Flashing lights and the glimmer of disco balls shoot across The MID's two-story interior as upwards of 800 people unleash inhibitions to the house beats of resident DJ's Zebo, Nathan Scott, and Gus Karas. Across the dancefloor, neon lights frame each of the Meatpacking District hot spot's three full bars as waiters shuttle drinks to club-goers nestled up to table and booths. High-octane beats reverberate off the exposed brick walls and dark baroque wall patterns, and a VIP room with its own bar, along with stunning views of the Chicago skyline add to the upscale nightclub's trendy atmosphere. When not hosting fashion shows and holiday events, the MID puts on curates an impressive roster of shows, including appearances by Talib Kweli and DJ Shadow.
When entrepreneur Harold Pierce opened the first Harold’s Chicken Shack on Chicago’s South Side in 1950, his chefs fried chicken as it was ordered, filling customers' empty hands with baskets of fresh, piping-hot chicken in 12–15 minutes. Today, the chain of 62 restaurants peppered across the Midwest and Southwest continues the old tradition of rewarding patience with astonishingly delicious chicken. The long-standing shop specializes in a simple order—breaded chicken fried in a rich mix of vegetable oil and beef tallow for a home-cooked flavor. Chefs prep the chicken Chicago style by pouring a dash of sauce over the basket, which soaks into the white bread and crinkle fries that come with every order. Marked with the famed emblem of a cook chasing a chicken with a hatchet, the restaurant has saturated the city’s consciousness, earning a mention in Tucker Max’s I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, an appearance in Kanye West’s music video Through the Wire, and its own chicken hologram projected over the skyline. Serious Eats sums up citywide sentiment for the chain: "When the words 'fried chicken' are uttered in Chicago, it’s a fair bet that the name Harold’s Chicken Shack will usually follow."
Ancient Greece formed the foundation for western civilization, and its influence can still be felt to this day. Open since 1983, the National Hellenic Museum celebrates this influence by examining the American experience through the lens of Greek culture, both from ancient times and today.
The Building: In 2011, the museum moved to its current digs, a gleaming limestone 40,000-square-foot structure. Greek-American and Chicagoan Demetrios Stavrianos, architect with RTKL Associates, designed it with inspiration from Greek monastaries and classic architecture
Permanent Mainstay: The Story of Greek Independence, which depicts the the 12 year battle told through artwork, writing, and artifacts, including a book of lithographs printed in 1828
Past Exhibits: The Spirit of the Marathon: From Pheidippides to Today, which traced the history of the marathon, from Pheidippides famed run announcing Greece's victory over the Persians to Chicago's famous annual event
New Exhibits: The Greek Monsters opens on September 25 and explores vivid ancient Greek mythology through various installations, sculptures, graffiti, and audio-visual technology. Each neo-black-style figure is accompanied by an original poem on the design philosophy or practice the exhibit stands for.
Pro Tip: On Sunday afternoons, for just one hour, docents lead free tours of the museum
Special Programs: Those wanting to delve deeper can take Greek language and culture classes hosted by the museum
The Neighborhood: The museum is located in Greektown, just steps away from the city's most authentic Greek eateries
Trundling down the iconic avenues and streets of the Windy City, Chicago Film Tour’s coach glides by local sights featured on the silver screen in movies such as The Dark Knight, The Fugitive, and The Blues Brothers. Each of the 30 locations on the signature tour features an accompanying movie clip played on the bus’s video monitors. Occasional special tours center on sites from one particular film, and passengers can bring their own beverages and snacks on board to re-create their favorite moments in product placement.
Décollage adorns human mannequins with an intricate collection of new and vintage clothing, accessories, and jewelry. Recently featured in several publications, including Time Out Chicago and Chicago magazine, the spacious boutique hosts a bouquet of vintage items, hand-selected by owner, Kelsey Tanner-O'Connor. Customers can seduce mirrors with new French lingerie pieces by Maison Close ($25.80+) before donning a red Tatyana pencil skirt ($64) or a gray Parisian dress ($109), hearkening back to an era when there was a clutch for every occasion and a big band in every living room. In addition to selections from Pucci and Chanel, items from the vintage collection include a '50s-inspired cocktail dress ($59) and a '60s green lace dress ($48), which can be paired with the many shoes and jewelry items that beautify Décollage’s racks and shelves.
Ranked one of Five Podcasts that Will Change the Way You Think by Forbes Magazine, Intelligence Squared Debates has opened the floor on timely, politically-charged issues during more than 60 interactive Oxford-style debates—typically broadcast live from New York on more than 220 NPR stations, on PBS, and on Wall Street Journal's WSJLIve. In past debates, Arianna Huffington and P.J. O'Rourke have dueled over whether the two-party political system makes it impossible to govern. Malcolm Gladwell has advocated banning college football amid rebuttals from sports broadcaster Tim Green.
Whether the topic is Palestine's UN admission as a full member state, the pros and cons of religion, or the Internet's effect on our ability to stay open-minded, audience members get to question luminaries who have included Paul Krugman, Alan Dershowitz, and Karl Rove and throw tomatoes at them when they're deemed out of order. Each attendee is also afforded the final vote––for, against, or undecided––to crown the debate's winner.