montrose beach


St Cyrus Beach by Allan Ogg
Via Flickr:
The end of St Cyrus Beach, looking through the rocks towards some cottages or a fishing station (maps are contradictory).

Let's Get This Straight

Chicago is not a city full of “thugs” or “disrupters.”

Chicago is a very diverse city with a variety of beautiful cultures big and small. Its the city of big shoulders. It’s the city where ketchup on a hot dog is a sin. It’s the city where the pizza is 3+ inches thick. It’s the city where at least once a day you hear someone passing by on the street or on the bus talking about the Cubs, or the Sox, or the Bulls or the Blackhawks. It’s the city where you’re downtown and you look up and the seagulls above are taunting the buildings to reach higher and higher. It’s the city where on those hot, humid summer days you take the bus down Montrose to Montrose Beach. It’s the city where on the worst winter days you still see people making their commute downtown, determined to get from place A to B. It’s the city where twisters are afraid to go, chased off by the Great Lake Michigan. It’s the city where writers and artists alike are inspired, and are encouraged to release their talent into the world. It’s the city where on St. Pat’s weekend the river turns green and everyone celebrates with cheers and (sometimes too much) beer. It’s the city where you know that one corner that has the crepe stand, and those crepes are delicious. It’s the city where on a street of red brick two flats there’s that one tan 4 story apartment building that sticks out like a thorn. It’s the city where a girl can call home.

It’s the city where I grew up, and I am not ashamed of it.

Think of this the next time you watch Trump, CNN, or Fox on your television. Please repost to spread the truth.

Free Things to Do in Chicago

For @owenabbott

1. The Lincoln Park Zoo. It’s 100% free for everyone, every day, and there are numerous indoor exhibits and Zoolights so even in the winter, it’s fun and cute and contemplative. It’s east of the Fullerton Red/Purple/Brown Line stop (or accessible by bus). 

2. The Lincoln Park Conservatory. This indoor botanical garden is encased in a beautiful mid-century building on the northwest side of the zoo. It has a variety of plants and provides lushness and warmth in the cold winter months; it’s very peaceful and pretty and free. 

3. The Chicago Cultural Center. Also totally free, beautiful architecture and all sorts of things to look at. It’s right across the street from Millennium Park, so just get off at the Loop and head east and you’re practically there. 

4. Watch Dogs at Montrose Beach. This one is out of season, but seriously, Dog Beach is the best. 

5. Walk the Lakefront Trail. It’s brisk outside and a little gray, but hugging the lake and seeing the city shrink behind you is always a delight. It’s even better in the winter than the spring, I think. 

6. Live Lit. Many of Chicago’s premier literary events are free, like Tuesday Funk (first tuesday of the month at Hopleaf), Essay Fiesta (at the Book Cellar, my favorite book store in the city), and The Paper Machete (every single Saturday at The Green Mill, 3pm). 

7. The Bahai Temple. This one is a journey, but it’s weird and one of a kind and worth it. Take the red to Howard, get on the purple, take the purple to the end of the line, and then exit and take a right on the first road you encounter. You’ll walk past a weird golf course, then boom: one of the only Bahai temples in the world. Check out the museum in the basement, walk the grounds, sit in the temple and read or meditate or whatever, and don’t worry, you’re totally welcome there and won’t be bothered. 

8. The DuSable Museum of African American History. Another great free museum! It’s open to the public on Sundays, I believe you don’t need to be an IL resident to get in for free. I took my summer school students here and they really enjoyed it, almost as much as I did. 

9. The Jane Addams Hull House Museum. This historical location is in fantastic form and is utterly free. Learn a little about Chicago history and architecture and Addams’ many contributions to the city and its peace movement all at once. 

10. The Garfield Park Conservatory! It’s massive, stunning, and free. 

Creating Montrose Point and Montrose Beach via landfill and dredging, 1932, Chicago.

You can make out Montrose and Wilson stretching west.

It is remarkable to see how urban developers were able to drastically change the landscape. 80 years later, the land in these areas is still unstable which is most apparent after a rain or a thaw. The ground is like walking on a sponge.