By R. Anthony Diaz |Asst. Features Editor|
Mobsters, trains, machine guns and godly skyscrapers. Most people associate dark things to Chicago but it is anything but.
In fact, looking in you really notice its true beauty when you’re sailing on Lake Michigan and see the skyline.
All of a sudden the city sounds become faint, as the sun sets in the East and the city lights up like a pile of diamonds glistening on the horizon.
Although it is a beautiful city it still has its flaws; I did not realize I had stepped into risky territory until it was too late.
I found myself working for Tony Demasi, founder of Tsunami Capital and the Tsunami Foundation.
Along with many driven men who have made millions everyday trading in the pits of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Demasi lived his life like Entourage and the Sopranos.
I quickly found myself popping bottles next to Nate Berkus and Michael Jordan’s wife and almost every Chicago Bulls and Cubs player.
A phone call got me VIP at every posh place in the city; no lines, free drinks and at after-parties with The Killers and Jermaine Dupri.
Life in the fast lane never lasts for some, but for others there are many empires to be built in a city like Chicago.
Partying until the sun began to peek through skyscrapers was an experience of its own.
Though the city is very glamorous and life still exists at night, I was over it.
The city has extremities in every direction; no matter what road you choose to go down it is a definite sight to see and a world beyond others.
What is so spectacular about this part of the midwest are the seasons. Whether it is spring time and there are a million tulips lining Michigan Avenue or if it’s snowing, you can feel the spirit of the city flow through your soul like a rush of excitement.
Listen to Petula Clarks’ “Downtown,” next time your driving downtown, it is the perfect song!
Like any other city, it has its tourist spots like the Pier, Millennium Park and the many museums and galleries the city has to offer.
But keep in mind every Chicago neighborhood has a different personality and something different to offer everyone.
When I lived in the city I lived with three friends, all blondes and all wild. Every day was a story in itself, but we nestled in Lincoln Park near De Paul University.
This is like the college town pact of the city, it has something fun for everyone.
Then there is Boystown, a tragedy waiting to happen because there are no rules, anything goes and every time you’re in the neighborhood you are asking for trouble. This is definitely a favorite spot, and like other places in the city, many bars and clubs are open until 4 a.m.
The Wicker Park neighborhood has a lot of shopping as does Old Town and any other part of the city, but if you want unique boutiques and enjoy walking, have at it!
Bucktown and Logan Square are for the more younger families and crazy art-emo kids. In Logan Square I found myself drinking wine at underground art shows and dancing the night away in shoulder to shoulder crowded lofts with kids who just loved life.
You must go to a Cubs game, the roof top seats are great too if the ball park is sold out. Before or after the game, Wrigleyville is key.
It’s a college bar neighborhood, where every bar is like a neighborhood ESPN.
There are plenty other neighborhoods that have their fun and perks but these are the few I wanted to highlight.
My favorite breakfast place is still Sarkis Cafe in Evanston and Egg Harbor in Arlington Heights, both Chicago suburbs. After starting your day off at one of these places your breakfast experience will never be the same no matter what city you are in.
Along with these, the best dinner place in the city is the Signature Room on the 57th floor of the Hancock Tower. The views are unlike any other and their Sunday champagne brunch is stellar!
If you really want to do Chicago like a rockstar, a few of my favorite places for popping bottles are Stone Lotus, The Underground, Studio Paris, Lumen and Bull and Bear. Pre-game at Japonais or The Drake.
Remember if you want breakfast and or dinner at 4 a.m., Tempo serves a full menu and is probably the only thing open downtown. Chicago— my kind of town!