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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, March 5

Gapers Block

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Andrew / March 23, 2007 1:54 PM

Inspired by the 150 great places list linked to yesterday.

mike / March 23, 2007 2:33 PM

The park surrounding Pleasant Home in Oak Park.

YAJ / March 23, 2007 2:59 PM

Great list and great question, especially for me since I travel all around the state. My favorite Illinois place lately is Pere Marquette State Park in the southwestish part of the state. I just recommended it to a friend yesterday. And now I see the Lodge made the 150 list.

brian / March 23, 2007 3:25 PM

One that doesn't require Flash for me to view it?

Otherwise, probably the steps of the Aquarium at dusk looking towards downtown.

loadzone / March 23, 2007 4:03 PM


spook / March 23, 2007 4:17 PM

at 4:25 in the pm on a Friday, being one of the few trule soldiers still holding down this Fort,( cause thats just how I roll) my favorite place will be what ever bar I will be getting my swerve on in a few hours or so, yo!

JS / March 23, 2007 5:32 PM

In Illinois - Matthiessen State Park in the fall.

Shylo / March 23, 2007 6:00 PM

The Thompson Center is pretty different.

And the Bahai Temple in Glenview is incredible.

And I love being inside the Music Box.

The Cancer Survivors' Garden by the Daley Centennial Plaza.

ken / March 23, 2007 6:27 PM

JS - I second Matthiessen State Park - that canyon is awesome - it is equally cool in the spring when the water is flowing.

Another fav of mine is Glacial Park near Richmond, Il by the Wisconsin border.

Oh yeah Galena is nice too.

The area around Cairo down at the tip is interesting as well.

Ramsin / March 23, 2007 6:54 PM


SOUSBOY / March 23, 2007 8:12 PM

So I think that Apple Canyon with its rolling hills are something that should be seen.

Mike / March 23, 2007 8:30 PM


dave / March 23, 2007 8:36 PM

Some forgotten corner of Chicago at 4am.

Eamon / March 23, 2007 9:53 PM

Top of the Hancock.

p / March 23, 2007 9:54 PM


Shylo / March 24, 2007 12:09 AM

How about just "Chicago" we name actual places or buildings or intersections?

Driver / March 24, 2007 12:24 AM

It use to be Funks Grove on old US 66 just south of Bloomington-Normal. It was a short stretch on 66 that was totally tree lined on both sides and on a hot summer's day with or without air conditioning one could feel the large temp difference those large shade trees made.

But, when they redid 66 they put the new I55 just east of it, so you miss it completely unless you are willing to get off and get on the old 66 somewhere in Bloomington.

The modern consolation is that they put in a nice large rest stop now just east of that area on I55 and one can get a little feel for those trees as well as read up on history of Funks Grove and the area.

nutsackylacky / March 24, 2007 8:01 AM

Shylo said:

And the Bahai Temple in Glenview is incredible.

Incredible indeed if it was actually in Glenview. I think it looks like the NFL Hall of Fame.

My hometown of Riverside is pretty cool if you're into planning (or other wise, I suppose).

michael / March 24, 2007 8:13 AM

Alfred Caldwell Lilly Pond is a serene part of town that I like.

I particularly like those parts of Illinois where I'm on the highway, late at night, and approaching the city, from any direction. I always find myself transfixed by the skyline, and I find myself squeezing the gas peddle a little firmer.

Anyway, great question, especially for the upcoming camping season.

Meghan / March 24, 2007 9:44 AM

i'm partial to the beer garden at Moody's pub in the summer. also most other sidewalk cafés, beer gardens and places with rooftop dining.

Baldeesh / March 24, 2007 10:44 AM

The Skydeck at sunset is pretty neat.

I also like Starved Rock State Park, even though it's been a few years while since I've been there.

Riverside is like the Twilight Zone. I love it, but it's a mindfuck every time. Luckily, I have 2 young cousins that know their way around, otherwise we'd get all sorts of lost coming back from ice cream at Grumpy's.

Shylo / March 24, 2007 2:11 PM

Oh, it's in Glencoe isn't it?

Andrew / March 24, 2007 3:42 PM

Wilmette, actually. It's about three blocks north of Evanston on Sheridan Road.

printdude / March 24, 2007 4:12 PM

A stretch of the Fox River with sandstone walls four stories high, just above Wedron.
Wrigley Field at Sunset.
Buckingham fountain at sunrise.
My own backyard on any summer afternoon.
That golf course I love so much, the one with coyote and deer.

C-Note / March 24, 2007 8:50 PM

My car on I-55 South anywhere before St. Louis, 70-80 mph. That's where I can hear Aretha best.

roderick / March 24, 2007 9:09 PM

Allerton Park, Monticello, IL, near Champaign.

Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois, home of Cave in Rock. Yarrrr, pirates were there!

Garfield Park Conservatory. Plants rule.

The lobby of the Chicago Theater. That place is awesome.

Too many other places to name. I love Illinois...and that makes me quite the dork.

winediva / March 25, 2007 9:46 AM

The Dixie Truck Stop on Hwy 55 about 150 south of Chicago. They have a Route 66 museum that includes a pair of earrings made from the red, yellow, and green lights off an old route 66 stoplight. Milkshakes are pretty good, too.

peanut / March 25, 2007 12:48 PM

I'll second Allerton Park.

Also, biking the city late at night, with the streets to yourself.

Cheryl / March 25, 2007 12:55 PM

US Cellular Field.

matt / March 25, 2007 6:46 PM

The state parks -- being an Illinois native with a father bent on cheap summer vacations, I've been to about a dozen different ones, and each has its own cool features. Non-natives and people who only know the state via driving the highways are amazed when taken to places such as Rock Cut, Starved Rock, Illinois Beach SP, among many others.

Also, the exceptionally cool hiking/biking trails that crisscross the state on old canal beds and/or railroad rights of way such as the Hennepin Canal trail, or the Grand Illinois Trail.

PMan / March 25, 2007 10:49 PM

1. The boathouse pavillion in Humboldt Park
2. Ardmore Beach
3. The bleachers
4. The lake
5. The corner tapper

j / March 25, 2007 11:28 PM

my head

Joe / March 26, 2007 6:29 AM

I once climbed up an abandoned grain elevator located near 144th and Halsted.

The view from way up top was spectacular in every direction.

Jill / March 26, 2007 10:02 AM

I'd vote for Starved Rock too.

In high school I always loved driving Thorton-Lansing Rd (nice and curvy, higher speed limit, I think looking at the quarry is pretty cool).

In Chicago I like the sanctuaries of Wrigley Field and the Chicago Temple. In their own way, each provides a nice respite from the hubbub of the city.

skafiend / March 26, 2007 10:35 AM

Another vote for Starved Rock...

But since gas is skyhigh and I have to stick close to home I'd say...
heading south on Lake Shore Drive just before you get to the North Ave. entrance ramp. The view of the North Michigan Ave. skyline makes me glad I live in Chicago.

Subsequenly, the view of the city skyline coming in from the West. It looms up like Emerald City or something...

The rocks on the south end of the lakefront. We use to go there drinking when we were younger.

The Midway Plaisance (sp?). I love just standing at one end and looking down at dusk.

The view from my 11th floor bedroom window on Sheridan near Hollywood. I got lucky...

Baldeesh / March 26, 2007 10:39 AM

Jill -

I used to live on Thornton-Lansing Road! When I was a kid, we used to go on nature walks at Wampum and the other forest preserves in the area.

And the quarry is pretty awesome. I wonder if they give tours anymore.

Mac / March 26, 2007 11:06 AM

Lost somewhere in Anna Davlantes' eyes.

Jill / March 26, 2007 11:22 AM

Hey Baldeesh--

There ARE quarry tours--2 dates this year (one in June, one in Oct). Cool!

Sir Charles / March 28, 2007 5:28 AM

nomatter where in the world, my favourite place is in my girls arms!!aaahhh....bliss

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