Friday, April 20, 2012

Summer Music Festivals are Coming!

With May just around the corner, it’s time to think about summer plans. Many Chicago locals and visitors enjoy Chicago’s annual music festivals. If you’re in need of inexpensive, accessible, and social accommodation then stay with us!

Here is a list of some of Chicago’s most popular music festivals:

July 13th – 15th at Union park
Directions from the hostel: Walk to Adams/Wabash and take the Green Line Train towards Harlem and get off at the Ashland-Lake stop
June 16th – 17th at Soldier Field
Directions from the hostel: Walk to the State & Harrison/Congress bus stop and take the 146 Bus towards Museum Campus
Lollapoloza [HI-Chicago is sold out for Lolla] [3-day passes are sold out, 1-day tickets are still available]
August 3rd – 5th at Grant Park
Directions from the hostel: Only a 5 minute walk from the hostel!
August 31st – September 2nd at Union Park
Directions from the hostel: Walk to Adams/Wabash and take the Green Line Train towards Harlem and get off at the Ashland-Lake stop

However, if you’re short on cash, don’t worry. There are plenty of FREE music concerts and festivals featuring a wide range of music styles held throughout the entire summer in Chicago.

May 28th – July 30th every Monday at 6:30 PM
June 7th – July 12th every Thursday at 6:30 PM
June 8th – 10th
June 13th – August 10th on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays
June 21st – 24th
July 19th – August 30th every Thursday at 6:30 PM
August 30th – September 2nd
September 21st – 27th

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Windy City Weiner

The hot dog is a popular food across the USA, but what makes the Chicago-style hot dog so different? We’ll tell you!

The Chicago-style dog is a steamed or water-simmered all-beef frankfurter on a poppy seed bun. It’s topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, sweet pickle relish (neon green colored), a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, picked sport peppers, and celery salt. There so absolutely NO ketchup allowed on a “true” Chicago dog. many Chicago hot dog restaurants won't even have ketchup available at all. This "no ketchup rule" is taken very seriously by many Chicago locals. 

Fun fact: The Chicago area boasts more hot dog restaurants than McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger King restaurants combined, so you shouldn't have too much trouble finding one. If you ask a Chicago local where to get the best dog, everyone will probably tell you something different. However, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular hot dog joints in the city (in no particular order).

Do you have a favorite? Share it with us! 

1. Superdawg (Norwood Park)
6363 N. Milwaukee Ave.
2. Hot Doug’s (Avondale)
3324 North California
3. Wolfy’s (West Rogers Park)
2734 W. Peterson Ave.
4. Portillo's Hot Dogs (Near North Side/River North)
100 West Ontario
5. The Weiners Circle (Lincoln Park)
2622 North Clark Street
6. Jimmy’s Red Hots (Humboldt Park)
4000 W. Grand Ave.
7. The Dog House (Lincoln Park)
816 W Fullerton
8. Wrigleyville Dogs (Lakeview)
3735 North Clark Street
9. Gene and Jude's (River Grove)
2720 River Road 
10. Kim and Carlos Hot Dog Stand (Near Southside)
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive 

Traveler Spotlight: Michael

Today during breakfast, I met Michael from one of my personal favorite cities - Melbourne, Australia. He recently graduated from university with a degree in Architecture and plans to later return for his Master’s degree after his travels. Michael is currently on his “big world tour” which includes traveling across the U.S. for three months, Europe for three months, and spending one month in UK with friends from his exchange in high school. So far, Michael has been to Hollywood, San Francisco, Denver, and Chicago and said Chicago has been his favorite city yet. 

Michael told me that he is a huge sports fan and has already attended a Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, and Cubs home opener game yesterday. He told me his favorite experience in Chicago was attending a Blackhawks game because he’s never seen live ice hockey before. He’s also been to the Chicago Art Institute, a blues club, and went on the Chicago Architecture Foundation bus tour. Michael said, “Chicago is pretty awesome. It has a good vibe, the architecture is crazy, and it has lots of sports to watch.”

After Chicago, he plans to visit Buffalo, Toronto, Montreal, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Miami, New Orleans, and Atlanta before jetting off to Europe to meet up with some friends.

Happy travels, Michael!

Interview by: Kim Pitingolo