So You’re Coming to Chicago for BlogHer? I’ve Got Tips and Tricks for Surviving Chicago

With less than a month to the joy of my very first ever BlogHer conference (and the start of a MAD slew of nerdcon JOY), I thought I would offer you what I know. Knowledge is power, y’all…And I’m like fucking She-Ra up in here.

As someone who’s never been to BlogHer, I can’t really offer any BlogHer13 specific advice, but I am a master of the Chi. A suburbanite turned corporate-America-city-office-slug, I’ve got the deets that you can’t ignore. So share this shit with your friends. And then look for me at the conference. I’ll be the fake ginger in the hot pink tutu.

Parking

Shit guys, parking is expensive. Lucky for you, I am a fucking money saving genius. I don’t pay full price for anything. ESPECIALLY not parking. But in Chicago, we’ve got this sweet app/website (and no, they aren’t paying me to say nice things about them) called Spot Hero, where you can get reduced price parking. You’re welcome.

Okay, that’s all I really have. Good luck. Can’t wait to meet you!

JK, guys. What type of host do you think I am? Oh, right…I’m not hosting this shit, I’m just trying to help you out.

Food

Chicago is home to some of the BEST food in the world. Don’t believe me? Venture outside your hotel room into the big bad city and partake of any of your favorite cuisines and foodstuffs. We’re known for these:

  • Hot dogs
  • Italian beef sandwiches
  • Polish sausage
  • Combo (Italian beef and Italian sausage)
  • Deep dish pizza
  • Thin crust pizza
  • Pizza in general from anywhere that claims Chicago style pizza

BUT, we do everything well. Go out for Mexican or Italian. Find a Cuban restaurant or a little Mediterranean dive with pita and falafel. Gorge yourself on meat and cheese at a delicious little cheese shop or get a sugar high at a French pastry shop. Next week, I’ll post about some of my favorite Loop spots for you to enjoy tasty treats. They’re almost all by Millennium Park, where you can take your picture in front of a giant metal jellybean. Which brings me to the next point.

Touristy Shit

How to survive Blogher Chicago

I don’t know how to smile like a normal person

The Bean

I’m pretty sure that I just discovered the official name for this monstrosity is “Cloud Gate.” I’m also pretty sure that if you ask anyone in Chicago, “Where’s Cloud Gate?” You’ll get a blank stare. In these parts, we call it The Bean. You should too. It’s a giant metal jellybean in the middle of Millennium Park, where I occasionally grab Panera or some amazing food truck fare and have a little lunch while I people watch like a motherfucker. This puppy is a tourist hot spot…so go check it out. Plus there’s like a big park and stuff for you to enjoy.

 

How to Survive BlogHer in Chicago

Sears Tower: It’s not sooo big, right? I walk by it almost every day!

Sears Tower

I guess some people are calling this giant skyscraper, “Willis Tower” now. Fuck that. It’s the Sears Tower. Just roll with me, here okay? We abhor change, here in The Chi. This here’s a tall building. It’s kinda awesome. My grandfather was a part of the building crew (LIKE a BOSS). I haven’t been to the Sky Deck since I was 7 or 8. Since then, they’ve added one of those glass floors that makes it terrifying to walk on. Maybe I’ll go with you. Maybe I won’t. Probably not. Let’s be honest.

 

 

Dolphin pictures

These are the trickster dolphins at the Shed. Love them. I do.

The Museums

Not to brag or anything, but The Chi has some of the best museums on the planet. Science & Industry is a fan favorite, so if you dig learning (which you fucking should) or science, or technology, go check this one out. Love for nature? Field museum. Marine life and fishies? Oceanarium. With DOLPHINS. The best dolphins ever. Pacific white sided dolphins, which are spazzier than bottle-nosed dolphins. There are also penguins for Katies. We’ve also got a rockstar art museum (The Art Institute) for your artistic types. And the Adler Planetarium for stargazers. And TWO zoos. The free zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo is in the city, about a $20 cab ride from BlogHer. Okay, and you have to travel to the suburbs for the better zoo (Brookfield Zoo)…but still. Worth it.

So those are just a few of many ideas for you when you’re conferenced out and want to hang with a few people on a sweet ass adventure. Or if you’re super smart and staying a few extra days doing the touristy thing.

More Chicago Tips:

What to pack for Chicago weather

How to make nice with the Chicago natives

Where to eat if you’re on more of a budget

If you’ve been to BlogHer, tell me your own tips and tricks for the actual conference! If you’re from Chicago, what would you want to tell our visitors? If you just want to show me how awesome you are, tell me about your own city or small town!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!
A Breakup Letter Always Read the Fine Print: AKA Wet T-Shirt Contest on the 4th of July

Comments

  1. I’m not going to BlogHer, but will keep your tips in mind if ever I visit Chicago! Have fun!

  2. Ashley F says:

    I totally would be there with you but my boss claimed that week as vacation because her son’s getting married. Sigh. Maybe next year.

  3. The Art Institute was recently chosen as one of the #3 art galleries in the world. Like WOW!!! Always loved visiting Monet and A Sunday afternoon on the Island of Grande Jatte. My favorite painting ever. Look closely at the little dots. It’s all dots,stippling…awesome.

  4. I think you covered it. Thanks for that parking info because I may need it as I’m sure the conference hotel will cost more. Ridiculous.

  5. JoulesDellinger says:

    Ok, so when I come for BlogHer I want you to point me in the direction of a Chicago hot dog and some kickbutt pizza. I was in Chicago last year, but somehow missed both.

    As for BlogHer tips —

    – look at the conference sessions/events/parties beforehand and put together a rough estimate of what you really want to do. Also build in some ‘doing nothing’ time because you’re going to need it.

    – don’t wimp out of going to a dance party. GO and DANCE (and DRINK). I wimped out last year and have been kicking myself since.

    – make friends with people before you go so that you can look forward to finally seeing your new friends in person. And dancing and drinking with them.

    – If you’re flying, bring an extra bag to bring back all your swag. Some people are all snotty and say that swag is overrated. I say SHUT YOUR FACE because I love free stuff.

    Umm… that’s it for now. I was at BlogHer last year and hardly knew anyone. This year I am SO FREAKING EXCITED to hang out with you, Katie (Words for Worms) and Kari (A Grace Full Life). And other people that I don’t know are going to be there yet.

  6. Woooooooooooo! Penguins for Katies! But dude. You could have picked a picture of me looking less psychotic… SO SO SO Excited!!!!

  7. I can give up Marshall Field’s for Macy’s but I am never referring to the Sears Tower as anything but that. Or Voldemort Tower.

Trackbacks

  1. […] how to prepare yourself for 4 glorious days in Chicago. Hopefully, you didn’t miss my first Chicago BlogHer13 post, because…well I thought it was fucking awesome…and helpful. Because I can help you […]

  2. […] I’ve already given you some of my Chicago insider tips. […]

Speak to me. Tell me awesome things. Tell me secrets. Tell me lies.

%d bloggers like this: