Field of View: Sweet Home Chicago

Tell anyone you’re headed to Chicago and you’ll get a list of must-sees and -dos. I couldn’t even begin to scratch the surface during my short stay, but here’s what I learned:

  • They don’t call it the Windy City for nothing. A more appropriate name might be The Wrath of God.
  • As soon as you feel one raindrop, no matter how small, run for f$%*ing cover. Whatever you do, don’t listen to the locals when they, “Should be nothing―just some scattered showers later.”
  • People don’t honk a quick f$%* you in Chicago; they scream full-on sentences with their horn that’ll make you blush.
  • The views are breathtaking, especially from the John Hancock Observatory and the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower).
  • If you can, load The Blues Brothers soundtrack onto whatever device you have. You’re going to want to listen to it.
  • The buildings go all the way up, and the architecture is remarkable.
  • Visit Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria.  I preferred the “Lou,” which had the freshest tomatoes that I have ever tasted. But if you’re a meat lover, the “Malnati Chicago Classic” is for you. Just beware that beneath the cheese is a layer of thinly-sliced sausage covering the entire pie.
  • Oh, while visiting Lou Malnati’s you might see Trueblood actor Joe Manganiello and squeal like a little girl before calling your husband to get credit for not chasing the hottest werewolf on TV down the street. I’m just saying that might happen.

All photos by Annie Lane, except where noted.

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Annie Lane

Annie Lane

“If you don't feel it, flee from it. Go where you are celebrated, not merely tolerated.” - Paul F. Davis
Annie Lane


  1. avatarAnna Daniels says

    Annie- wonderful pictures! Rain, pizza & public art. Doesn’t get any better than that!

    • avatarjudi says

      You should have added “guts” Anna. Did you see Annie on top of the building with nothing between her and the sky?

  2. avatarRB says

    When I go to Chicago, I would add the Field Museum, Wrigley Field, Buddy Guy’s Blues Club, and an Italian beef sandwich.

  3. avatarAnnie says

    Thanks, ladies!

    Quite right, RB! I was there for such a short time, and most of it was work related, that so much was left unexplored. All the more reason to go back!

  4. avatarGoatskull says

    “They don’t call it the Windy City for nothing. A more appropriate name might be The Wrath of God.”

    As windy as it gets there, it’s not called the windy city due to wind conditions but rather the ongoing rumblings of long winded politicians in its early history.

    I’ll throw in my recommendations. If go early summer the rent some stand up paddleboards from Great Lakes Board Company right on North Ave beach. Stand up paddle boarding has really taken off there. If you’re a beer geek like me then check out The Map Room, Chicago’s own version of Hamilton’s Tavern in South Park. Also Goose Island Brewery. If you’re a punk rock fan (also like me) then you MUST go to Delilah’s and/or The Exit Bar (cheap drinks, fast loud music and the occasion fight).

    • avatar says

      Definitely agree on Map Room. If you’re looking for beer bars Hopleaf is also fantastic.

      As for pizza, the debate is never-ending: Lou Malnati’s, Gino’s East, Giordano being the usual suspects with an occassional Pizzeria Uno or Due. My personal fave is Bacino’s on Lincoln Avenue – gotta go for the Spinach Supreme weird as it may sound. Spinach, (tons) of cheese, and mushrooms. Unforgettable.

      Great city, insanely good food scene. Cubs suck.

  5. avatarGoatskull says

    If you really want to have some fun with the locals, ask them where in Chicago you can find the best New York style pizza.

    • avatarAnnie says

      I must confess I wore a Chargers shirt there … Come to find out disgust and pity look very similar.

      • avatar says

        Hey, I flew into O’Hare and spent a couple days with my aunt and uncle before heading out to Wisconsin to catch a Chargers game at Lambeau. While I rocked Chargers gear most of the trip, I did sport a Padres hat to a game at Wrigley, much to the bemusement of my uncle the die-hard ChiSox fan (who were out of town when we were passing through). But since the Chargers were playing the loathed-by-Bears-fans Packers, I got mostly support while in town.

        Then in Green Bay we lost, and I ended up getting chased for three blocks by a guy winging bratwurst at my head. The rest of the Pack fans apologized on his behalf, telling me he was just drunk and acting like he was from Chicago…

    • avatarRB says

      And the locals should reply, the best New York style pizza is found mounted on cardboard in the frozen food section of your favorite store.

  6. avatarShelley Plumb says

    Annie, I so enjoyed your photos of a wonderful city. Next time, if so inclined, try to take the Architectural Boat Tour. There is one, run by one of the museums, that is fascinating and seeing the beautiful buildings from the water is a trip in itself!

  7. avatarAnnie Lane says

    Hi, Shelley, and thanks for your kind comment.

    It’s funny you mention the boat tour because we were on our way there when the rain storm hit! We were so bummed, but I’m glad to hear it’s worth it – it seemed really affordable, too. Are you from Chicago?