If you want to know what makes Chicago such a special place to visit, just ask a local—and that’s exactly what we did! Join us as we explore this world-famous city with five LGBT individuals who live, work, play, and create here. The Windy City is filled with wonders just waiting to be experienced and enjoyed. From one-of-a-kind galleries and museums to cutting-edge theatre, exceptional tours, and delectable restaurants, there is truly something for everyone in this beautiful Midwestern metropolis.
Tell us about yourself and what you do for a living?
I am the executive director for Northalsted Business Alliance. Essentially, we operate as the chamber of commerce for the surrounding Boystown businesses. I have a really strong team and board that enable us to not only assist small businesses, but also foster the environment to throw large events like Chicago Pride Fest and Northalsted Market Days (www.northhalsted.com).
How long have you been living in Chicago?
Six year and six days.
A friend is coming to Chicago for the first time… Please describe the perfect weekend in Chicago.
Oh lord, how long is this publication? I mean, can I have 10-15 pages? I’ll describe what I do when people come to visit me from out of town. First, we grab breakfast at Ann Sather (www.annsather.com). I’m usually pretending to be on a diet, so I will secretly order their amazing cinnamon rolls and act surprised when the server comes back with a giant plate of these amazing pastries. It’s BYOB, so we are getting nice and warmed up for a day of adventure. Next, we hop on the Red Line heading downtown to embark on one of the Wendella Architectural Tours (www.wendellaboats.com); just do it, trust me. Chicago has an amazing juxtaposition of new and old architecture and even after living here for six years, I am still amazed by it all. We leave the boat early afternoon, so we will probably take a quick break by grabbing some coffees and walking through Millennium Park to people watch, or maybe popping into a museum or some shops. It’s time to go change because we have reservations at Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club (www.kitkatchicago.com) to sip on martinis and watch their entertainers dance the house down during dinner. After dinner, we head out to the Green Mill (www.greenmilljazz.com) or Uptown Underground (www.uptownunderground.net) for a nightcap and music. Remember, Chicago bars are open an extra hour on Saturdays, so your favorite place could be open until 5 A.M. Again, it is very difficult to pinpoint one thing—there are hundreds of historical sites, amazing stores/shops, wonderful neighborhoods, and one of the most beautiful lakes bordering Chicago! You could literally grab some waters and spend all day playing volleyball and hanging out with friends just as easily as you could spend a night eating steak and listening to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (www.cso.org).
It’s 3 A.M., and you’re starving after a night out…what place would you recommend?
This is a diplomatic way to say drunk eats. I can only recommend what I know, and that’s Taco Burrito Palace. Every neighborhood is peppered with these small shops that “shell” food out during the late hours. Honestly, if you came to visit, and you were hungry at 3AM, I’d be whipping up late night food in my apartment and shaking up some delicious cocktails.
What is the best place to get a great view of the city?
Signature Room (www.signatureroom.com) in the John Hancock Building.
Please finish this sentence: Don’t leave Chicago without…
A plan to come back.
What’s one souvenir to bring back from Chicago?
Garrett’s popcorn (www.garrettpopcorn.com), at least that’s what my family will tell you!