A recent survey by urban planning website CityLab revealed what Chicagoans have always known: our city boasts delicious tacos AND great public transit. CityLab created the survey after Carter Rubin, a mobility and climate advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council, tweeted a crude graph with tacos and transit as the variables. To conduct the survey (which wasn't exactly scientific), CityLab built a Google form and asked readers to supply their zip code and rank their city's tacos and transit on a scale of 1 to 10. For tacos, Chicago earned an average rating of 8.2, the highest of any city north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Chicago received an average rating of 8.1 for its transit system, the best of any U.S. city, beating out the likes of New York City and Washington, D.C. While the results may be a bit biased, CityLab has made Chicagoans' passion tacos and public transit known to the world. Chicago Reader went so far as to assemble a map of taquerias within walking distance CTA train stations (more than 100 of them!), suggesting that wherever there are commuters there is probably also some al pastor roasting on a spit. Naturally, we've also got some transit-adjacent taco suggestions for you, taken from our list of the best tacos in Chicago. Birrieria Zarazoga CTA stop: Pulaski (Orange Line)You must try: The Birria taco La Casa de SamuelCTA stop: California (Pink Line)You must try: The Cecina taco Rojo GusanoCTA stop: Montrose (Brown Line)You must try: The mixed mush
Chicago’s neighborhoods are just like people: there are a lot of them and almost all of them are annoying in their own ways. But any area is only as irritating as the people who inhabit it, and according to a new study conducted by Digital Third Coast, Old Town is filled with folks you probably don't want to live on the same block as. The new study compiled 3-1-1 complaints from the the 30 most densely populated neighborhoods in the city and then categorized the grousing as one of three types—noise, garbage and dog poop. Of course, this methodology is far from perfect. For one, the study's focus on only 30 densely populated areas means that the majority of Chicago's neighbors got off easy—who's to say that the people in Pullman or Portage Park are always a pleasure to live next to? There are also many other types of complaints (public intoxication and illegal parking, to name a few) that weren't considered, as well as some that might never warrant a 3-1-1 call (snide looks, passive aggressive notes, refusal to buzz in the UPS guy). According to the numbers that Digital Third Coast pulled from the city's Data Portal, Old Town was first in garbage complaints and fourth in noise complaints, Hermosa was number one for errant dog poop, while the Gold Coast was at the top for noise. If the study is to be believed, the North Side is where annoying neighbors want to live, while folks in Old Town, Bucktown, Wicker Park and Lincoln Park also rack up a lot of 3-1-1 complaints. The
Getting a reliable internet connection on a CTA subway platform can often be a Sisyphean task (and a drain on your data plan), especially during rush hour. Luckily for commuters, the CTA is taking the mantra “new year, new me” seriously. Over the weekend, CTA officials announced that by the end of January, free Wi-Fi hot spots will be installed at three downtown Blue Line stops Washington, Monroe and Jackson. You can try out the free Wi-Fi at the Clark/Lake Blue Line station, where the hot spots have already been installed. While the free Wi-Fi is limited to CTA platforms, commuters will be able to connect while waiting for a train to download long documents, podcasts or check the weather—all without using any of their data plan. If this pilot program proves successful, Wi-Fi could become available at every CTA station, though no timetable has been set. The $600,000 upgrade comes at the behest of Emanuel, who has advocated for CTA improvements throughout his time as mayor. In 2015, the outgoing mayor introduced 4G wireless service across CTA's subway tunnels and platforms, making it the largest subway system in North America with complete 4G coverage. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
Here's a New Year's resolution for you: Leave your pants behind in 2018. Actually, don't do that, unless they're cargo pants. Otherwise, please wear pants, especially when you're riding the CTA and there's snow on the ground. The only exception to that rule of thumb transpired on the Red Line on Sunday afternoon, where a group of Chicagoans in their underwear drew confused (and amused) stares while participating in the annual No Pants Subway Ride. Beginning in Rogers Parks, the trouserless group made its way to the Loop while temperatures outside hovered in the mid-30s. Missed out on the fun? Check out our photos of the event below. RECOMMENDED: See photos from past editions of the No Pants Subway Ride Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVal Photograph: Grace DuVa
Whether it's for the deep dish pizza, awesome views of Lake Michigan or a decent Cubs team, more and more people are deciding to visit Chicago. According to an announcement from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago had just over 57.6 million visitors in 2018—a 4.3% increase over tourism numbers in 2017. "When it comes to attracting tourists and business travelers, Chicago can go toe-to-toe with any city in the world," Emanuel said in a press release. "By continuing to set new tourism records and bring millions more people to Chicago every year, we are creating jobs and economic opportunities that reach every neighborhood." Growing tourism has been one of Emanuel's priorities throughout his time as mayor. Since 2011, the beginning of Emanuel's first term, over 22,000 new tourism-related jobs have been created and annual visitors have increased by nearly 50 percent. Unsurprisingly, the biggest benefactors of the growth were hotels. Hotel revenues jumped up 9.1%, leading to a record $140 million in city hotel tax revenues for the city (though that's only a drop in the bucket when it comes to the city's ongoing pension funding crisis). As Chicago residents who enjoy the city's amazing parks, delicious restaurants and packed concert calendar, we're not exactly surprised that visitors are flocking here. Last year, a global Time Out survey resulted in Chicago being named the best city in the world for the second straight year. Judging by the numbers, tourists seem to agree with that
It often seems like anything goes on CTA trains, but unless being frog-marched onto the streets by CTA security is on your to-do list, you typically wear pants after you tap your Ventra card. The afternoon of Sunday, January 13 is an exception, as the annual No Pants Subway Ride returns to the Red Line. RECOMMENDED: See photos from past editions of the No Pants Subway Ride Founded in 2002 by public performance art collective Improv Everywhere, the No Pants Subway Ride took place in over 60 cities last year, including international destinations such as Amsterdam, Lisbon, Prague and Munich. Participants in each city strip down to their underwear just before boarding a train, then ride for several stops as if nothing is out of the ordinary. Chicagoans who want to join in on the trouserless fun can convene on Sunday at the fourth floor of the parking garage at 1209 W Arthur Ave (right next to the Loyola Red Line stop) promptly at noon and board the Red Line at 12:30pm. The ride will end in the Loop, where participants typically stage an impromptu dance party on a Red Line platform. Those wishing to brave the blustery conditions (34 degree temperatures are in the forecast on Sunday) and participate are advised to buy their CTA tickets prior to arriving and should wear what one normally wears on a winter day in Chicago. Pants won't be shed until right before riders board the train and underwear is required, obviously. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
All eyes were on Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey on Sunday night when his last-second 43-yard field goal attempt missed, resulting in the Bears being bounced from the first round of the NFL playoffs by the Philadelphia Eagles. As all angry and intoxicated fan bases do these days, the Bears faithful flocked to Twitter to collectively place the blame for the team's loss on Parkey's errant kick (slowed down footage later revealed that the ball was tipped by Eagles defensive tackle Treyvon Hester). In response to the vitriol, many fellow players and celebrities came to Parkey’s defense, including model and author Chrissy Teigen. Goose Island Beer Company came up with a more creative way to show support for the beleaguered kicker. On Monday, the Chicago-based brewery announced via Twitter that it will construct a goal post in front of its Fulton Street brewery to allow Bears fans to experience firsthand just how hard it is to to kick a 43-yard field goal, with a referee on hand to call each attempt. Anyone who is able to successfully kick a 43-yarder on their first attempt will win a free case of beer, chosen by Goose Island, every week, for a year. There are a few stipulations attached to the prize: Winners will need to pick up their free case at the Fulton Street brewery each week and they shouldn't expect to find any of Goose Island's coveted Bourbon County Brand Stout in their weekly allotment. If you think you have what it takes to kick a 43-yard field goal, you can sign
Here we are: It's the Friday before New Year's Eve, and you still haven't made plans. Lucky for you, some of the best restaurants in Chicago have open tables. We scoured reservation platforms in search of the most coveted seats in Chicago—from a buzzy new German beer hall to a subterranean wine bar to a Michelin-starred restaurant in the West Loop. If you're thinking about ringing in the new year at one of these spots, act now—they're disappearing faster than 2018. Editor's note: Reservations listed below were available at press time on Friday, December 28. All reservations are for two guests and are bookable via links provided. Be sure to check the restaurants' websites for special menus and restrictions. Good luck! RECOMMENDED: New Year's Eve parties in Chicago Bar Biscay: 6:30, 6:45, 7, 7:15, 7:30, 8, 8:15, 8:30, 8:45, 9, 9:15, 9:30pm Bar at Elske: 5:15pm BiXi Beer: 6:30, 6:45, 7, 7:15, 7:30, 7:45, 8:15, 8:30, 8:45, 9, 9:15, 9:30pm Daisies: 5:15pm Dos Urban Cantina: 6:30, 6:45, 7:15, 7:30, 7:45, 8:15, 8:30, 8:45, 9, 9:15pm Ella Elli: 5:15, 10:30pm Entente: 9, 9:30pm Funkenhausen: 7, 7:15, 7:45, 8, 8:15, 8:30, 9, 9:15, 9:30pm HaiSous: 5:30, 9:30, 9:45, 10, 10:15pm Income Tax: 5, 5:15, 5:30, 5:45, 10pm Kumiko: 5, 5:15pm Milk Room: 5:30pm Mott St: 10:15, 10:30pm Pacific Standard Time: 5, 5:15, 10:30, 10:45pm Quiote: 6:45, 7, 7:15, 7:30, 7:45, 8, 8:15, 8:30, 8:45, 9, 9:15, 9:30, 9:45pm The Promontory: 6:45, 7, 7:15, 7:30, 7:45, 8:30, 8
In 1855 Levi Boone, the anti-immigrant, pro-temperance mayor of a nascent Chicago, tried to leverage his power against a growing German population by going after their right to drink. He ordered police to enforce an old law requiring taverns to be closed on Sundays, a move that would disproportionately impact immigrants, who worked Monday through Saturday and (surprise) liked to throw back a few steins on their sole day off. He also jacked up liquor license fees from $50 per year to $300 a quarter, threatening to drive the city’s mostly German- and Irish-owned saloons out of business. Hundreds of tavern owners defied the law by remaining open on Sunday and were arrested. The day of their scheduled mass trial, some 1,000 protestors marched downtown, prompting Boone to call in militia reinforcements. A fight broke out between protestors and police, leaving one German man dead. A disgraced Boone was forced to release the prisoners and lower liquor license fees, and his weakened party didn’t run for re-election in 1856. Thanks in part to German voter turnout, a statewide prohibition referendum failed, leaving citizens to enjoy a drink as they pleased and helping a marginalized group claim a place in the growing, diversifying city. From this earliest instance of civil unrest known as the 1855 Lager Beer Riot, which laid the groundwork for Chicago’s rough-and-tumble politics, to the 19th century brewery-induced building boom that would establish the city as an architectural power
We've grown accustomed to making the trek to Logan Square for an afternoon of Negroni slushies, hush puppies and crispy fried chicken, but you'll soon have another option when you're craving a meal at Parson’s Chicken and Fish. The Land and Sea Dept. concept will open a second location in Lincoln Park on Tuesday, December 18, housed in a former auto garage situated just north of the Fullerton, Lincoln and Halsted intersection at 2435 N Halsted St. The interior of Parson's new Lincoln Square digs should feel familiar if you've spent any time inside the original Armitage Avenue location, sporting white brick walls, swiveling stools and red checkered accents. With seating for 110 people at tables and 30 at the bar, the dining area features vaulted ceiling, skylights and planters that give the space a much more open and airy feel than the original Parson's. When the weather warms up, garage doors on the front of the building can be opened to connect the indoor area to the requisite outdoor patio, which will take over a former parking lot in front of the building. You'll be able to find everything that Chef Hunter Moore has served in Logan Square on the menu at Parson's Lincoln Park, and the parity extends to beverage director Charlie Schott’s lineup of slushies, cocktails, beer and wine. Both Parson's restaurants will maintain identical hours (11am–midnight Monday–Friday, 10am–midnight Saturday and Sunday), which means that brunch, weekday happy hour specials and Tuesday night