Sunday, September 21, 2014

Chicago: Bar on the 96th Floor and Chinatown (Video)

This weekend I went to Chicago for official business, but of course I took time to enjoy myself at the Windy City. Chicago is just as beautiful as ever, and I got to sip cocktails and admire her beauty from the 96th floor. I also took advantage of Chinatown for good dim sum and stocked up my Chinese cooking supplies.

There is a restaurant and lounge bar in the John Hancock building. You can spend 18USD to go the observatory on the 94 floor (the observatory is now called 360Chicago) or spend the same amount of money and have a little drink at the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor. The lounge offers beers (around 8USD), cocktails (around 15USD), wine (around 15ish), and desserts (around 8USD), non alcoholic drinks (around 8USD). I believe there is also a 5 dollar cover charge. I went at 8:30PM on a Saturday night, and I lined up for about an hour before I actually got to sit down and order my drinks. I got a seat at the bar so no direct view of the windows, but close enough. I was tempted to order a cheesecake and my friend order red velvet, the drinks and cake were both pretty good.
The view is amazing from this up high.

Our specialty cocktails.

Red Velvet Cake.


Ladies, you must pay a visit to the restrooms while you are here, the view is amazing. I've heard that the gentlemen won't be so lucky and they only have a wall in their bathroom.

Selfie with amazing view in women bathroom.
Overall, I would say the Signature Lounge is worth a visit if you like night views from tall places. You don't really know which side in the bar you will be seated, so you may get the side with the tall buildings of the Chicago skyline, or the other side where the street lights form a golden grid through the dark. It's quite a romantic place and I saw a lot of couples there.

The hostel I stayed in is HI-Chicago which stands for Hostelling International Chicago. This is my second time staying here, and it's clean, organized, and right across from Millennium Park. With a price of about 35USD per bed in a shared room and such central location, I really don't think you can get a better deal then that. You can easily walk to Cloud Gate, the Art Institute, and all that shopping on Michigan Avenue. The breakfast included in the price is pretty good too, with muffins, toast, bagel, yogurt, cereal, and oatmeal. I would recommend this hostel to anyone visiting Chicago.

Art Institute Chicago is like 7 minute walk from the hostel.

My friends who visit Chicago frequently suggested a dim sum brunch at Ming Hin. As you can see from my other article about dim sum, I enjoy this Cantonese tea and snack style of meal very much. The food was good and I was a happy girl after brunch. While at Chinatown I went to stock up on some Chinese cooking supplies since they were cheaper than the Asian market back in West Lafayette. Here's a small sample of what I got: dried mushrooms, tofu, thousand year egg, dried noodles. The we wrapped up our Chicago trip with the pride of Taiwan--bubble milk tea from Kung Fu tea.

Taiwan pride: bubble milk tea!

Once we left the city, it was flatness all the way. The clouds were layered in different shades of blue and gray, and corn fields lined our way. It was a beautiful sight that we pulled over for a few photos.

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