All posts by Shannon Conder

AALL: Welcome to Chicago! Recommendations from Local CALL Members.

With the AALL conference being held in Chicago this year, we wanted to showcase local recommendations for things to do, places to eat, and more!

Downtown Hidden Gems

Milton Lee Olive Park, recommended by Sarah Reneker Andeen

“The Milton Lee Olive Park is a small gem of a park right on the Lakefront near Navy Pier. Less chaotic and crowded than the main Lakefront it is a great place to see the iconic Chicago views. Many people take picnics or takeout. ”

Favorite Building

The Rookery Building, recommended by Emily Barney

“The Rookery Building at 209 South LaSalle Street was designed by Burnham & Root in the late 1800s, and updated by Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 1900s with a gorgeous “light court” in the center of the building. The lobby is free to visit M-F fr4om 7am to 6pm and on Saturday from 8am-2pm.”

Multiple buildings, recommended by Caitlin Archer-Helke

  • “Monadnock Building (Dearborn and Jackson) is the world’s tallest building with load-bearing walls!
  • Bond Chapel (University of Chicago) is very small, very intimate, and is a remarkably beautiful little space
  • Roosevelt University/Auditorium Theater
  • Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church (formerly Temple Isaiah) in Bronzeville, one of the birthplaces of gospel music and a testament to Dankmar Adler’s genius in architecture and acoustical engineering
  • Roby House, Frank Lloyd Wright. and the U of C’s business school across from it, which echoes its terraces as well as the main campus’s Gothic Revival architecture
  • Carbide & Carbon Building, Burnham Brothers, Chicago Loop – the wine bottle-top (completed 1929) totally speaks for itself
  • Bertram Goldberg’s Marina Towers
  • Jeannie Gang’s Aqua
  • The Intercontinental Hotel (just north of the river), because where else can you find a zeppelin launcher on the top of a building?!”

Favorite Neighborhood

Hyde Park, recommended by Jasmine Schreiber

“Headed to the Thomson Reuters party? Head over a little early to explore Hyde Park! A beautiful neighborhood with the gothic architecture of UChicago and proximity to the lakeside, Hyde Park recently made Time Out’s list of the 40 coolest neighborhoods in the world. Take a stroll by the lake at Promontory Point and soak in the view of the city skyline. Or, check out the Garden of the Phoenix in Jackson Park, nestled behind the Museum of Science and Industry. To get to Hyde Park, take the number 6 bus, or the Metra from downtown. ”

Pilsen, recommended by Emily Barney

“Pilsen is a neighborhood with great public art, the wonderful (free!) National Museum of Mexican Art, lots of great restaurants, and local shops from Mexican candies and bakeries to record shops and clothing and art galleries. If you stick around Chicago through the next weekend, the 52nd annual Fielsa del Sol will be held from Thursday July 25th through Sunday July 28th.”

Favorite Free Attraction

Chicago Cultural Center, recommended by Caitlin Archer-Helke and Kristen Naik

“Chicago Cultural Center, including some of the world’s biggest Tiffany mosaics and a lot of free exhibits, concerts, and more.” Located in the Loop.

Museum of Contemporary Photography, recommended by Emily Barney

“The Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College (at 600 South Michigan Avenue) is open 10am-5pm Monday-Saturday, and 12pm-5pm on Sundays. They have rotating exhibits with wide-ranging subject matter and feature artists from around the world.” Located in the South Loop.

Favorite Local Brew (coffee, tea, brewery, etc.)

Raised Bar, recommended by Kristen Naik

“While not the tallest of the buildings along the river, it is right on Wacker and gives you a great view of the riverwalk. If you are able to get an outside table, you can look right over the river! Also has some fun drinks!” Located downtown, on the river.

Eli’s Tea Bar, recommended by Shannon Conder

“Eli’s has an amazing drink lineup (with really creative seasonal options!), and they host events pretty much every night! It’s a bit of a hike from the Loop, but it’s at the end of a great lineup of shops in Andersonville.”

Favorite Chicago Pizza

Pizzeria Due, recommended by Stacia Stein

“Pizzeria Due — Spinoccoli deep dish. Spinach and Broccoli make this a nourishing and nutritious choice. It’s basically a health food.” Located in River North.

Favorite Library 

Blackstone Branch of the Chicago Public Library, recommended by Caitlin Archer-Helke

“It’s small and maybe not impressive (except architecturally), but it was my childhood branch, and it was always a magical place for me.” Located in Kenwood.

Harold Washington Library, recommended by Leah Whitesel

“Check out the top floor!” Located in the Loop.

Chinatown Branch of the Chicago Public Library, recommended by Shannon Conder

“It’s currently closed for renovations, but if you ever find yourself in Chinatown, stop by the library! It’s an absolutely gorgeous building, and they occasionally host cultural events.”

Favorite Bookstore

The Book Cellar, recommended by Leah Whitesel and Jim Forstas

“The Book Cellar. Independent bookshop with a little cafe attached in the heart of Lincoln Square across from Giddings Plaza.” Located in Lincoln Square.

Unabridged Bookstore, recommended by Emily

“Unabridged Bookstore – Unabridged has been around 40+ years, has a large collection of LGBTQ+ titles, a big sale section, and a very cute kids section. They sell cute totes and mugs that would be wonderful souvenirs. Staff there is knowledgeable and open to questions. They also usually have some signed copies of newer releases by Chicago authors. In the Lakeview East neighborhood, and near North Halsted neighborhood, Belmont Harbor, and the Lakefront Trail.”

Favorite Public Art

Murals, recommended by Emily Barney

“If you’re looking for an emblematic public mural to represent your visit, the ‘Welcome to Chicago’ mural by the duo known as Greetings Tour – Victor Ving and Lisa Beggs, is designed like a classic postcard with each letter highlighting different famous images of Chicago. A block or two south is another Mural honoring Robin Williams and just beyond that is a small ice cream parlor, Margie’s Candies, that’s been in business for over 100 years.”

Favorite Restaurant

Minghin, recommended by Sarah Reneker Aldeen

“Minghin is a great place for Dim Sum – and all Chinese food. The Dim Sum menu is offered all day and there is a happy hour from 2-5 of 20% off (not in Chinatown).” Locations in Lakeshore East, South Loop, Streeterville, and Chinatown.

Daisy’s Po Boy, recommended by Jasmine Schreiber

“Daisy’s Po Boy is a gem of the South Side of Chicago. The menu is packed with delicious options(including vegetarian and vegan options) that will transport you to New Orleans. Yes, even alligator is on the menu! Chef Erick Williams was named Best Chef: Great Lakes by the James Beard Foundation in 2022. Your appetite is in good hands. ”

Café Central, recommended by Caitlin Archer-Helke

“Café Central, a long-standing Puerto Rican greasy spoon/hole-in-the-wall that is very worth a visit. It is the oldest Puerto Rican restaurant in Chicago and is so delicious.” Located in Noble Square.

Margie’s Candies, recommended by Mike

“Margie’s Candies is great old time ice-cream/soda-shop and candy store still owned by original family members. Jump in the DeLorean and take a ride back to the 1930s.” Located in Bucktown.

Community Service Committee Annual Report 2022-2023

In 2022-2023, the Community Service Committee was chaired by Lisa Winkler. The members of the committee were James Fortsas, Mike McMillan, Nan Norton, Beth Schubert and Leah Whitesel.

Volunteer Opportunities

We successfully coordinated the following four volunteering opportunities from October 2022 to May 2023: Continue reading Community Service Committee Annual Report 2022-2023