It's Chicago or it's Nothing...

So The last time I posted - I was battening down the hatches and awaiting what was to be a snow Thunderstorm of massive proportions - 6-8 inches they said...Well the last time I was promised that, I ended up divorced as that never delivered either. So needless to say - the snow storm was a massive non-event for Chicagoans but hey - at least it would be easy to get around with no piles of snow everywhere!

First things first - get rid of my pimpster car - As ghetto Fab as it was, it was also costing a ridiculous $50 a day to park in the windy city - so adios Hot Rod and Foot Falcon here I come

In the interests of keeping the economy alive, I did something that I believe I have said in the past that I would never, ever do again - a guided city tour with a bus load of non English speaking peeps...and yet - here I was on Saturday morning - getting onto a 56 seater bus, where, for the next 4 hours, I would not only hear the monotonous drone of the driver/tour guide Bert, but also the chatter of 20 plus Germans - who were oblivious to the fact that we were at the mercy of Bert - who was trying to be informative about the delights of the Windy town...yet not quite as entertaining as my European Descendants.. With the horror of being stuck for the next 4 hours aside, the tour itself was good in the fact that we got to see most of Chicago - N, S, E and West Side...Word.

It really is a smashing city - perhaps my new favourite place in the US ( not counting Vegas of course ) What is it about Chicago I hear you asking? Well, I'm still not sure, but it is one of those cities that has an electric kind of vibe to it, the moment you arrive. Something in the air even. Coming from New York City, it’s tough to say you could compare them, but Chicago has something else - something NYC perhaps doesn't - number 1 - probably a couple of million people less would have to be the first thing I noticed - it’s like NYC's cousin - a small country town compared to the apple - yet enticing enough to want to go out every night and eat at one of the foodie lovers delights - so much to choose from and so little time!! That's the number 2 reason - Food - and good food - it’s everywhere - every kind, specialties like the deep dish ( aka fondue pot ) pizza, Chicago dogs, Ribs - of course I had to oblige on this one, and Italian and Irish bars as far as the eye can see...Needless to say, I ate my way through the windy streets, and vowed to get back to continue on for my next visit.

Chicago Ribs are not like Memphis Rib - I have done this research for you! Your'e welcome

My place to visit on the next visit is the "Purple Pig" - I really wanted to go here - the menu looks amazing, but I just couldn't face another restaurant eating solo.... next time for sure!!

# 3 reason - the buildings are amazing - I especially love the 2 glass brick towers that are a fountain - with pictures of Chicago peeps and a virtual waterfall - its right around the corner from the silver Bean that has become the symbol of Chicago. That and a few pounds of cheese in the pizza...I mean really the pizza was delicious, but to be honest is it really necessary to fill a pizza that is - and let’s put all cards on the table and be honest - really it’s a "cheesecake" of sorts and should be labelled as such. Just saying...

Onwards and upwards - time to kick start my gangster life and head to Detroit...home of 8 mile, Crips and Bloods, Madonna's home town, and run down and burnt down houses that I often see on one of my fav shows - COPS...Bad boys what u gunna do...Good lord -shouldn't I have some kind of Kevlar embroidered uniform to indemnify my employer from death and destruction of their employees???

I am seriously considering taking my second amendment right as a US citizen and bearing arms...Will they let me conceal a dirty harry special I wonder? I have already got the ammo... don't ask don't tell...just know that if I need to - I can defend...

Detroit - after all is said and done, there really wasn't too much to get worried about - it turns out that we had nothing to be concerned about - we flew ( in a driving sense of course ) past the ghetto and landed in a "suburban outskirt " of the town - a humble city called UTICA, so were far away from the gangland wars of the 8 mile...2 trailer park girls - nowhere to be seen :)

Good advice for all of you watching at home from our Car rental person - make sure you check your car prior to leaving the depot and make sure that the tyres are not bald... Why is that we ask - it is not something I would have ever thought to look for when getting a rental - NOT so in Detroit - and here is why...

Apparently the way to get new and Fresh tread on your wheels is to rent a similar car to that of which has similar treads to your Vee-hicle - and rent it for a day - swapping over the tires to your beast and returning the rental with the balding rubber version. Hence saving yourself more money than you could ever dream of!! Ingenious - those of you who are in the running for new treads - consider it - it is apparently all the rage in the western world. I have to give these peeps credit - they are smart people and do really come up with some glorious ways to make a buck...Can’t say I would have ever thought of that. WORD and Carry on P Diddy..

It Seems fitting then, that in the middle of gangland, I get a text message from my landlord advising me that there had been an attempt to break in to our apartment building - through the hatch in the roof - back in Jersey!!

Not a really great feeling and with flash backs to the Great burglary of 2010 - when my brother and I both slept with either a golf club, or a meat cleaver for at least a week in order to deal with any further intruders that may embark upon the joys that were the Ridge...Again - really?! It must be mentioned that a break in is especially bad when you arrive home same day to realise what has happened, and that peeps who are probably tweaking in the lane way adjacent to your house are not old enough to know what kind of fear they have installed into your senses - but for it to possibly happen again is just not acceptable - especially since I am out of state and not able to be there, and also - I don't have a meat cleaver to ward off the tweakers... thankfully, the intruder attempt was thwarted by the residents in #5 - top floor and whose apartment actually has direct access to the hatch in the roof - but still it is making me feel like it could be time to move again - perhaps somewhere with a dirty doorman and no roof access?? I will save that for another blog...

Detroit - you were OK - nothing as fabulous as Chicago, and I'm glad to be headed "home" - albeit via Chicago again on a connecting flight...Can someone say almost 5-hour delay in Chicago due to bad weather?!! I hate my life sometimes - the glamor that is flying around all the time is wearing very thin...instead of a 930pm arrival to my own bed, I am not home until 130 am and am cross at the world for everything shit that keeps happening to me...

I forgive and forget the next day, after I make friends with Winston - a 5 foot Chinese man with fingers of steel - as he give me a chakra cleansing, deep tissue, knot finding massage that quite possibly changed my world lol - Champion effort Winston, and what a great ending to a week of Gangland, Deep dish Cheese pies and Pimped up rides - Next week, I'm off to the Jersey Shore...I'm sure this will be another adventure not to miss - will have to tease my hair for this one...

Happy travels peeps

Jo written in 2012

About Me

A contestant on Season 10 of MasterChef Australia, who also travels the world in search of the best food and restaurants. From fine dining in NYC, to Truffle hunts in Tuscany – I have been in the travel industry for over 20 years, so now the food is taking over and the fusion is going to be amazing! 


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