Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I was in Chicago very briefly this weekend for the Chicago Marathon; several of my friends from the 311th MI Bn (101st Airborne Division) were running in the event and others of us from the same unit were there supporting them. For us, the whole event was dedicated to our dear friend Todd Drobnick who was killed in Iraq several years ago. It was really great seeing some old friends, savoring some memories, making some new ones and even planning the next get-together. I put some pics up here.

For the weekend, we ended up renting this great little place (two places in fact: 2nd and 3rd stories) that was right on Clark Ave. at mile marker 9: a perfect location. I also ended up bringing my dog with me, and as a result, did lots of walking in and around the area.

I am not a city person; I generally am fairly averse to them. Cities with character, however, I find most appealing. Boston, San Francisco and New Orleans come at the top of that list. But I tell ya, I gotta admit that Chicago rocketed through the ranks this last weekend. I've been there before, but only downtown. Staying for a day and a half in Chicago's Mid-North District made me want to come back right away! Here are some pics I took (with my cell phone; not the best light control) of some of the places that caught my eye.

Sadly, PyCon 2008 won't be held in Mid-North. However, 1) I look forward to exploring the area near the conference, and 2) Mid-North is only going to be about 13 miles from the hotel, so I can always talk some of you into catching the 'L' with me and riding over for dinner and a walk :-)

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  1. If you find yourself back in Chicago before PyCon, give me a ring...

  2. Thanks man! If I'd been there for longer than 24 hours, I would have bugged jafo or efm for your phone number... having enjoyed previously unexplored areas of Chicago while there, I'm really bummed I didn't get to stay longer -- it'd be fun to come back and see your haunts too :-)

  3. Duncan I wouldn't suggest holding your breath to explore the area around the pycon conference - there is a freeway, an airport, a hotel, and that's about it ;) However, as you point out the interesting parts are but an L ride (cab ride, etc) away.

    I think some of the most vibrant parts are on the north side (further north than where you were), starting at Uptown, but that's my hood so I'm a bit biased. There are some legendary bars over there like Green Mill and Carol's Pub, definitely worth checking out (in fact, if you go to Carol's you have to call Ian because it is 2 blocks from his house!).

    Also, check back on the chipy site for pointers on what to do, where to go. I see from your phone pics that you are interested in architecture. There are several "organized" tours if that's your thing. If it's more houses than buildings, you might want to trek out to Oak Park and go on the Frank Lloyd Wright tours ... otherwise the river tour downtown is the best one.

  4. I love the theme in the repeating sequence of pics: the race, drinking beer, the dog. The race, drinking beer, the dog. The race, drinking beer, the dog.

  5. See, Greg, Chicago's not all labor unions and the Irish Mafia.