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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

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Andrew / June 12, 2006 12:22 AM

Other than hell, of course. Question suggested by Anne.

Depends on where he/she is in the city, but if it's the Loop, I'd say hit the Art Institute or Millennium Park. If they're waiting on a Cubs game or something, I'd send them to Uncle Fun.

printdude / June 12, 2006 7:45 AM

I'd send them to the Signature Room for a drink and quick look-see. Quick ride, and view is hard to beat.

J / June 12, 2006 8:16 AM

"That's not enough time to do anything, maybe just get a snack and check your email."

steven / June 12, 2006 8:33 AM

If they're clsoe, I'd say Millenium Park. Easy way to kill an hour. Or a walk up Mich Ave. Great people watching.

MikeH / June 12, 2006 8:37 AM

I would definitely direct him/her to The Art Institute...

Even with only an hour (or two) to kill, one could still take in many of the world's famous paintings, including Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Grand Jatte, Nighthawks, Paris Street, Rainy Day and American Gothic...

Atul / June 12, 2006 9:14 AM

The CAF Historic Skyscrapers tour. I'm not normally a fan of tours, honestly, but this is an exceptionally great way to explore Chicago on foot and learn about its history, architecture, and engineering over a couple hours.

Terminal Verbosity / June 12, 2006 9:29 AM

Sears Tower skydeck, then Navy Pier (ferris wheel's a must!); they can lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimps or head over to the dining mecca on n0rth Clark and choose between Ed Debevick's, Rainforest Cafe or Hard Rock. If they have time, Water Tower Place.

I guess this is why I don't have many friends.

Appleby / June 12, 2006 9:53 AM

When my sister and her kids were in town for 3 hours (between Amtrak trains) I gave them the short version of the downtown architecture tour: we went to the Marquette and Monadnock Buildings, the Rookery, 190 S. Lasalle, the Board of Trade (the kids love to play the card game Pit, so they thought that the real thing was cool), and then breezed by Millenium Park. They live in a very small western town, so the density of downtown (so many people!) and the impressive architecture (such big buildings!) made them feel like they were really having a Big City adventure. Next time they pass through: China Town.

JP / June 12, 2006 1:19 PM

It is a little known fact that there are still a few operating brothels in downtown Chicago and a male friend of mine tells me you can be in an out in half an hour, unless that is you want to wait for someone in particular. I recommend it to all my visiting friends as a joke but I have been taken up on the offer more than once.

charlie D / June 12, 2006 1:35 PM

Mr Beef

lara / June 12, 2006 1:58 PM

well, the finest way to spend 30 minutes in this city has to be in the galleries at the cultural center. free, always innovative work in at least one gallery, curated with a restrained yet accessible hand, and usually from a chicago artist or with a chicago theme. then, how could you pass up the finest cup of coffee on the planet up the street at intelligentsia?

fluffy / June 12, 2006 2:09 PM

I'd send them to the Chicago Cultural Center- one of my favorite places in Chicago. I'd suggest they get on the CTA to check out the loop, then walk up Michigan Ave, stop by a little family-owned Italian place I know, and if they have time, a museum or the Jazz Record mart.-- It would depend on what the person likes, really. My sister has kids, so the Children's museum could be fun for them. My nephew would love Navy Pier, my friend would like Cal's, and my Mom would love any show. It depends on the person and what part of town they're in.

paul / June 12, 2006 2:22 PM

I just took some out-of towners on an hour tour. Down Michigan Ave, over the bridge, pointed at some buildings, then into Millenium Park. We took advantage of the free trolley on Michigan Ave to save time getting back to the starting point.

If they'd had a full 90 minutes, I would have put them on an architectural boat tour, which is what I do with all out-of-towners.

Trouble Guy / June 12, 2006 2:34 PM

Get in a fight in Lake MI. That is the only way to taste the blood sweat & tears of 400 generations of manimals trying to make a buck the hard way in the windy-windy. RECOMMENDED FOR SWINGERS ONLY.

Anthony / June 12, 2006 3:02 PM

The Wiener Circle.

VinceJose / June 12, 2006 3:25 PM

Millenium Park in the Summer. The Art Institute in the winter.

spook / June 12, 2006 3:34 PM

I like the Millenium Park, but then show them more about how we handle our priorities,ÖÖ a Lower Wacker Drive visit. Then explain about the on going corruption scandal thatís dominated the front pages of the Trib/ Suntimes for the last six weeks and end the tour at City Hall

New Median / June 12, 2006 4:01 PM

Grab a Bretzel and hang out in Millenium Park. If they feel like heading north they can get a picture with the Chicago theater sign and check out what's going on in the ABC State Street news studio.

Pete / June 12, 2006 5:55 PM

Home Depot and then Bed Bath & Beyond, I don't know if they'll have enough time

Emily Booth / June 12, 2006 8:46 PM

I'd say grab a cab/151/156/22 and go to Lincoln Park Zoo. Walk past the seal pool and the Lion House past the carousel to the Primate House. Walk thru the Primate House. Lots of new births! Exit the Primate House and walk the path into Regenstein Center for African Apes. Be immersed in an environment with gorillas and chimps. Exit RCAA, walk past the zebras and the flamingos, enjoy the greenery and grab a Chicago hot dog on the way out. Your only cost is the hotdog and bus or cabfare.

Brandy / June 12, 2006 9:31 PM

Pick up falafel or schwarma at Oasis Cafe at the back of the Wabash Jewelers Mall.

Head to Millenium Park, sit and watch Chicago go by.

Behold the Bean.

Cross Michigan and enjoy the shiny mosaic bounty inside the Chicago Cultural Center.

Walk north on Michigan. Loiter by the river. Gander at the Wrigley building.

Cross Michigan again and look at all the pieces of World's architecture embedded in the Tribune Buildings first floor.

Then... I dunno. Michigan Ave generally scares me, but that's my fave chunk to show off to visitors. Perhaps end up at Wow Bao at Water Tower Place?

Leelah / June 12, 2006 10:11 PM

For an hour or two? Clearly they should check out the Dan Ryan.

Spook / June 12, 2006 10:52 PM

"Your friend from out of town has an hour or two to kill between meetings."

said friend must be a real big shot, huh.

Carlotta / June 13, 2006 6:27 AM

Trying to jam too many activities in a brief period of time is wearying in & of itself, not to mention doing it between two meetings. My suggestion would be limited to wandering the Chicago Cultural Center so as to take in its grandeur and the relative solitude.

Terminal Verbosity / June 13, 2006 9:20 AM

Lookit all the nods for Millenium Park. Who knew actual Chicagoans were as enamored by as outsiders.

It seems like a tourist trap, but the architectural cruises up the river are the absolute best way to see/learn about this city. Just take an umbrella for certain bridges.

Daley / June 13, 2006 9:59 AM

find spook. beat 'im up.

Jeffrey D. / June 13, 2006 10:45 AM

With only one hour to kill, I look for high density population areas with secluded spots contained within. Union Station works well; as does Marshal Field's. The difficulty lies in muffling the screams of my victims and cleaning up the blood I'm trying not to spill because I really need some good gravy to choke down some of the senior citizens.
If only I could mail-order more cambodian boys!

Lody / June 13, 2006 12:56 PM

Marshall Fields
Millenium Park
Water Tower Place
Berghoffs Cafe
Gino's East
Chicago style hot dogs

Sigh... makes me miss home.

matty / June 13, 2006 1:00 PM

am I the only one who has to scroll all the way to the bottom of the left column to find fuel?

I think gb's layout is all screwed up.

Andrew / June 13, 2006 1:48 PM


You're not the only one. Seems to be a problem with IE that suddenly cropped up and crapped out in the last couple days. We're working on it.

Oketo / June 13, 2006 2:29 PM

If in the Loop - a walk along the river, ride the Brown Line around the Loop and check out buildings or go to the top of either the Pittsfield, 29th Floor of Daley Center (Law Library) or any of the various parking garages for a cool (and free) view of the city.

Yet Another Jennifer / June 13, 2006 4:50 PM

Take the orange or brown line from Library to Clark/Lake. Walk through goofy Thompson Center. Ride the glass elevators only if itís not starting or quitting time for throngs of state workers. Walk past Daley Center & Marshall Fields. Eat at Heaven on 7. Go to the Cultural Center for great architecture, free art shows, tiffany mosaic ceilings, etc. The GAR room has great view of Millenium Park, which seems to be the must see.

Spook / June 13, 2006 7:15 PM

hope the blue line to Humbolt Park to score a bad of that heroin cut with Fentanyl
that jukies from here to China have been raving about.... I hear that suff is killer!

mike-ts / June 14, 2006 1:25 AM

I usually send them over to the World's Fair Hotel, run by Dr. H.H. Holmes. It's kind of a strange place, with hidden rooms, staircases that lead nowhere, and some kind of strange wooden chute. But no one who I have ever sent there has ever returned with a complaint. So I guess he was good at helping them kill time.

Sawbuck / June 14, 2006 8:08 AM

I do not have or need friends. I have evolved beyond friends. I am a rock. I am an island. You are weak and stupid and meaningless.

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