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Friday, July 4, 2008

Weekly Travels: A Taste of Chicago

Over the past week my friends and I have worked hard and played hard. Here is a lineup of our activities so far:

On Friday, we took the Metra downtown and walked to Pizza Uno for dinner. The Chicago deep-dish they have there is superb, but so is Giordano's, and I still can't decide which is superior. Curfew was at 11:15 pm, though, and we were kinda rushed (the fact that we got out of lab at 7:00 didn't help). We waited for the train for 20 minutes, and whether due to chance or a misreading of the schedule, it still didn't come. It was now 10:50 pm, and we had to move to our last resort: a taxi. Where are those things when you need them? We waited another five minutes before a taxi van showed up. We told the Turkish taxi dude to go fast and that we had to be back by 11:10 at the latest. At times we were going 70 in a 45 mph zone. Thanks to this guy's awesome driving we made it back actually 3 minutes before, at 11:12. That was one of the best stunts we ever pulled - hopefully it will be unnecessary to repeat that.

The next day we went downtown again, this time to see (and taste?) the Taste of Chicago. It's actually still going on till July 6. Basically, it's a highly overpriced food festival with some of the most murderous crowds ever. Admission itself is free, but to eat the food or ride the rides ya gotta buy tickets (12 for $8). To put this in perspective, consider the fact that ONE slice of pizza is 7 or 8 tickets, a barbecue sandwich up to 10, and the Ferris Wheel 6. If you are a gluttonous eater, too bad for you, cuz you'll be forking over a lot of money. Oh, and don't forget the enormous number of people - it is literally packed, and a lot of times you can't even move. They really need to implement some form of crowd control.

The 4th of July means fireworks. Actually, though, Chicago's fireworks are on the 3rd, and my roommate's dad offered to take us all out to the festivities at Millennium Park. After a quick drive down to the Metra station, we hopped on and got off at Van Buren Street. The place was crawling with cops - near the subway station, their was a crapload of cop cars, cop SUVs, and unmarked police vehicles. Downtown, there were at least two cops on every street corner. After stops at Chipotle and Jamba Juice, we headed for Millennium Park. Getting there  meant (at least, according to my roommate's dad) a little shortcut through the Taste of Chicago grounds. Unfortunately, our plans were ruined by the crowds there, which were even worse this time around. By the time we escaped, it was already too late and we had to go back for curfew. But, at the very least, we had enough crowds for a lifetime.

Stay tuned for more adventures!

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