In Love In Chicago

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Garfield Park Conservatory

The first time I ever went to the Garfield Park Conservatory was for a wedding. I was amazed. This 4.5 acre wonderland has graced Chicago’s West Side since 1907. One of the largest conservatories in the country, it truly is “landscape art under glass”.

Unfortunately, in a 2011 hailstorm half of the panes of glass were damaged and now need to be replaced. The Conservatory Alliance has been raising money to fund these repairs. Go see this Chicago treasure. Stroll through the repaired sections, picnic in the outdoor gardens. Fall in love anew. If you love Chicago and love our parks, please consider donating to the One Pane At A Time Campaign to save this precious building.

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Have we mentioned Buckingham Fountain? A gift to the city from Kate Buckingham in memory of her brother, Clarence Buckingham, the fountain has been a focal point in Grant Park since 1927. The beauty and sound of the rushing water is just a part of the romantic appeal. Buckingham Fountain is also the eastern tip of Route 66.

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Promontory Point at 55th Street in Hyde Park, started as a land fill in the 30’s. What a great idea! Build a little peninsula jutting out from a bend in the lakefront and create another beautiful view of our skyline. Now, with a family friendly beach, an open water swimming area and a well cared for field house, Promontory Point has become a destination for all. If you go on a weekend you are sure to see a few brides being photographed.

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Some people may think there’s nothing romantic about a deli. Well, remember When Harry Met Sally! Manny’s is a Chicago deli, steam table and all. Stop by for some corned beef after you see our emerald green river tomorrow. Fall in love or fall in love with Manny’s.

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The Ides of March- Another Beautiful Day in the Park

Beware the Ides of March. If you are not Julius Caesar, today is a great day to visit the Shakespeare statue in beautiful Lincoln Park. Chicago may have a few problems to solve but one thing we get is parks. We work hard to keep our green space green. The entrance to Lincoln Park at Belden is a snapshot of everything we love in a park. The old bridge and tunnel, beautiful flower gardens with benches, the conservatory and Shakespeare, with his inviting lap where kids can climb up and get a bird’s eye view. 

Direct from the Columbian Exposition, Shakespeare has been welcoming children to Lincoln Park since 1894.

If not today, stop by on April 23rd and celebrate the Bard’s birthday Chicago style.

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Kamehachi- 8 Turtles of Luck

If you grew up in Chicago, there’s a good chance that your first taste of sushi came from Kamehachi on Wells and North Ave. Opened in 1967 and still operated by members of Mrs. Marion Konishi’s family, Kamehachi is now in its 3rd rendition.This sleek, modern sushi establishment has only 2 things in common with the original,the owners and the supreme quality. The original was a tiny, light restaurant, dominated by a sushi bar and frequented mostly by Japanese people. Now, the dimly lit and beautifully designed Kamahachi is still one of Chicago’s top places for sushi. 

All 3 restaurants have been on Wells Street. Beginning across the street from The Second City, Kamehachi is now right next door and in front of A Red Orchid Theatre. For a great date, go see a show at one of Chicago’s best small theatres and end your evening in this hot spot for sushi.

Wondering about the turtle reference? Kamehachi means “8 turtles” in Japanese. The number 8 and the turtle are both symbols of good luck in Japanese culture.

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Today we salute a true romance, Chicago style. Sheila Leonard, wife of WGN radio personality Roy Leonard passed on today. A lovely woman and one of the nicest couples I have ever met. Married since 1953 and living in the Chicago suburbs since 1967, Roy and Sheila raised 6 boys and have many grandchildren. Sheila will be missed. 

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Need I say more. Built in 1914 and home to the Chicago Cubs for 97 years. No world series winners but still the best day baseball in the world. Bleachers, grandstands or box seats, nothing beats a summer afternoon at Wrigley. Share some peanuts and crackerjacks and love the one you’re with.

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Humboldt Park. The Boathouse, the stables, the whole park is another example of outdoor perfection in Chicago. Take a stroll, have a picnic, read to each other….

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The Empire Room-Palmer House Chicago

Did you know that the Palmer House Hotel was built as a wedding present from Potter Palmer to his bride, Bertha Honore? Timing wasn’t so great and it burned to the ground in the great Chicago fire a few days later. Ya gotta love the Palmer family. Potter went out and borrowed almost 2 mil. to rebuild it and get it right this time. Then he remodeled a few years later to make a bigger, more modern hotel which sold for 20 mil. to Conrad Hilton.

Built from love, the Empire Room remains the sexiest room in Chicago. A long time nightclub and host to the biggest celebs from Frank Sinatra to Cher, The Empire Room closed in 1976. It is still used for parties and special events. Beautifully remodeled, the gold, green and black motif still reigns. We are so lucky to have a gem like this in Chicago. When you have the chance, walk in and breathe deep. You will feel the history, the glamour and love in your heart and soul.

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