Spelling out how to spend Valentine's Day in Chicago: first stop, Viagra Triangle

C’mon, let’s get all smoochy and cheesy. It’s Valentine’s Day – do you want me to spell out how to spend the day in Chicago? Fair enough, here we go.

V for Viagra Triangle. Where else to get you in the mood. I’ve provided a map if you’re not sure what I’m on about. viagra triangleAlthough apparently the bars to the north on Division also count. But then it would be Viagra Weird No Name Shape. If you look up ‘Viagra Triangle’ in urban dictionary, associated words are ‘hook up’ and ‘cougar alley’, which tells you what goes on there. So what better way to start a romantic day than to fully appreciate what you no longer have to deal with.

A for Art Institute. Given the first stop, the next logical step would be the bedroom. But it’s early in the day, so take your beloved to someone else’s – Van Gogh’s, all 3 of them. Together for the first time in North America from February 14.

L for Lincoln Park Zoo. Who doesn’t get all cuddly with the closest mammal when they see cuddly mammals. If it’s just the start of something, a trip to the zoo never fails to break the ice. And if you’re looking to jump in at the deep end, you can always point out the animals that mate for life while slipping your hand into your pocket…(in case you’re wondering, wolves, beavers and swans are what you’re looking for).

elisE for Eli’s Cheesecakes. Make your sweet-toothed sweetheart’s day by showing you thought through this day in advance, and tracked down an Eli’s White Chocolate Raspberry Heart-Shaped Cheesecake. Or you can save the insides of your pockets (that’s what I was suggesting you were reaching for at the zoo – what did you think?), and send their too cute e-gift card which reads ‘This may seem cheesy but will you be my Valentine?’ I imagine Rahm Emanuel will be expecting one, after running up a $53,755 cheesecake tab during his re-election campaign last year. That’s a lot of big cheeses, sorry cheesecakes.

N for North Clark. Well, 2122 North Clark to be precise. The spot where on Valentine’s Day 1929, Al Capone had seven men gunned down in a garage. It’s now the garden of a retirement home, and some of the senior residents claim to have seen ghosts, and heard screams and automatic gunfire. I tell you this so you can repeat it to your date as you stand there, surveying the scene of the crime, in the hope he or she will hold you just that little bit closer.

T for Tribune Tower. Tell your beloved you’re going to whisk them to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Or the Colosseum in Rome. Or the Pyramids. And then whisk them to the relevant stone implanted in the walls of the Tribune Tower. You once could have said you were going to take them to the moon, but NASA still hasn’t sent a replacement for the one it ‘recalled’ in 2011. Perhaps there was a production flaw (wink, wink).

I for Indiana and Illinois. And IMichigan and IWisconsin (if Apple can do it…). The four states you can see from the observatory at the top of the Hancock Tower, now known as 360 Chicago. And all this month, you can treat your loved one to a special ‘Tilt your heart out’ package which includes your ride to the top, a glass of champagne, dangling over the side of the building (albeit while still in the building), and a commemorative photo. Because having a pane of glass as the only thing between you and a fall of 1,000 ft is something you’re likely to forget. Definitely one way to make their heart beat faster.

N for Navy Pier. I know, I know. The Chicagoan in you is rebelling. But it really is a great place to see the city without having to leave the city. Plus it will be dark and it’s winter, so no one will spot you. And thanks to those nice people at the City Council, you can grab a drink and sip it as you go on a romantic stroll, admiring the lights. For all of about 3 seconds before your lips freeze to your plastic cup.

E for the El. Now don’t get all pedantic on me and say the official term is ‘L’ and that ‘El’, as in the abbreviation for elevated trains, obviously only applies to part of the city’s train system. After all the running around you’ve done, I’m just trying to get you home.

To bed.

Isn’t that the point?

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