By Robert Delwood | Senior STC Member
The STC Chicago chapter welcomes you to Chicago for the 2022 Technical Communication Summit. Drop by the welcome desk to meet any of the chapter’s members. Chicago is an exciting city with plenty to do and see. Actually, so much to do and see that a few paragraphs and suggestions hardly begin to cover the area or the events. We encourage you to come early or to stay afterwards a couple of days to take advantage of the sights. There is plenty of information available on the internet about the city. Even asking around for locals’ favorite places to eat will certainly get an excited reaction. The following is a brief overview of some of the activities.
Around the Convention Center
The Summit is held in Rosemont, Illinois. Rosemont is well-positioned for large conventions. The Parkway Bank Park Entertainment District is the most noticeable attraction. Two blocks away from the Hyatt Regency, the district includes 15 dining and entertainment venues. These include upscale international cuisine, casual dining, perfect for groups, live music and comedy, films, indoor skydiving, and bowling. Favorites tend to be the Five Roses Pub, Adobe Gila’s, Zanies Comedy Club, and the Sugar Factory for snacking highs. Stroll around the great lawn for a variety of events including an outdoor ice rink, concerts, and festivals.
Rosemont is about 15 miles from downtown Chicago. Driving in Chicago is a maddening affair, so we recommend taking the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) commuter trains. Chicago is famous for them. The convention area is served by the Blue Line. Many Summit attendees would already be familiar with this, as they took it from the O’Hare Airport, one stop to the west. To the east are all stops Chicago.
Rosemont station is within walking distance of the Hyatt. Tickets and passes may be purchased any station. Each boarding is $2.50. Popular options are the one- and three-day passes for unlimited boardings, for $10 and $20 respectively, starting from the time you first use the pass. Trains arrive regularly, about every 10 minutes. The trip to downtown Chicago takes about 45 to 55 minutes. They are not crowded other than during rush hours.
Most stops before downtown are neighborhoods, although three are worth mentioning: Logan Square, California, and Damen. These stops are charming pedestrian areas replete with restaurants, bouquet shopping, and strolling opportunities. For example, a Chicago favorite is Stan’s Donuts, literally adjacent to the Damen station, and allows for a quick, delicious, and decadent stop along the way.
Downtown Chicago will be the goal for most visitors. Planning a trip downtown requires little more than an Internet search, perhaps for a cuisine type, shopping, or public attractions. The El (or elevated as it’s called when downtown) enters an area called The Loop, as the CTA forms a circle, or loop, around it, although most of the Blue Line is underground at this point. Downtown is suited for walking. The copious number of people add a feeling of safety. There are no bad restaurants or pubs. Every level of experience, price, and ethnic offering is available from Americana, Italian, Greek, Polish, Russian, to Mexican. Little Italy, Greektown, and Chinatown are each further south, and not in The Loop but worth the additional effort.
An important Blue Line stop is Washington. To the south, or right as you get off the El, is Michigan Avenue. The Magnificent Mile (three blocks away) is known for its high-end stores, window shopping, and specialized boutiques. Millennium Park has the Bean, an iconic reflective sculpture. That area, more generally known as Grant Park, is Chicago’s treasured greenway. It contains two miles of lake-front trails, interesting art, and tree-lined pathways. To the north is the Navy Pier, a jetty into the lake with stores, restaurants, and rides, although it’s a mile and half away. Coffee lovers will want to see Starbucks’ largest store, the Roastery, a dazzling five-story building.
The Monroe stop gets closer the Museum district of Grant Park, including the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, the Alder Planetarium, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Soldier Field, where the Chicago Bears play.