Break Out of the Loop
I just got the latest edition of Adventure magazine in the mail and there is a nice piece about Chicago in their City Escape section. As an aside, Adventure is one of my favorite magazines and I highly recommend a subscription to anyone who longs for the great outdoors.
I found this particular article interesting because I wasn't aware of the variety of things to do around what will be home for the next two years. If you thought ChiTown was all about the sleekest clubs, coldest winters, hippest fashions, quant jock GSBers and touchy feely Kelloggians, think Summer. Then, go back to thinking about the other stuff again.
Summer in Chicago kicks off with Bike the Drive. On May 29, most of Lake Shore Drive is closed off for traffic to accomodate a 15- or 30-mile "non-competitive tour" bike ride. Over the rest of the summer, one can cycle on the bike path that stretches for 18 miles along the shore of Lake Michigan.
If your cocaine is paddling rather than pedaling, the Chicago river is open for business. Kayak Chicago offers instruction, rentals and architectural tours in single or tandem kayaks. Boston is a completely different city when viewed from a kayak on the Charles, so I'm interested to find out what Chicago looks like.
Apparently, there is something someplace called the Lake Michigan Seawall. Intrepid Chicagoland climbers have begun to boulder at that spot, but the mag says that they are often greeted by the police. So, they get their fix 200 miles away at Devil's Lake State Park in Wisconsin. MBA types may be interested in climbing Cookie Cutter, Earnings Summary, Hard Sell, Microwave Dinner, Self Mutilation, and, as one's loyalties may lie - Special K or Chicago ! A few months into the program, though, I suspect one might seek out Orgasm, or the more desirably named, yet harder to climb, Orgasm Direct :-)
Back on land, ever wanted to zip around town in a Segway ? City Segway Tours has 3-hour Segway trips to (in their words:) landmarks such as Buckingham Fountain and Museum Campus. I think this is real cool.
Finally, if scuba is your thing, Lake Michigan is to dive for. Turns out there are shipwrecks on the lake floor, like the 240-feet Material Service that sunk in 1936. Who would've thunk !N'Pursuit Adventure Charters is a company that leads, for 75 bucks, two-tank dives of the wreck.
Of course, this post might just be an exercise in futility since I won't be in Chicago during the summer :-(