July 10th, 2006

Got a Song Stuck in My Head Walkin' Down

Driving In the City

jefF mentioned this in the guide to Chicago, but I'm going to reiterate what it said here. driving in from the east sucks balls right now.
I run an all ages punk venue on the far north side of the city and a band that was on tour was stuck on the Dan Ryan (I 90/94 south of down town) for THREE AND A HALF HOURS. There are alternate routes to avoid the mess, but they're tricky and usually only known by the locals. the best thing to do would be to build in some extra time into your trip. So let's say you're driving in from New York/New Jersey (Larry) and you were expecting a 13ish hour drive, expect something closer to 15.

once you're at the hotel, you'll probably have to park your car in the parking garage. Street parking around the hotel (assuming you find it) is metered, so unless you're planning on running out to your car every two hours to pump the meter with quarters, you're better off just parking it in the garage. there's valet parking at the hotel and the parking garage is directly behind the building on Congress.

speaking of parking meters.... you have to feed the meters usually between 9am and 8pm, but that changes depending on the area. Also, meters are anywhere from an hour per quarter to five minutes per quarter, so be aware. Finally, in the greater Wrigleyville/Lakeview area, you have to feed meters on Sundays. everywhere else in the city, you don't. You can blame all the people who actually drive to Cubs games for that one.

While on the subject of the Cubs, if you happened to luck out get tickets to the Cubs/Cardinals game please DO NOT DRIVE to the game. Seriously. parking usually goes up by at least ten dollars when the Cardinals are in town (because St. Louis fans drive here and the parking lots make a killing off of them). The L's red line literally drops you off at the back door of Wrigley Field. If you don't have tickets to the game, but want to head down there to see Wrigley, be warned, the Cubs/Cards rivalry is the midwestern version of the BoSox/Yankees rivalry. Old Style vs. Budweiser as I like to call it. the douche bag alert will be at orange most likely, so be on the look out for wacky drunk bro hijinx. But hey, if you have a good sense of humor, it's worth a few good laughs.

for your convenience, here's an L map.Collapse )