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Bartleby the Scrivener vegan27
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belated chicago post
If I don't mention my Chicago trip with Dr. Girlfriend on LiveJournal, that means it didn't happen. So here is our photo in the reflective "bean" sculpture in Millenium Park:

We rented a condo via Airbnb.com. It was in "Bronzeville" on the south side. That area seemed like what Detroit could become if it were to become more economically prosperous. It had some vacant lots, but its old buildings were inhabited and there was public transportation. This was the view from our window:

The main point in travelling, for me at least, is to enjoy the vegan food offered by larger, more sophisticated cities than Detroit. After checking in at the Airbnb place, we took a bus down to Soul Vegetarian East for a late lunch. Later that night we went to the Chicago Diner for what was only supposed to be dessert, but I ended up getting a barbecue burger and cookie dough milkshake.

Our more productive and touristy day started with a trip to the Garfield Park Conservatory.

Afterward we went to Native Foods, a really great 100% vegan fast food restaurant. I had some kind of "chicken" and portabello mushroom sandwich.

That afternoon, we went on a two-hour architecture tour that Sarah had bought tickets to before we even left Michigan. It was was so dazzling that I barely noticed the civic inferiority complex it was giving me.

Inside the Palmer House Hotel

Our group (which was small because of the rain) went inside of the Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building, which has since been turned into a Target. The manager happened to walk by and welcomed us, saying how proud he was to work in a Louis Sullivan building.

The tour ended with the most painfully beautiful building I have probably ever been in, the Chicago Cultural Center, which was originally the city's main library. The exterior, the lobby, and the staircases are all so beautiful, and then just to make sure your sense of self is utterly crushed, you finally come to this:

This was the main reading room of the library, capped by a 38-foot Tiffany glass dome. The inventor of vinyl siding should be forced to stand under this dome until he cries himself to death.

Afterward, we went to the *other* location of the Chicago Diner, in Chicago's version of Williamsburg. There was literally a place called Mustache Cafe. But the food at the Chicago Diner was good. I had a spice Cajun "chicken" sandwich and the best strawberry milkshake I have ever had in my life.

We later went home to rest, then went back out to the original Chicago Diner again for coffee and cake.

On day three we went to Native Foods for lunch and had a delicious "meatball" sub and African peanut soup. Then we went to the Art Institute of Chicago to see one of Sarah's favorite paintings, Nighthawks. The AIC was nice and all, but I still like the DIA better. :P

That evening we met Sarah's best friend JR and his partner Philip. We all went to a vegetarian restaurant called Karyn's. I had the meatloaf and mashed potatoes with cookies and cream cake for dessert.

On our way out from Chicago on the fourth day, we stopped for brunch at Pick Me Up Cafe, which offers gigantic piles of vegan French toast. It was a perfect roadtrip for a hedonist obsessed with fattening food, pre-WWII architecture, and vegan ladies. :D

You might be surprised to hear this

But the Vegan French Toast from Pick Me Up is something I miss dearly. It was one of my favorites.

Now I'll puncture the vegan celebration by telling you I put real butter on it and eat it with a side of bacon. I just don't like eggs and most restaurants make their french toast too "eggy" so this was my alternative.

Re: You might be surprised to hear this

I know what you mean about restaurants making their French toast too eggy. When I lived at home and still ate eggs I made French toast almost every weekend, but never liked it when eating out. Anyway, Sarah and I had ours with a side of fried seitan, ha ha. It was a cool restaurant!

It's fun to visit Chicago! I should take one or more tours next time. This may be a bit of bragging, but seeing what people would have missed from taking tours that I give makes me realize how much I must be missing when I visit other places, and that I should take tours every place I go. I like pretending that I live in the places I visit, but being a tourist in the first few days actually is essential after all.