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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm taking a hastily-planned trip to Chicago between 16-19 September as there's a huge trade fair taking place at that time which I'm really interested in visiting, for business reasons. After a few years doing things in a law firm, I'm in the process of setting up a fine chocolate and candy business in central London, which is quite ambitious in scope and will (hopefully) be like nothing ever seen in this city!

Anyway, seeing as I'm going to be on that side of the Atlantic I'm also considering spending a week in New York to check out other fine chocolate makers, restaurants, bars etc (and it's research, so that'll be tax-deductible, right?! ;)). I just wondered if any of the BB'ers in here would have any suggestions as to good areas to stay in both cities without scaring my bank manager to death - and, I suppose more importantly, which areas should definitely be avoided. I'm checking Craigslist every day to see if anyone is renting out their appartment in NY for a week or so, but if anyone else knows of anything at all that might be of use to me (e.g. great bars, restaurants, stores - I know all the major ones but there could be some that I've missed) please get in touch!

I'm not sure if I'll be able to squeeze in anything Alfa-related this time, which is a pity as I know that many of you come from these areas, but hopefully there will be time in the future to do that.

Cheers,

Alex.

:)
 

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I just took a family trip to Chicago. I have two suggestions. Use priceline.com and make a $89 offer on a 4 star near Michigan ave (called the magnificent mile, it's sort of Chicago's version of New York's Park Ave.). That's where you want to be. We got a super nice hotel for that price one block from Michigan ave.

Skip the Sears tower and go to the John Hancock building for a great view of the city. However don't go to the observation level and pay $9 like all the sheep. Take the express elevator to the Signature lounge, get the same great view AND a decent meal for $12.
 

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OK, visit the Museum of Science and Industry. You can get there via Bus for a couple bucks. When you are there, buy the U-Boat tour ticket. They sell out and you will be sorry if you miss it. The U-Boat display is awesome, but you need that ticket to go on board. While at the muesem don't miss the Race Car section. There is a fantastic Supercharged Alfa Romeo 6C on display as well as some other great cars. Oh, and there are some cool aircraft as well, A German Stuka with battle damage, a Boeing 727, a Spitfire and quite a few more. It's the best muesum I have ever been to, and I go to a lot of them.

Visit Navy Pier at night for the fireworks display. I think it's every Monday and Wedsday nights, but I am not sure about that. You can easily walk there from the Magnificent mile. The fireworks are awesome and free.

The Shed Aqaruim is great if you like fish. I was not impressed by the Alder Planetarium. That time would have been better spent on a second trip to the Museum of Science and Industry.

Visit Buckingham fountain at night. It's a beautiful fountain, powered by something like 4 200hp engines. They have a light show there at night that's cool, and it's free.
 

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Don't forget the Art Institute of Chicago on Michigan Ave (near the Buckingham Fountain) and be a real tourist and go to Rush Street for some Chicago blues. Also, Lower Wacker Drive--see where the Bluesmobile did 120mph (really) in the movie "The Blues Brothers".
 

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Avoid Chicago at all costs. Just Kidding! I've actually only been here about 4 years but it is a great city. I live downtown and for the most part there aren't any places to avoid, except the southern and south western parts of the city. The Museum of Science and industry is down south but it isn't too bad, the University of Chicago is down there too and I think the students do ok.

Anyways, since you're into chocolates and candy, you may want to look of Vosgues and Teuscher, one is local and the other you've probably heard about but they both have shops here.

Lower Wacker Dr. made a more recent appearance in Batman Begins but they filled it with trash for that movie. They're actually busy filming the next one but I haven't seen Angelina Jolie anywhere yet.

Also a walk past the Bentley Gold Coast dealer downtown is fun as long as you don't actually go inside. They usually have several Lamboghinis and other interesting things on display.

As for a good restaurant, bar and event guide most people use
http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/

Most people end up at Hugo's Frog Bar for seafood or Gibsons Steak House. I would recommend sticking with steak. I'm not sure what you're into in terms of food though.
 

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Nyc

Of course New York City has many options and the web is full of info... Nonetheless, for a really cool place to stay (and very reasonably priced) try The House of the Redeemer (http://www.houseoftheredeemer.org/). It's an old mansion, in many ways preserved in it's original condition, in a nice neighborhood on the Upper East Side.

Best regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the tips, guys. Still trying to find some good accommodation in central NYC though, without busting the budget. Any ideas?

Alex.
 

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Thanks for all the tips, guys. Still trying to find some good accommodation in central NYC though, without busting the budget. Any ideas?

Alex.

Well, I wouldn't suggest that "discount" hotel where they found a plastic bag with a body in it, under the bed.
 

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Chicago

Alex;

I hope this post isn't too late. But since your trade show is @ McCormick place, try to stay at a hotel downtown where you'll be close to everything.

Try to stay in the north of the river if you can. Least you will be close to the Mag mile, good food, great views and the Art Institute. Since your trade show is at the McCormick place, you're right next door to the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum if you get a chance.

There are some good blues/jazz bars further up north if you got the time. :)
 
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