Time for another Chicago to-do list

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about having been to only two of the places on Chicago magazine’s 2018 best of Chicago list.

I score better with the self-made list I blogged about in May 2016. Now that I’ve gone to a Chicago Sky game (August 19), all but one of the things on that to-do list are accomplished.

So, it’s time for another list.

• Get out the AIA Guide to Chicago and walk with it around the Loop to learn about buildings that aren’t on my Chicago Greeter Loop tour.

• Visit small museums. The DePaul University Museum of Art, the Chinese Museum in Chinatown, and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture are ones I have never visited.

• Stroll the Burnham Wildlife Corridor, on the south lakefront between McCormick Place and 47th Street, to see what’s grown since I was last there a couple of years ago.

• Go to a Chicago History Meetup event.

• Spend an afternoon at the 12th Street Beach and go into the water.

• Expand my repertoire of Greeter tours (developing a tour is the best way for me to learn a neighborhood).

• Enhance my existing Greeter tours — for instance, learn more about Vietnamese cuisine for the Argyle Street tour.

• Go to a South Loop Neighbors event.

• Explore ethnic neighborhoods I haven’t been in lately and go to ethnic street festivals.

• Hear the blues at Buddy Guy’s Legends (this is the one carried over from the last list).

• Do yoga at a Millennium Park class.

For a couple of these things, maybe once is enough, but I really don’t want to think of this as a check-off list. Its purpose is to remind me what’s out there and help me discover places and things enjoyable enough to want to return to. The list in May 2016, for instance, included eating an unfamiliar ethnic food, seeing an international film, walking the trails at Northerly Island, and sampling a craft beer. Those are over-and-over-again activities.

Also, I don’t want to think of anything as a must-see or must-do. As I wrote back in May 2016: “This is about pleasure, not pressure. In that vein, things that don’t interest me aren’t on the list. . . . Here’s the list for now of things I might truly enjoy.”



One thing I hope to take more advantage of next summer is the Navy Pier weekly jazz series, if it continues. The last performance was Friday evening. I didn’t know about the Lake Stage venue until this month, when my friend Sandie and I saw Dee Alexander and Marquis Hill on back-to-back Fridays.

Chicago Tribune critic Howard Reich wrote that it is the most scenic place to hear jazz in Chicago, and he’s probably been to every place. Sandie and I saw Shakespeare in the Parks in Polk Brothers Park this year and last, but on a different stage. The Lake Stage is right up against the water, providing a beautiful and relaxing setting to complement the music. It’s much more intimate than Millennium Park and less distracting that the MCA’s terrace, where there is also free jazz (and people constantly milling around) on Tuesday nights in the summertime.

The audiences for jazz at the Lake Stage were surprisingly small, given the renowned musicians performing. Maybe the word has yet to get out.



“While the legal implications of [former Trump lawyer Michael] Cohen’s plea are stunning, let’s not forget the immediate political ramifications when a president is accused of breaking the law to get elected. . . . it is very possible that . . . the revelations about Daniels and McDougal, in addition to the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape, could have sunk him.”

Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin


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  • Navy Pier, Is the Lake Stage the same stage as the Miller Stage?
    Never knew there were 2 music/performance stages at Navy Pier.

  • No, Polk Brothers Park is actually outside the actual pier. If you walk southwest after you exit the pier building, you'll come to the Lake Stage.

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