Spring Break, The Local Tourist Style

Spring Break for teenagers is generally thought to include a beach somewhere in Florida, South Carolina, or anywhere that has sand and a coastline and temperatures that are consistently above freezing. Not if your mom is The Local Tourist!

This week my 16- almost 17-year-old son and I are going to tour Chicagoland like a couple of tourists. Each day we’re exploring a different area of the city: Andersonville, Pilsen, Oak Park, and downtown. Here are the neighborhoods we’ll be visiting and how we chose them:


Last year Sean and I sampled George’s menu, and ever since he’s been craving the roast beef & cheddar panini. Yep. He chose this neighborhood for a sandwich. Of course, there’s more to this Northern neighborhood than a good panini (and it is really good). The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce provided some great recommendations, including the fact that the area was just named a National Historic District.


I’ve been wanting to explore Pilsen for awhile now. Located on the southwest side, this neighborhood is home to a vibrant Hispanic and arts community, and we’ll definitely be visiting the Mexican Fine Arts Museum. That and some other spots were recommended by Martin Garcia, who covers the art scene for TLT.

Oak Park

Two names: Frank Lloyd Wright and Ernest Hemingway. The first has been a big influence on my dad’s art, and the second on my writing. And lucky me, I’m house sitting this week for a friend who lives in Oak Park!

Downtown and The College Tour

My little boy is all grown up and looking at colleges. Like most kids he doesn’t want to be too close to home, but Chicago is so enticing he wants to see what the universities are like. (Once again – lucky me!) He wants to visit Columbia, DePaul, and UIC. Then since a friend of his is studying graffiti (on paper), we’re going to stop at The Blackstone to see the Outlaw exhibit.

Each day we’ll be taking photographs and video. If you’d like to follow along in real time I’ll be updating Twitter, Facebook, and Whrrl each step of the way.






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