Explore Chicago CTA Edition: This is Lake

Explore Chicago CTA Edition: This is Lake

This is Lake. Doors open on the right at Lake. Transfer to orange, pink, green, brown, and purple lines at Lake. Hey everyone, welcome back to the third installment of Explore Chicago CTA Edition! As always, I’m your blogger, Miguel Molina! Today, we are going to be having some fun with both eats and treats down at the CTA’s Lake stop. Be sure to bring your student ID card, ventra card (u-pass), and as always, an empty belly. Let’s go!

Getting There:

There are three ways that I would recommend getting to Lake, depending on where you live and with time considered. The first way is the easiest. You can take the CTA Red line down from Loyola straight into Lake station (toward 95th). This may take around 45 minutes, give or take. Or, you can take the Intercampus shuttle from the Lakeshore Campus to the Water Tower Campus and take the El from Chicago and State toward Lake. Lastly, you can always take an Uber or a Lyft, depending on the size of the group you are traveling with, and what time of day you are planning to visit the area.

Main Attractions:

  1. Millennium Park: Completed in 2004, Millennium Park is Chicago’s park and is among the top attractions for tourists who visit the city of Chicago. This is a place for people of all ages to appreciate and enjoy. Come, I’ll give you a short tour. First, there is the Cloud Gate, affectionately dubbed “The Bean”. The structure is a smooth steel structure with no seams and reflects the beauty of the Chicago skyline. Which makes it a perfect place for selfies for Snapchat and Instagram! During the holiday season, there are carolers who perform right by Cloud Gate. This is the perfect time to sing holiday carols and sip some pipping hot chocolate. Right underneath the promenade with “The Bean” is McCormick Tribune Plaza and Ice Rink. This is the perfect place to spend time with friends during the holiday season. During the winter months, plaza oval becomes an ice rink. This would be the ideal place to bring out your significant other on a special date or to relax with some family and friends. The grill next door, offers some deliciously warm food as well! A couple paces from the ice rink is Crown Fountain. Here two glass towers have projected faces of the family members of the people who designed and built the structure. The two act as “water fountains” and allow for all to cool off after a hot day in the summer sun. The key feature is that every 5-10 minutes, the faces open their “mouths” and water comes gushing out, much to the delight of young families who gather at a special spot to get soaked. Before you go, please sure to check out the Pritzker Pavilion, a popular place for young families and college students, to come and hang out. During the summer, it is very popular for bands and concerts to be performed at this open venue. Luckily, it is free if you sit on the lawn. And who wouldn’t? Spring and summer are the perfect time of the year to enjoy a picnic with some quality music. During the months of July-August, the Pavilion also offers free movies to the public. This can range from movies like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to the Breakfast Club to Prince’s Purple Rain. You may be wondering how you will get to hear the movie if the venue is massive and open? Luckily, the pavilion is equipped with some surround sound audio allowing all audience members to enjoy the experience. After to enjoying some music and snacks, be sure to cross over the BP Pedestrian Bridge designed by world renowned architect, Frank Gehry (who also designed the pavilion). Here the bridge’s serpentine appearance acts as a sound barrier from the park to the main street, Columbus Drive. When exiting the bridge on the other side you will find some beautiful gardens for you to explore and another special park we are going to visit next. For more info, check out: (https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/millennium_park.html)
  2. Maggie Daley Park: Completed in 2015, Maggie Daley Park is dedicated in the memory of former Mayor, Richard M Daley’s wife, Maggie Daley who died of breast cancer. Here, there are several sights and attractions for both adults and children. The park is basically a large scale playground. But some of the notable sights include the ribbon (shaped in the style of a cancer ribbon), which doubles as an ice skater during the winter and a rollerblading track during the summer months. There are also climbing walls, available to all ages. Near the entrance of the park, there is also a memorial garden to all those who have been affected and survived their battle with cancer. For more info, check out: (http://maggiedaleypark.com)

Places to Eat: 

  1. Latinicity: On Block 37, across from the iconic Chicago Theatre is a food hall that caters to all South American and Latin American cuisine, called Latinicity. Here, the music and atmosphere is vibrant, the food is delicious and tasty, and the experience is truly a special one! Upon entering the hall, you are given a meal card which you can use to access all the mini-pop up restaurants/cafes within the hall. They have stations that special with tortas (Mexican style sandwiches), ceviche (Latin American style, marinated raw fish salad), Brazilian steaks, and some Peruvian style Japanese noodles (their aeropuerto is delicious). This is a place for a truly savory experience! To check out their options and other info, check out this link: (https://www.latinicity.com)
  2.  Seven on State: Across the street from Block 37 is Macy’s Chicago flagship store. On the 7th floor of this architecturally aesthetic building, is Seven on State. Here, several world renowned chefs have small restaurants/cafes for the public to enjoy. For example, Rick Bayless, known for his Mexican inspired cuisine has a cafe, their is a Japanese noodle place by Takashi Yagihashi. Like Latinicity, this is the perfect place to go if you and your friends have different pallets and want to try something new. For more information, please check out: (http://chicago.metromix.com/venues/mmxchi-seven-on-state-venue)
  3. Magnolia Bakery: Do you still have some room for dessert? Of course you do, before heading up back to Loyola, be sure to check out Magnolia Bakery at Block 37. Here, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with some special American favorites. Whether you want a piece of cake, a pastry, or a cup of soothing, hot cup o’ joe; Magnolia got you covered. For me, I always go for their sweet cupcakes, always getting the German Chocolate one. To learn more about what they offer please check out their website and menu online for more details and facts: (https://www.magnoliabakery.com)

Still hungry and looking for more to visit? Be sure to tune in the week of November 28 as we go and explore Chicago and State (Loyola’s Water Tower Campus) on this edition of Explore Chicago CTA Edition. Doors closing.

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