Thursday, June 19, 2014

Throwback Thursday: CHICAGO, IL

Today a few things about Chicago. Yes, it's Thursday, which gives me even better opportunity to go back in time and reminisce about that one time I visited this beautiful city. Also, it's been exactly a year since my last visit and less than a month (!) until I board the plane and rush my dear friend to take a seat, so we can take off and fly toward Chicago. Oh, time sure does fly.

Now on to the report on our stay in the beautiful Chicago:

a view from our hostel 
We stayed at IHSP hostel located on 1616 North Damen Avenue. We loved the unique and lively Wicker Park neighborhood, so I would highly recommend considering checking it out (especially if you're traveling on the budget). The stay did not only include a free breakfast, but also a roof deck with amazing views. On top of the hospitality we were lucky to encounter, they also refunded a shuttle from the airport to their hostel (more info about that HERE). For us girls, any occasion we could save a few dollars when traveling was a WIN WIN situation.

DAY                            &                      NIGHT

I love this photo for one particular reason. There's something very similar to the nightlife in Cracow, Poland - the city I had a pleasure of living in for a couple year, when I was studying American studies. If anybody that lives in Cracow is reading it, I hope they will see in this picture Karmelicka street just how I do now.

Wicker Park was just around the corner, so obviously we could not pass the opportunity of checking it out. Being me, a movie freak, finding a new location when the movie I love was once being shot....I could not hide just how elated I was (yes I dragged my girls over there). If you don't know what movie I'm talking about, read about it  HERE, and then watch it, because Josh Hartnett and Diane Kruger were definitely a hot movie couple.
Damen Station

When inside of the Willis Towers... standing in lines to get to the top can be cruel sometimes (or just boring), but you can find a lot of attractions and information along the way that can distract you from waiting in line for hours.

 I don't know about you, but views like that get me every time...


What could I possibly see up there?

 ...just my friend sneaking up on me.


ultimate selfie

Million pictures with the bean later we headed back to where we were staying to prepare for the night festivities.
my travel companions - girls from Germany

Because our visit in Chicago lasted only one weekend, we limited our sightseeing to only few places. The first day it was Wicker Park, Willis Towers and the Skydeck experience plus Millenium Park with the Bean. The second and last day we headed to the NAVY PIER.

 I love the ghost town like background in these pictures

Two finish our visit in Chicago in a proper manner, we went to the Polish restaurant. For those of you who don't know (although I'm sure everybody is well informed - especially my fellow Polish readers) Chicago is a home to over one million Polish people, which makes Poles the largest ethnic group in this metropolitan, as well as Polish being the third largest speaking language in Chicago after English and Spanish.
I have to say that being Polish and having an opportunity of visiting the city I definitely noticed the Polish influence here and there and was surprised at first how often I got to hear people around me speaking my native language.

For dinner we picked Podhalanka restaurant located on 1549 Division Street. Because my friends were German and have never tried Polish food before, the owner decided to give them a taste of everything he had to offer. We had Pierogi (so well known by Americans - TIP - forget the S at the end when you say that word ;)), nalesniki (polish equivalence of pancakes or French crepes), kielbase, golabki (cabbage rolls) and placki ziemniaczane.

Each of us also ordered a bowl of soup. I got a cucumber one, my friend got to try zurek and barszcz. In fact, the soup was the first thing we ate and that is typical in Polish culture. Any time we have dinner, soup is served (every day or at least most of the days) as one of the courses, not the main one. That is one of the differences I experienced once I moved to America.
 Yes, after trying a little bit of everything we did not feel so great anymore, moving from one place to another was that much harder, but we didn't mind, since the next thing scheduled was just catching a flight back home.

In less then a month I'm coming back to Chicago. This time I'm taking my dear Polish friend and we will be hosted by amazingly generous people that decided to take us in for a few days. I can hardly wait to do it all once again and more!

Hope you enjoyed this throwback as much as I loved going back to those times.

Have a great Thursday!


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