Chicago: Finding the Razzle Dazzle in Chicago


The Cloud Gate In Chicago’s Millennium Park

Daira Gentrup, Graphic Artist

563.6 miles. That’s how far away Chicago, Illinois is from Norfolk. The trip took us over nine hours but we eventually made it to the Windy City and boy was it windy!

Three students and one advisor from the Viewpoint took the trip form Norfolk to Chicago for the National Collegiate Media Convention Oct. 31st – Nov. 4th.

Aside from the conference there were a few things we really wanted to see and try: eat Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, visit Navy Pier and shop the Magnificent Mile.

While our conference was at the Sheraton Hotel along the Chicago River, we stayed in the Red Roof Inn only a couple blocks away. The walk every morning was a fun way to get to see the city up close.

During the trip we ate deep-dish pizza twice. Once just wasn’t enough! The first was at Pizzeria Uno and then later in the week we went to Giordano’s, who claims to be the originator of deep-dish pizza. Both were good, but the vote was unanimous that Giordano’s was better, even if we did have to wait two hours to get our pizza.


Pizza wasn’t the only thing we ate on the trip. Epic Burger was less than a block away from our hotel. Their burgers were truly ‘epic’.  An Epic Burger comes with lettuce, tomato, pickles, epic sauce, grilled or raw onions, a fried egg, bacon and cheese. Even with fries and a shake, Epic Burger was one of the least expensive meals we ate.

Other restaurants we went to and recommend would be: Fox and Obel, West Egg and Cosi.

We were hoping to go to the Billy Goat Tavern, famous from a Saturday Night Live skit, but the location we visited may have technically been handicap accessible but it wasn’t worth the amount of trouble we would have had to go through to eat there.

We visited Navy Pier one night and agreed that it would have been much cooler to see in the middle of the summer when everything was at full swing. But we shopped, ate Chicago dogs, and even rode the giant Ferris wheel that gave us a breathtaking view of the city. Either way, the Navy Pier is still an excellent place to visit.

Shopping along the Magnificent Mile took us more than one night. There were many things we looked at that we couldn’t afford but there were some things we just couldn’t live without. We would suggest shopping on a weekday seeing as the streets became crowded as the weekend hit.

Before leaving there was one more thing we had to see: the big silver bean shaped thing. After trying to figure out what this famous landmark was actually called, we finally made it to see Cloud Gate.

Cloud Gate is large metal sculpture in Millennium Park that captures the attention of many visitors daily. “The Bean,” as it’s often referred as, is must-see if you ever visit Chicago.

We couldn’t see everything in the city, but those are things we will just have to put on a list for the next time we visit.

563.6 miles: how far Chicago is from Norfolk. The car ride back seemed almost twice as long, maybe next time we’ll be smart enough to fly.


To read more about NCMC read Nikita Rector’s story here.