location in 1893, built on rubble from the 1871 Chicago fire and housing a collection of plaster casts. Since then the Institute has been acquiring and exhibiting art of all kinds and now encompasses more than 5,000 years of human expression from cultures around the world, and the school's graduate program is ranked as one of the best in the country.

Large Interior Form by Henry Moore: There are four public sculptures on display in Chicago made by the artist Henry Moore, including the one in the Art Institute of Chicago's north garden, created in 1982. He took pride in viewing his pieces in an open air environment.

Buckingham Fountain: Buckingham Fountain is located in the center of Grant Park, and was dedicated in 1927. It is one of the largest fountains in the world, designed to represent Lake Michigan and the four sea horse sculptures representing the four states surrounding the Lake- Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois. The fountain operates between 8am and 11pm and water shows occur every hour on the hour and last around 20 minutes.

Petrillo Music Shell: The Petrillo Music Shell or the Petrillo Bandshell is a outdoor amphitheater and  hosts many large annual music festivals in the city such as Chicago Blues Festival, Chicago Jazz Festival, Taste of Chicago and Lollapalooza.

Santa Fe Building: The Santa Fe building has many recognizable traits, including teh large "Santa Fe" logo on the roof, which is visible fromGrant Park across Michigan Ave and from Lake Michigan, and also notable for the round, porthole-like windows along the cornice. The building is significant as a historic site because Daniel Burnham and his staff made the 1909 Plan of Chicago in a penthouse on the northeast corner of the roof.

The next stop on the Loop is Madison/Wabash.

Back to the Loop.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Harold Washington Library- State/Van Buren

The Harold Washington Library- State/Van Buren stop of the Loop originally was to have second floor access to the Harold Washington Library, but the connection was never built. You can transfer to the Blue and Red Lines for free off of this stop, and you can hop onto the #10 Museum of Science and Industry bus from this station as well.

 Some highlights of this stop are:

Harold Washington Library: The Harold Washington Library Center is the central library for the Chicago Public Library System, and named after the first African-American mayor of Chicago. It was designed by the architectural firm of Hammond, Beeby and Babka, with large, grand arches in granite, and red bricking covering most of the exterior. The roof is ornamented with seven large painted aluminum acroteria. Inside, on the ninth floor, the library has a beautiful open winter garden, where the natural sunlight pours in through the walls of windows and the skylights.
As with all Chicago public libraries, it has free wifi internet service.

Auditorium Theatre: The Auditorium Building in Chicago is one of the best-known designs of Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. When it was finished in 1889, it was the tallest building in the city and largest building in the United States.

The Bowman & The Spearman by Ivan Mestrovic: The majestic bronze horse-back Indian sculptures are standing at gatekeepers, guarding the entrance to Congress Plaza. One thing to notice is that both seem to be missing their weapons, the bow and the spear. T

Buddy Guy's Legends: Buddy Guy's is a Blues Club with live music and real good taste in food. During lunch-time, theres a free acoustic performances for all-ages. Cover is usually $10 during the week and $20 on the weekends for live nighttime performances.

Museum of Contemporary Photography: The Museum of Contemporary Photography was founded in 1984 by Columbia College Chicago. It is well known for an active program and curating which discovers many emerging and mid-career artists. Admission is free and open to the public.

The next stop on the Loop is Adams/Wabash.

Back to the Loop.

Atlas Galleries; Michael Cheney, the Artist

Michael Cheney was awarded Chicago's Artist of the Year for 2011 and 2012, and his unique perspective on the beauty of Chicago comes out in his work:

 Autumn Light at the Water Tower

This one is one of my favorites, with the Autumn colors and the sunlight shining through the trees so distinctively. Michael's use of paints in order to depict light is impressive- each one has its own authentic, hollow glow. This piece especially is so much more expressive up close, as you can see the details of the Water Tower bricking and the bushes and apparel of the bystanders. The shadows are perfectly proportioned and gorgeous.

Blue Chicago Night

This one is another one of my favorites- the color of the lights and the reflection of them on the pavement just make this painting breathtaking. It definitely redefines my definition of the color "Electric Blue".

One woman at the showing commented on this piece, saying that you could cut out just the pavement and make that a piece on its own. I agree; the colors are so vibrant, and so wet looking.

The Polka Dot Umbrella

If none of the others, this one MUST be seen in person. The colors and details of this painting are so great. I talked with the artist and he explained how he spreads colors across from one side of the canvas to the other to create a balance, and how he first paints the architecture and then observes the way the area moves and feels before adding characters.

Chicago Be-Bop

One of his indoor pieces, this painting is lively with activity. The people, the food, even the lights seem to be moving and you can almost hear the music and conversation. I've never been to this cafe, but I'm definitely going to seek it out!
I feel like dancing when I see this piece. Doesn't it seem like that type of place?

Atlas Galleries- "Art Adoption Agency"

Thank you to Atlas Galleries and Associate Director/Curator, Emily Watson-Rice, who invited me to their showing last Friday. (The Gallery is located right off of the Chicago Red Line stop.) They were revealing the new paintings of artist Michael Cheney, who has been awarded "Chicago Artist of the Year" for two years in a row! I got to interview Emily, as well as speak with the artist himself and peruse over his work along with over 50 other Chicagoans (as they sipped champagne and nibbled on hors d'oeuvres).

Before the showing, I went to their office and main gallery in the Bloomingdale's 900 N Michigan building. The gallery was all the way at the top of the mall, and I passed so many exquisite, fashion-forward (but expensive) boutiques and shops as I went up the escalators.

When I walked into the gallery, I was immediately surrounded by vibrant, vivid, color. The walls surrounding the entrance way, extending far back into the room, were covered with beautiful paintings of everything you could think of. I didn't have much time to enjoy them because I was there for a meeting, but if I had the time, I would have spent many hours there- I promise you!

The girls working in the gallery are all happy, helpful and so welcoming. Emily herself introduced me and walked me around a little to get a feel for the gallery and its different pieces, and then we sat down to talk.

The first thing I asked her is how she selects art for the gallery- what sorts of expression and emotions she gravitates towards when she's trying to select a piece. "We're a sort of family here," she said. "We choose artists that are mid-career to established, and once we've decided to show their work, we continue in a relationship with them for as long as the artist keeps painting." She went on to explain that she tends to choose uplifting pieces with a more positive message rather than shocking. "My clients, when they come home, usually want soft, toned pieces, or lively, whimsical pieces that bring light and color into the room and make them feel secure and at peace. No one wants to see a depressive piece every day, and no one wants to associate something that they're decorating their home with, with pain or fear."

When I asked her what she thought were the strengths of the gallery, she thought for a second and then looked around at the paintings. "I really think that the Gallery's strength is its openness, welcome environment. We're really down-to-earth and approachable, here to educate people, not force them to buy anything. Whether someones coming in to buy their first piece or a painting for their extensive collection, we just want to make their experience pleasant and memorable. We even have college students come in sometimes, studying for a project or a paper."

Throughout the conversation, their approachable-ness and colorful, positive environment definitely was apparent. They try their hardest to establish a place where you can go in and explore the paintings and talk with them about the different artists and their work without any of the snootiness you can sometimes find in art galleries, or on Michigan Avenue in general.

As a curator, Emily's favorite thing is working with her clients, who live all over the world. She calls her job and the gallery an "art adoption agency" because of her passion for finding the perfect piece that will fit in someone's home and be apart of their unique daily life. She's lived in Chicago for 20 years, and loves the fact that Chicago is a "city within a garden". She and her husband hardly have to pay for events anymore- with the free concerts in the summer at the Pritzker Pavilion, and the other great things to do around the city.

Check out her Chicago World here.

After talking with Emily, I went to the showing, which was being held at their other location, down the street at 535 N Michigan. (My feet were really hurting at that point- stupid high heels- and so I took the #145 Michigan Express bus). I was a little early, so I walked through the gallery and was in awe of the art! The artist's impressive expression of Chicago's architecture and people is unique and beautiful. I was pleased to be apart of this beautiful showing.

More on the artist and the paintings here.

** quotations are paraphrased

Emily's Chicago World

 Meet Emily Watson-Rice!

As a art gallery curator, Emily's favorite thing is working with her clients, who live all over the world. She calls her job, Atlas Galleries, an "art adoption agency" because of her passion for finding the perfect piece that will fit in someone's home and be apart of their unique daily life. She's lived in Chicago for 20 years, and loves the fact that Chicago is a "city within a garden". She and her husband hardly have to pay for events anymore- with the free concerts in the summer at the Pritzker Pavilion, and the other great things to do around the city.

She worked two blocks away from the Newberry Library for a long while before discovering their rare and unique collection of original antique books, where you can look at the authentic medieval books page by page. Calligraphy and book art are only a few of Emily's interests. She looks for inspiration and art everywhere: Northwestern University's Art Gallery, the Architectural Cruise (there's even a special cruise for dog owners!) and are all places Emily pursues personal and professional art adventures.

She's been wanting to visit the Hyde Park Art Museum, with their extensive collection of Egyptian antiquities, and says one of her favorite pieces of Chicago art is the Chegall Mosaic.

The last thing she mentioned is the Full Moon Fire Jam on Foster Beach. This is a free show where fire spinners gather on the beach on a night with a full moon- and they invite anyone who can spin, as long as they go through a free safety class. I'm excited to check this one out!

Thanks, Emily!

Want to learn about more Chicagoans like you?

Monday, March 26, 2012

URL Name Change- for the LAST TIME

I changed my name for the last time- I PROMISE! The new blog URL is YourChicagoAdventureStartsHere.blogspot, but don't worry! Its the same-old, same-old thing! Sorry for the changes again! :(

I've been told over and over again that the former name, Doorstep Event, wasn't true to my blog, because I wasn't an event company or talking about events at all. So after lots of thought and deliberation, I decided to follow the direction, and changed the name... and I LOVE IT! I hope this doesn't mix anyone up! I'll be changing my twitter name and my Yelp name as well. Stay tuned to the changes!

SO SORRY and thank you for your patience! This is my first time- I'm such a baby at this! 

LaSalle/Van Buren

The LaSalle/Van Buren station of the Loop is located in the business and financial section of downtown.

You can hop onto the #1 Indiana/Hyde Park bus and in the Summertime, the #130 Museum Campus bus off of this station.

Some highlights:

Financial and Business: This station is surrounded by buildings like the US Prison Bureau, the Former Main Postal Office and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The architecture of the buildings in this area is grand, magnificent, and regal.

The Former Main Postal Office is a historic, retired old building that has been filmed in many Chicago-based movies such as Batman Begins, The Dark Night, and Transformers; Dark of the Moon. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001, it was vacated in 1997 because of the inefficiency of the postal service at the time and the opening of a new, modernized facility.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks across the United State. Besides its impressive architecture, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has a Money Museum and educational resources that draw non-business visitors to its building. Its Money Museum is free and open to the public- my parents and siblings went through this exhibit while they visited me in Chicago a year or so ago and loved it! Plus, you get free money as you leave- granted, its shredded (some assembly may be required).

CloseUp2 Jazz Club: Close Up 2 is a jazz club in the south Loop area, less than a block away from the stop, where smooth and contemporary jazz is played by a live jazz band, and as of now, there's no cover! Check out this month's and next month's shows here!

Royal Garden's Blues by Royal Garden's Blues on Grooveshark Here's one of my early favorites to get you into the jazz mood!

Jazz Showcase: Jazz Showcase's slogan is "Where Jazz lives in Chicago since 1947". Check out the schedules and upcoming shows here!

The next stop of the Loop is Harold Washington Library- State/Van Buren.

Back to the Loop.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Planning Your Chicago Staycation; Exploring Chicago for the First (thousandth) Time

Planning your Summer vacation and realize you can't afford it? Don't want to leave the city this summer... or can't? I know how you feel! Check out my new Chicago Adventures post about planning your Chicago Staycation!

Planning Your Chicago Staycation; Exploring Chicago for the First (thousandth) Time

Friday, March 23, 2012

Exciting Opportunities in Art- Coming Soon!

I'm so blessed to have this blog- its allowed me to have so many great opportunities, like the potential Chicago Park District job, and an invitation to an art gallery showing their new pieces! I had the privilege of joining Atlas Galleries honor their new pieces and artist, and I got to interview the curator, and talk to the artist himself (awarded 2011 and 2012's Chicago Artist of the Year)! I'm so excited for this next post- coming soon! Stay tuned!


The Quincy stop of the Loop is the oldest surviving stations of the 'El', having been built in 1897. The station retained much of its original decor over the years and was restored in 1988, so that it is considered one of "150 great places in Illinois" by the American Institute of Architects. It was designed by Alfred M. Hedley from wood and stamped metal, and is so quaint and beautiful with a ton of character.

Some highlights off of this stop are:

Here's me on the Sears Tower Skydeck!
Willis/Sears Tower: The Willis Tower (formerly named the Sears Tower) is a 108-story, 1,451-foot skyscraper. At the time of its completion, it was the tallest building in the world, surpassing even the World Trade Center towers in New York, and it held this rank for nearly 25 years. It remains the tallest building in the United States, and over one million tourists visit its observation deck every year.
The tower's name was changed from Sears Tower to Willis Tower in 2003, but many Chicagoans are reluctant and even refuse to acknowledge the change. Time Magazine called it one of the top 10 worst corporate name changes. (Personally, both my husband and I refer to it as Sears Tower, along with many of our friends and neighbors.)

Alexander Calder's Flamingo Sculpture: This interesting sculpture found in the Federal Plaza in front of the Kluczynski Federal Building weighs 50 tons and is over 50 feet high. The beautiful red color offsets the dark steel and glass of the buildings that surround it, and despite the large size of the sculpture, its design allows viewers to walk underneath and around it, enabling them to perceive it in human scale. The elegant animal-esque arches and appearance make it very true to its name "Flamingo".

Board of Trade Building: The Chicago Board of Trade is the world's oldest exchange, established in 1848. This Art Deco building incorporates sculptural work by Alvin Meyer and is capped by a 31 foot (9.5 m) tall statue of the Roman goddess Ceres in reference to the exchange's heritage as a commodity market. Ceres is faceless because its sculptor, John Storrs, believed that the forty-five story building would be sufficiently taller than any other nearby structure and as a result that no one would be able to see the sculpture's face anyway.

Old St. Patrick's Church: This historic old church is one of the few structures that predate the 1871 Chicago Great Fire. The two spires, representing the Eastern Church and the Western Church, are one of the architectural icons that made this building named apart of the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

Union Station and Oglivie Transportation Center: Union Station is Chicago's only inter-city train terminal and along with Oglivie, across the street, connects the city with it's suburbs and surrounding areas. There are several architecturally unique parts of this station, including it's Great Hall and it's entrances. About 57,000 people use this station daily, including 6,000 Amtrak passengers.

Oglivie has it's own shopping center and food court, and is accessible both by this station, and the Green and Pink Lines at Clinton.

The next stop on the Loop is LaSalle/Van Buren

Back to the Loop.

Kim's Chicago World

Its time to meet a real-live Chicago-ian (besides me, of course!). This beautiful woman lives in the Gold Coast (Red Line- Chicago stop), and is a freelance writer and editor. She moved to Chicago in 2005, and has lived in New Orleans and Columbus, Ohio.

Meet Kim Bookless! I asked her what sorts of places she likes to go to in Chicago, and her position on the CTA. Here are her answers:

"My favorite restaurant is Mercat a la Planxa in the historic Blackstone Hotel on South Michigan Avenue. I also enjoy going to Heaven on Seven at Ohio and Rush Streets, to get my gumbo fix. Two of my favorite sushi places are Friends Sushi in River North and Shiso in Old Town. 

I love to walk along the river -- I find it peaceful, even though there are so many tourists there. I never get tired of looking at great architecture like Marina City.

The Winter Garden on the top floor of the Harold Washington Library is a great place to get some peace and quiet in the middle of this bustling city.

Chicago has a huge entrepreneur/start-up scene, and through that I've found some interesting places like Catalyst Ranch, an event venue in the West Loop. Lots of fun and educational stuff going on out there.

One of my favorite things to do is simply to sit on my balcony with friends, drinking wine and admiring the city skyline. I live in a high rise with a 17th story south-facing balcony, so I get stellar views and sunsets.
I don't have a car, so the CTA is my best friend! I usually prefer the trains, but the buses are good, too. If the weather is nice, I walk rather than taking the CTA for short trips."

Her Chicago World: Every Chicago-ian has their own individual "Chicago world"; the restaurants, shops, theaters etc they love and visit over and over again. I am trying to find Chicagoans from all sorts of walks of life- from tourists and newbies, to the born-and-raised, we've-been-here-forever, to try and get all sorts of perspectives of Chicago and see the city through their eyes.

Kim's Chicago World is centered around the Chicago stop of the Red Line. This station connects you to Chicago's Magnificent Mile, Water Tower Place (always bustling with shoppers and tourists), Loyola University Chicago and their Loyola University Museum of Art, and Moody Bible Institute. Also, the John Hancock Center and Observatory is just north of the Magnificent Mile.

Mercat a la Planxa is a Barcelona and Spain's Catalan inspired gourmet restaurant located in the South Loop area, right off of the Harrison stop of the Red Line. From an impressive menu featuring an extraordinary selection of tapas dishes from cut-to-order charcuterie and cheeses to fresh seafood, steaks and chops, it's no wonder this is Kim's favorite restaurant! Hundred of Chicago-ians have rated this restaurant 4-5 stars! Although a little out of my own price range, I'm tempted to celebrate my next special occasion here. :)

Mercat a la Planxa is located inside the historic Renaissance Blackstone Hotel, a beautiful building built in 1910 and continues to be one of Chicago's cultural and architectural icons. The lobby, guestrooms and suites, and fifth floor hallway exhibit a most beautiful collection of art, both from famous and student artists.

I share Kim's love and delight for sushi. One of her favorites is Friends Sushi, located just South of the Chicago Red Line stop. Check out their menu- these dishes look yummy and gorgeous!

If you've never walked along the window-lined 9th floor of the Harold Washington Library, right off of the Harold Washington Library- State/Van Buren stop of the Loop, you need to check it out! The architecture is beautiful and the peaceful silence of the library, plus the rays of natural light streaming in from the windows makes it a perfect place to regroup and take a break from the hustle-and-bustle of the city!

Thanks, Kim, for sharing your favorites with us!

If any of you want to share Your Chicago World with me, I'd love to set up an interview! Email me at

Thursday, March 22, 2012

ATTN::Chicago-ians WANTED

I'm starting a new segment in my blog called Your Chicago Worlds!

I am trying to find Chicagoans from all sorts of walks of life- from tourists and newbies, to the born-and-raised, we've-been-here-forever, to try and get all sorts of perspectives of Chicago and see the city through their eyes.

My idea is to interview you about your individual "Chicago world", the restaurants, cafes, shops, theaters, pretty much ANYTHING you frequent, and then, if you want, shadow you for a part of your day, to get a feel on your story, your Chicago life, and how you enjoy Chicago. Every Chicagoan has their own little Chicago world, the area within the city they live in where they know the most about.

In my blog, everyone has something to say. I'm trying to find the nooks and crannies that make up our beloved Chicago, and you can help! If you'd like to be interviewed and want me to write about Your Chicago World, email me at

Please help me! Email me asap!


Washington/Wells is the first Loop stop of the Brown Line, and the last Loop stop of the Pink and Purple Lines. It's the second-newest stop on the Loop, having been opened in 1995, replacing two former stops- Randolf/Wells to the North, and Madison/Wells, to the South.

You can easily hop on the #124 Navy Pier bus from this stop.

Some attractions off of this station:

Cadillac Palace Theatre: Originally opened in 1926 as the New Palace Theatre, it was built in the inspiration of Fountainebleu and the Palace of Versailles (both found in France). During World War I, the U.S. government was going around to theatres and confiscated their brass in order to melt it down to make ammunition, shells, and other war-items. Instead of complying, the owners of the theatre painted all of its brass white, so that when the government came in, they were tricked into thinking it contained no brass. It was left this way and eventually forgotten until recently when the paint was scraped away and the brass was discovered.

Richard Hunt's Free Form Sculpture:  This sculpture can be found on the NW corner of LaSalle and Randolph on the front of the Illinois State Office Building. The beauty and fluidity of this piece is inspiring, and is another proud component of one of America's largest outdoor galleries. More posts on Chicago's Outdoor Sculpture Walk soon!

City Hall: Chicago City Hall's entrance features four relief panels intricately sculpted in granite by John Flanagan. Each of the panels represents one of four main concerns of city government: playgrounds, schools, parks, and water supply. Entering the building, the first thing you see is the elaborate marble stairways and bronze tablets honoring the past city halls of Chicago from 1837 to the present. Recently, in 2001, beautiful roof gardens were completed serving as a test for the impact green roofs would have on different environmental concerns in urban areas, such as the heat island effect, rainwater runoff, and the effectiveness of differing types of green roofs and plant species for Chicago's climate.

Civic Opera House: This beautiful building has been repeatedly seen as being shaped as a huge chair, and is sometimes referred to as "Insull's Throne". The Civic Opera House, home to the Lyric Opera of Chicago, is one of Chicago's historic landmarks and among the world's most beautiful buildings. Built in 1929 and fully restored in 1996, the Opera House is the second-largest opera auditorium in North America, and has the largest stage in downtown Chicago.

Oglivie Transportation Center: Three blocks away from Washington/Wells stop is Oglivie Transportation Center, one of the city's connections to its suburbs and surrounding areas. Oglivie has it's own shopping center and food court, and is accessible both by this station, and the Green and Pink Lines at Clinton.

Next stop of the Loop is Quincy.

Back to the Loop.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What to (???) in Chicago; A 1-2-3 guide to filling that blank with Chicago's best (Chicago Adventures)

Tired of trying your hardest to find new things in Chicago, but not really sure how to do it? I'm here to help! I wrote an easy, 3 step guide to finding the best stuff in Chicago- from music to food, cafes to bars, museums to parks. Check it out!

What to (???) in Chicago; A 1-2-3 guide to filling that blank with Chicago's best; by Chicago Adventures on

About Chicago; How we know you are a tourist and how to pretend you're not (Chicago Adventures)

I wrote a new blog post on my blog Chicago Adventures, this time exclusively to you Chicago visitors and newbies! Check out the 5 tips on how to be a true Chicagoan and explore Chicago like a native!

About Chicago; How we know you are a tourist and how to pretend you're not: Chicago Adventures on

Free Chicago Museum- National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago Adventures)

I reviewed the National Museum for Mexican Art on my new blog, Chicago Adventures on! When I search for free Chicago museums, I look for a) Interesting Exhibits, b) Accessible Location, c) Beautiful, Well-kept Pieces, and d) Family Friendly. Check out how the NMMA does against these expectations, and explore the museum for yourself off of the CTA's 18th stop of the Pink Line!

Free Chicago Museum- National Museum of Mexican Art; Chicago Adventures of

Transportation to the Adventure (Chicago Adventures)

I have a new blog via! ChicagoAdventures is a blog exclusively for tips on how to explore Chicago, especially for those of us who are broke. This blog post is about how the CTA can be a Chicagoan's best friend when it comes to finding free food, free music, free art, and free fun in Chicago! Check it out!

Transportation to the Adventure; by Chicago Adventures at

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Facebook Page!

My blog has a Facebook page! Now you can check out the photos and places I go to and write about, and explore Chicago not only with your feet, but with your browser too! Connect to other Chicago resources, and talk with me!

Check out Doorstep Event's Facebook page here!

Monday, March 19, 2012

95th/Dan Ryan

Unfortunately I haven't explored this stop yet. If you have, let me know in the comments section below!

The next stop of the Red Line is 87th (Northbound)

Back to the Red Line.


Unfortunately I haven't explored this stop yet. If you have, let me know in the comments section below!

The next stop of the Red Line is 79th (Northbound) or 95th/Dan Ryan (Southbound).

Back to the Red Line.


Unfortunately I haven't explored this stop yet. If you have, let me know in the comments section below!

The next stop of the Red Line is 69th (Northbound) or 87th (Southbound).

Back to the Red Line.


Unfortunately I haven't explored this stop yet. If you have, let me know in the comments section below!

The next stop of the Red Line is 63rd (Northbound) or 79th (Southbound)

Back to the Red Line.


Unfortunately I haven't explored this stop yet. If you have, let me know in the comments section below!

The next stop of the Red Line is Garfield (Northbound) or 69th (Southbound)

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Unfortunately I haven't explored this stop yet. If you have, let me know in the comments section below!

The next stop of the Red Line is Sox-35th (Northbound) or Garfield (Southbound).

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Going to the Museum of Science and Industry or the University of Chicago by way of the Red Line lets you off at the Garfield station. Also, for a little bus ride or walk, you can get to the beautiful Hyde Park neighborhood in minutes. Hyde Park is full of museums, historical buildings and landmarks, and churches. In September, the free Hyde Park Jazz Festival draws hundreds of music-loving Chicago-ians to enjoy all the different sounds of jazz.

The next stop of the Red Line is 47th (Northbound) or 63rd (Southbound).

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Yay, Sox! The Chicago Sox's Cellular Field baseball stadium is located here- and on game day, people come from far and near to watch the White Sox play.

I haven't explored this stop on the Red line much yet. If you have, let me know in the comments section below!

The next stop of the Red Line is Cermak-Chinatown (Northbound) or 47th (Southbound).

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Chinatown is just a small ways away from this Red Line stop! The buildings and shops make it feel like you're stepping right into China (well, kind of.). Bulk noodles are cheap and yummy, and sea food is fresh at any of the markets! 

More posts on this stop coming soon!

The next stop of the Red Line is Roosevelt (Northbound) or Sox-35th (Southbound).

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The Green Line Adventure

The Green Line runs almost all day, serving the West and South sides of Chicago. Unfortunately the several gang-dominated neighborhoods and the brokenness of many the areas off of the Green Line cause it to be a Line that many Chicago-ians avoid. Many stops can be potentially dangerous to visit if you don't know what you are doing. Be safe and smart, don't go alone, and plan your visit during the daytime.

Although I am not trying to discourage people from visiting these parts of Chicago (I personally live in a rough area), if you are unsure or concerned, go somewhere else. There are tons to do off of other stops of the "El", and seeing a museum or walking through a park isn't worth risking your life.

If you decide to ride the Green line and visit these areas, don't forget these quick safety tips:

Pack light. Leave your valuables at home. You don't want to attract unwanted attention to yourself and make yourself a target because of your possessions.

Stay alert. If you are listening to music, put only one earbud in. Check your surroundings and make sure you know what's going on around you.

Be calm and confident. Fearful, confused people draw the most attention. Keep your phone on hand just in case of an emergency.

Know where you're going and how to get back. Without a map, know where you're going, how to get there and how to get back to the "El". Pick routes that are well-populated and main streets and public areas. Walking down unfamiliar residential streets is unwise and dangerous. Being confident and knowing where you're going will help you get there quickly and safely.

If you absolutely have to travel in the evening or nighttime, choose a well-lit street to walk down, and call a friend while you walk. Having someone on the line calms jitters and keeps you safer because it alerts those around you that someone knows where you are and is awaiting your arrival.

(South Side)

(East Branch)
COTTAGE GROVE: There are so many things to do off of the Cottage Grove stop of the Green Line, including the campus of the University of Chicago, the Living Room Cafe, The University of Chicago hosts many free events and exhibitions. We Are Chicago is a free exhibition highlighting student contributions to a mix of organizations, social events, arts, drama, athletics, and political activism.
Just north of the University of Chicago is the university's Smart Museum of Art, a beautiful free art museum, .
The Living Room Cafe is one of the services provided by the Inspiration Corporation, providing restaurant-style meals to homeless or poor men, women and families in a therapeutic community that promotes dignity and respect. All of the meals are prepared and served by volunteers.
Jackson Park covers almost 550 acres and has a gymnasium, three multi-purpose rooms, and a fitness center, as well as a Wooded Island, (which include the Japanese styled Osaka Garden), Bobolink Meadows, and a vegetable and flower garden. Outside, the park offers three harbors, 63rd St. Beach, basketball/tennis courts, multi-purpose fields, golf course, golf driving range and an artificial turf field.


(West Branch)
ASHLAND/63RD: This stop is located in the West Englewood/Englewood neighborhood, an area in dire need of improvement. Crime is considered among the highest in the country, and the deteriorating infrastructure and the need for local medical care is evident. 

HALSTED: The Halsted station is on campus of the Kennedy-King College, one of Chicago's many city-colleges that offer diploma and GED programs, as well as Associates and Certificate programs and degrees.

(North to Loop)
Washington Park's Fountain of Time
GARFIELD: The Garfield stop drops you off right in Washington Park. Located in the Washington Park/Woodlawn neighborhood, Washington Park covers almost 370 acres and features two gymnasiums, a photography lab, dance studio, racquetball court, fitness center, game room, and multi-purpose rooms. It also has a nature area, a Harvest Garden and an arboretum. Outside, the park offers a lagoon, aquatic center, three playgrounds, basketball/ tennis courts, baseball, football, soccer, cricket, and softball fields.
On the other side of the park is DuSable Museum of African-American History, free on Sundays and now featuring an exhibit named Journey of Hope in America: Quilts Inspired by President Barack Obama, besides their permanent exhibits. 
A bus ride or a long walk will get you to the Museum of Science and Industry, in Jackson Park.

51ST: 51st street station is located in the Washington Park/Grand Blvd neighborhoods of Chicago. President Barak Obama's former residense is a bus ride away east in the Kenwood neighborhood, a fairly wealthier area known for its large homes. Across the street from his house, is KAM Isaiah Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in Chicago. The beautiful building was inspired by the Byzantine period of Judaism, and designated a Chicago landmark in 1981.

47TH: The  47th street stop of the Green Line is just west of the Harold Washington Cultural Center, named after the first African-American mayor and is a performance facility located in the same site as a former black theatre. It was the object of some criticism as it was being built, and after many financial hardships and under-usage, it was given to the City Colleges of Chicago to use as a Performing Arts venue for their programs.
Also off of this stop is the Consulate General of Jamaica.


INDIANA: The Indiana stop is a couple blocks south of the South Side Community Art Center.  As the oldest African American Art Center of its kind, it takes pride in its past and present contributions to the development and showcasing of emerging and established artists.

Victory Monument
35TH-BRONZEVILLE-IIT: Off of this stop is the Illinois Institute of Technology, De La Salle Institute, the Board of Education of Chicago, and the Chicago Police Headquarters, all located in the Bronzeville neighborhood.
Victory Monument, located at the intersection of 35th and King Drive,  was built to honor the Eighth Regiment of the Illinois National Guard, an African-American unit that served in France during World War I.

 ROOSEVELT: Roosevelt station of the Green Line is a bus ride from Museum Campus, including the Field Museum of Natural History, the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, and Soldier Field.


The Green Line only serves the Adams/Wabash, Madison/Wabash, Randolf/Wabash, State/Lake and Clark/Lake Loop stations.

(West Side)

CLINTON: Just out of the Loop, Clinton station on the Green (and Pink) line is right next to Oglivie Transportation Center that connects the city to its suburbs. Restaurants, boutiques and shops are overflowing from the city into this area.

MORGAN: The Green and Pink Line's NEW STOP, coming soon this year! Stay tuned- so many new places are opening in this area to accommodate the stop, in addition to the attractions that have raised cause to undertake its construction.

ASHLAND: Transfer to the southwest-bound Pink Line at the Ashland stop of the Green Line, in Chicago's Near West Side. Ashland is the closest "El" station to the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls NBA team and the Chicago Blackhawks NHL team. It is also directly adjacent to Union Park, venue for the Intonation Music Festival and the Pitchfork Music Festival.



CONSERVATORY-CENTRAL PARK DRIVE: This station is located in Garfield Park, near the Garfield Park Conservatory. There are many beautiful sculptures around the unique Garfield Park Field house. The Conservatory always has free admission, and is an that attraction Chicago-ans from all around come to see.

PULASKI: Pulaski stop of the Green Line is located in the West Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago.



CENTRAL: Central is located in the Austin neighborhood of the West Side.

AUSTIN: The Austin stop of the Green Line is located on the sound end of Austin Park, in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago.

RIDGELAND: Ridgeland station is the begining of the beautiful, historically, culturally, and commercially rich town of Oak Park.

OAK PARK: The Oak Park stop of the Green Line is the closest "El" stop to the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, located in one of three historic districts of Oak Park. It is specifically found in the Frank Lloyd Wright-Prairie School of Architecture Historic District, which includes 27 Wright-designed structures as well as other historical and architecturally significant buildings.

HARLEM/LAKE: The Harlem/Lake station is located in downtown Oak Park, and home of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County Headquarters. This beautiful "suburb" of Chicago is filled with gorgeous houses with interesting architecture, and lots of shopping and galleries. 

Conservatory-Central Park Drive

This station is located in Garfield Park, near the Garfield Park Conservatory. There are many beautiful sculptures around the unique Garfield Park Fieldhouse.

The Garfield Park Conservatory always has free admission, and is an attraction Chicago-ians from all around come to see.


This station is the closest "El" station to the Museum campus and Soldier Field.

I haven't explored this stop yet; if you have, let me know!

The next stop of the Red Line is Harrison (Northbound) or Cermak-Chinatown (Southbound).

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Harrison lets you off into the South Loop area, where you can find the Harold Washington Library, the Chicago Stock Exchange and night life activity.

The next stop of the Red Line is Jackson (Northbound) or Roosevelt (Southbound).

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The Jackson stop is surrounded by the historic Chicago City Hall, the Richard J. Daley Center, various other government buildings, the Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park, and the city's theater district along Randolph Street. This station also has a free underground tunnel connecting the Red and Blue Lines and is connected to the Chicago Pedway system. A few blocks west is the Sears/Willis Tower, and directly south of the stop is the Harold Washington Library, a beautiful historic building that is architecturally magnificent.

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Monroe continues the State Street Shopping experience and connects the train to a ton of buses, like the #2 Hyde Park Express, #6 Jackson Park Express and the #10 Museum of Science and Industry (which will also get you walking distance to the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum). Walkable from the Monroe stop is the free Millennium Park with it's popular tourist attractions (The Bean, The Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the Buckingham Fountain, etc), Grant Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, and so much more!

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The Lake station is a transfer point from the Red Line to the other CTA trains, and continues the State Street Subway. The stop is also a connection to Millennium Station and the Blue Line by way of the Chicago Pedway system- a collection of underground tunnels between several different inner-Loop businesses and locations. During the day, you can find street performers playing music and doing acts on the station platform for money.

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