Monday, May 2, 2016

Delightfully Hip Beatrix is a Must Do on your Restaurants to Visit List: Restaurant Review: Beatrix

Beatrix is one of the most delightfully hip, energetic and downright happy-go-lucky eateries in the entire Chicago metro area. This is one of the key locations you run to for absolutely creative and delicious food. Dare one say it, but why not say it, we love Beatrix.

Whether you are ordering appetizers (don't miss the wildly fabulous potato salad deviled eggs), breakfast (egg sandwiches rarely come better), brunch, lunch, dinner or dessert (blueberry pie slab!) you will not be disappointed.

Mushroom and quinoa burgers match the taste of the superb beef burgers. The salads are inventive and daringly good. Go with the Straight A salad (it is a straight A) and one of the finest kale salads being assembled in the city's center. You can't miss out on the Kennebec fries. They are salty, but ever so good.

Beatrix is consistently beyond excellent. The service is attentive, helpful and the servers are highly knowledgeable. This is a great place for a group outing or a one-on-one conversation. The acoustics are loud, but you can hear your seating mates. Excellent options for the vegetarian, although not quite as vegan friendly, but they will make to order items based on your dietary needs.

Beatrix is a Lettuce Entertain You owned location, so pull out those gift cards you undoubtedly must have received for some life event and make sure you make reservations at the lively, dependable and outstanding restaurant.

519 N. Clark Street
312 284 1377

Copyright Chicago and Then Some 2016  

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Restaurant Review: Macello Ristorante - Authentic Italian Food in the West Loop

Macello Ristorante offers one of the most satisfying dining experiences you will encounter over the course of any given year in any major city. It is housed in a relatively nondescript building not far from the United Center. It has everything from the meticulously significant menu to the outstanding food to the absolutely glorious service. Macello's will thrill any diner or foodie looking for an outstanding lunch or dinner.

The overall ambiance is lively, colorful and feel-good and the aroma of those wood-burning ovens will keep you heavily engulfed in the anticipation of good and robust food. The menu is reasonably priced by any one's standards, let alone in the heart of the city.

The salads are artistically designed and the highlight here is the Asparagi salad. This salad is so beautiful you may be tempted to take one of those silly food posts for your social media accounts. Your brain working well will tell you not to do this, but the temptation hit us for a second.

Macello's is known for its pizza. The white and red versions are both solid. Go for the Margherita. It's a classic. Whether or not this is one of the best pizzas in the Chicago metro area is arguable. Our opinion is - it's a very good pizza. Is it one of the top five? In our opinion, not really, but again it is a very good pizza.

Both the pomodoro and the marinara sauces are excellent and the panini's are wonderful. Try the gigantic baked Calzone. You won't eat again for hours!

This is a superb location for a get together with friends, birthday celebrations or just going out for a good meal. The staff is amazingly friendly and the service is outstanding. We left a 30 percent tip for
our downright perfect server.

The desserts are out of this world. You will literally taste the single best cannoli in the entire city and the Tiramisu is fabulous.

If you are gluten-free you will find plenty of options on the menu for your diet.

Macello Ristorante is a highlight on the Chicago food scene.

Macello Ristorante
1235 West Lake Street
312 850 9870

Copyright Chicago and Then Some 2016              

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Chicago Flower and Garden Show 2016

The Chicago Flower and Garden Show holds forth a long tradition in the history of Chicago as it dates back to 1847. The 2016 show is a joyous and bountiful sight for the eyes. Navy Pier hosts this greenest of events with a tremendous amount of loveliness, class, creativity and wit. As you enter, you are surrounded by a light and sight show that shouts out PHOTO OP! From there on in you will encounter gorgeous displays and lush plants that can't be seen in our backyards at this time of year.

The two major highlights of this year's dramatic show are the tulip gardens and the Zooblooms. The tulip venue is filled with over thirty different varieties of tulips. The colors are a feast for the eyes and you will be scouting around as to where you look next. Purples, reds, yellows, oranges, whites, combination patterns... Could any flower be more glorious than the open ended tulip? Well, if you think roses are even more stunning, you will witness some twenty different tea rose varieties full of spectacular colors.

The second must see is one of the first exhibits you see upon entry. Brookfield Zoo's Zooblooms are a lush garden display featuring snakes and peacocks made of flowers and the Zoobloom area features some learning tools on insects.

The unique umbrellas on display are a treat to view even though none of them could actually be used in the pouring rain, but the designs are a charming backdrop to the opening walk of the show.

The Hyacinth lounge offers the relaxing and sweet smelling display of one of the premiere flowers of the Chicago Metro area. Twenty varieties are on display in the 2016 show, so take your time, linger and take in the fragrances.

Seminars, food, tables full of goodies and a wide assortment of bulbed plants are for sale.

Visit the 2016 Chicago Flower and Garden Show at Navy Pier.

The show runs between Saturday, March 12 through Sunday, March 20.

Copyright Chicago and Then Some 2016    


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Restaurant Review: La Buona Vita

The Chicago suburban experience offers up some fine downtown areas and one would be hard-pressed to find a more enjoyable and social atmosphere than downtown LaGrange. It's impossible not to find some good, modest, neighborhood, casual dining offerings.

La Buona Vita certainly fulfills the goal of a good, modest neighborhood dining experience. It's a relatively small establishment with a nice bar and some good food. They offer cozy and romantic tables for couples enjoying a night on the town, but you are made comfortable if you are in a larger party (the table next to ours served a party of ten and they all seemed to be enjoying their night on the town). I chose to try La Buona Vita with a friend. Our meal was excellent starting with crusty, right out of the oven bread. The extra virgin olive oil and cheese gave us a wonderful start to our meal. Get it piping hot and make sure you worked out earlier in the day, since you will want to indulge in several slices of that piping hot bread!

My choice for the evening was cheese ravioli. I went in this direction even though the pull to angel hair with marinara battled for my attention. I'm glad I sided with the ravioli. The marinara sauce was good and a bit sweet (loved the small tomato chunks, as well). They serve up a nice supply of the ravioli and they were delicious. Ricotta was high end.

The salad with salmon was notably quite worthwhile. They cooked the salmon without anyone asking for a non-raw middle. Soups are good as well.

The highlight beyond the food was the music provided (Friday and Saturday nights). The young woman on her guitar was talented and versatile with a superb mix in the music catalog. When she pulled out It Won't Be Long from a 1964 Beatles collection she endeared herself to much of the room. She is worthy of a visit and don't forget the tip.

I will say, if you go on a cold night, you may need to wear a turtleneck, since the venue is small and the restaurant was a bit chilly. Just a warning and that is my opinion.  I often feel a bit cold.

La Buona Vita is a solid find in a lovely neighborhood. Good casual dining!

They take reservations and provide free valet parking on Friday and Saturday evenings, even though La Grange provides lots of parking opportunities and they are close to the restaurant.

La Buona Vita
15 W. Calendar
LaGrange, IL
708 352 1621

11am-10pm - Mondays - Sundays

Copyright Chicago and Then Some 2016

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Pizza Barra - One of the Best Pizza Locations in All of Chicagoland

Chicago. Chicago is known for many things. Music.You can place the emphasis on some home-grown blues music. Sports. This is a sports loving town. White Sox, Blackhawks, Bears, Bulls and Cubs. We are a dedicated group of people supporting the home teams. Politics. This is a politically minded part of the country. Pizza. Yes. Pizza. The best pizza in the world and I do indeed mean the best pizza in the world can be found right here in the third largest market in the United States. No one provides better pizza than the wide variety of pizzerias in Chicago and the surrounding suburban areas. Thin crust. Thick crust. Deep dish. Stuffed. Artisan. We have it all and it's all magnificent.

One of the newest entries in the pizza world is Pizza Barra in Oak Brook. Pizza Barra is the creative masterpiece of Rich Labriola (he owns Labriola's, which is one of my favorite places to grab everything from a salad to a baked goodie) and chef Chris Macchia. These men know how to cook and devise a wonderfully appealing physical property where one can be entertained by the lovely ambiance, the absolutely outstanding service and the food. The salads were excellent, but we didn't find ourselves plopping ourselves down, because of the salads.

The highlights on this menu were the Pizza Barra Supreme (to be honest, we asked for the pepperoni to not be placed, but the wide assortment of vegetables made for an astonishing pizza masterpiece and dare we say, even better as a day after leftover) and the Pomodorini Artisan Pizza. This is the hands down winner for the best artisan pizza in a fifty mile radius. Superbly crafted coal fired oven pizza made fresh and the dough is a days in the making gift.

The server we had was knowledgeable and professional. The location is welcoming and downright comforting.

Whatever you have going over the next few months make sure you get a chance to drive to Oak Brook and engage yourself in the delightful and delicious pizzas at Pizza Barra.

Pizza Barra
3011 Butterfield
Oak Brook, IL
630 861 6177

Copyright Chicago and Then Some 2016

Monday, November 9, 2015

Concert Review: Don Henley at the Chicago Theatre - 2015

Don Henley is not only one of the most gifted songwriters and singers of the rock era, but he is also one of the most underrated members of that same era. He is a lyrical poet who writes about life, as it is. His current album, Cass County is packed with one magnificent song after another, which is a rare feat for any artist, but certainly an oddity for a 68 year old.

Cass County is the first album in Henley’s career recorded under the Capitol Records label. It is a success story for an industry that has a difficult time launching anything outside of certain contemporary artists. Henley paid tribute to Capitol Records by acknowledging that this was the label that gave us Frank Sinatra (a third of his career), the Beatles, Nat King Cole and the Beach Boys.   

The tour opened a couple of weeks ago and it is a short one, so unlike the iconic band he is a founding member of he will not be on the road for years or even months in support of Cass County. The show last night opened with Seven Bridges Road, the only piece of music ever performed by the Eagles that Henley brings forth during this show. The tremendous vocal group assembled of his current touring band were outstanding as they brought forth delicious harmonies at the Chicago Theater.

Henley has enough material to do a full-course show without reverting to the giant hits of the band. Henley supplied nearly the entire Cass County album and each song worked. It was like listening to songs you already knew, but that is in large part due to Henley’s still vibrant and silky voice; and his innate talent for bringing to life images and moments from life. Clearly, the aged Henley doesn’t match his once perfect vocal style and skill, but there is still a mighty giant lying in those vocal chords. He waxed poetically in a raspy voice a couple of times, but the raspy worked. That raspy voice sounded lived in and it was at times heartbreaking and haunting.

He pulled a variety of songs from his illustrious solo career, including one of the finest songs ever recorded by anyone, Dirty Laundry. As Henley put it “it is still relevant” and “now it’s even worse.” Yep, the bubble-headed bleach blond comes on at five. The opening strands of Boys of Summer still excites to the core and there couldn’t be a more beautifully written ode to love and lost love than The Heart of the Matter. This stunner appears on his album, The End of the Innocence and from my perspective it is the best song of his lengthy songwriting career and yes, that is saying something.

The show was a shocking two hours and forty minutes, which was an unbelievable tribute to fans, particularly since he didn’t have to do it. Fans would have been thrilled with two hours, but Don gave us what we wanted and we didn’t even know we wanted all of it. He pulled out a cover of Everybody Wants to Rule the World from I don’t know where, but wow, it was a highlight of the show. All She Wants To Do Is Dance literally had everyone on their feet.

The musicians assembled are some of the nation’s finest and it was a tight fit all night long. Unlike some other artists, Don Henley played it straight and delivered the tracks as we know and love them. The three female backing singers (at times, they sang duets with Don) were all terrific and easily could have been headlining their own shows in another era where talent once won out.

Henley did more speaking on stage than he has done in his entire career. He spins and weaves stories for almost every song. Some are longer than others, but you didn’t want him to stop. The story he delivers regarding Train in the Distance was touching, heartfelt and sentimental.

He may be the most down-to-earth and steeped in reality famous person in the world. You literally want to have lunch with the guy. He’s smart, well-read, insightful, a gifted storyteller and downright funny. I laughed out loud several times as he managed to be funnier than most comics on late-night programs.

He delivered stories about rain in the southwest, making plenty of mistakes and he delved into a revealing situation when an old flame wants to reconnect. Not for the romance, but just to stay in touch.  

The show opens with a lovely montage of audio bites filled with famous speeches (think Franklin Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor and John F. Kennedy asking what can we do for our country). The audio clearly showcases some of Henley’s favorite music and we hear everything from the Glenn Miller Orchestra to Elvis Presley to Patsy Cline to the Beatles. Above the stage are a collection of vintage radios that embody Henley’s life in music. It's a simple tool, but a creative one.       

I will look forward to his next go-round. One of my deep emotional attachments from a musical perspective is the music of the Eagles; and Henley was clearly one of the main reasons why their music and his music still resonate so powerfully in my own personal life.

Thank you Mr. Henley.         

Copyright Chicago and Then Some 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Things To Do in Chicago at Christmas - The 2015 Guide

Christmas! It's a wonderful time to be in the city of Chicago. The city's official Christmas tree will be lit on Wednesday, November 24th. It's the 102nd anniversary of the Christmas tree lighting.
Millennium Park, Chicago, IL.
St. Nick will be there! Enjoy Christmas and stay safe & healthy during this wonderful season!

Macy's Holiday Windows
Macy's State Street, 111 North State Street, Chicago
Macy's showcases beautiful window displays in Chicago; and this year will be no retreat from their long held historical roots. Also, make sure you view the Macy's 45-foot Great Tree which features 10,000 LED sparkling lights and 1200 ornaments. The tree is located on the inside of the store by the famed Walnut Room. The Macy's on State Street Tree Lighting takes place on Saturday, November 7th at 12Noon. Recording Artist Jordin Sparks will be performing at the tree festivities.  

Art Institute of Chicago
Michigan Avenue at Adams
The lions will be wreathed for the 2015 Christmas season on Friday, November 27th at 10:00am. Chicago's legendary Art Institute Lions always get flowered up for Christmas. The wreaths will remain on our big cat buddies through the season. While you are at the Art Institute, go inside to view the art. There is a charge to enter the Art Institute. This is one of the great art museums in the world, so don't take it for granted.

Navy Pier Wonderfest
Chicago, IL
December 5-January 10
Navy Pier turns itself into a Wonderfest each Christmas season, featuring a number of different attractions, including ice skating and a train ride.

Handel's Messiah
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
220 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL
December 10 at 8:00pm
December 11 at 1:30pm
December 15 at 7:30pm
December 20 at 3:00pm

Disney's The Lion King
Cadillac Palace
Chicago, IL
December 2-January 17

The Nutcracker
Presented by the Joffrey Ballet
Auditorium Theatre
50 East Congress Parkway, Chicago
December 4 - December 27
Tchaikovsky's classic ballet set to his monumentally timeless piece of music is the single most elegant event of the Christmas season in Chicago. The Mouse King comes to life to take on The Nutcracker! Gorgeously produced! The Auditorium has a superb sound system, so enjoy the music and the visuals of the design and choreography. Sadly, this is the last year for Robert Joffrey's Nutcracker. After 60 years, it will not be taking place again. See this performance this year.  800 982 2787

Christmas Around the World & Lights Festival
Museum of Science & Industry
57th Street and Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
November 19-January 3
9:30am-4:00pm - Open daily
Free for kids under three
The Museum halls will be decked and holiday singers will fuel the spirit of the season. The sparkle of dozens of decorated trees will greet you at this year's Christmas Around the World. The Museum's grand tree takes center stage in the Rotunda, while more than fifty trees representing nations from around the world adorn the Museum's Main Level. This is a highlight in the city every year. It's so magnificent that if you don't live here, take a trip to the city. If you do live here, then don't miss this fantastic celebration of Christmas Around the World. This wonderful annual event began in 1942 with one tree decked out and dedicated to the Allied troops during World War II.

Christkindlmarket Chicago 2015
Daley Plaza's Christmas Market
November 20-December 24
Christkindlmarket Chicago is a tradition brought here by the Germans. The shopping palooza is a Christmas shopping market that runs through Christmas Eve. It features unique crafts & gifts, entertainment and German food & drinks. German pretzels! Artisans and craftspeople from other countries participate as well. Santa Claus pops up every night at 8:00pm. He is working hard this Christmas season!

Home Alone Film Screening with Live Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
220 S. Michigan, Chicago, IL
One of the most magnificent orchestras in the world (get their Beethoven collection as conducted by the late Sir Georg Solti - that is the correct spelling of his name) perform live with a screening of the 1990's film classic, Home Alone.
Performance dates: December 12 and December 13 at 3:00pm on both dates

Kenny Rogers
Once Again It's Christmas
Star Plaza Theatre
Saturday, November 28 at 8:00pm

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights
Lincoln Park Zoo
2200 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL
November 27-28, December 4-6, December 11-23, December 26-31
Lincoln Park Zoo gets into the Christmas spirit with their zoo lights display. Check out their ice carving demonstrations as well. 

Caroling at Cloud Gate - Fridays from November 27-December 18 in Millennium Park.
A different choral group performs each week. Free 60 minute sing-alongs. 

City of Chicago - State Street & Michigan Avenue
Lights! Everywhere lights!
Walk or drive down Michigan Avenue (Magnificent Mile) & State Street (that great street) and take in the Christmas lights on display. Walk over to Wabash Avenue where the elevated train runs overhead and you might catch the Holiday Train. It's a completely decorated Christmas train. You can look up the schedule by checking out the Chicago Transit Authority's site.

Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"
Goodman Theatre
170 N. Dearborn, Chicago, IL
November 14 - December 27
Timeless story of hope and redemption. Excellent production elements all the way around. Two hour show with intermission. 312 443 3800

Holiday Pops - The Messiah
December 12
St. Michael in Old Town
Two hour performance of Handel's Majestic Messiah.
25 piece Orchestra with a choral group consisting of some 80 volunteers.

John Hancock Observatory
Four states can be seen from the 96th floor of this building. Visits with Santa Claus and a holiday train display. Breakfast with Santa every weekend in December and kids get to hang out with Santa's special helper, Seemore Miles.

Brookfield Zoo
1st Avenue and 31st Street, Brookfield, IL
Brookfield Zoo comes to life with more than a million twinkling lights. The zoo has a light laser show, animated displays, ice carving demonstrations and costumed characters (think lots of photo ops). Saturdays & Sundays in December - 4pm-9pm

A Chanticleer Christmas
December 1-2 - 7:30pm
Chicago Symphony Center
220 S. Michigan, Chicago, IL
Award-winning a cappella ensemble sings traditional carols, sacred works and Christmas favorites.

Vienna Boys Choir
November 28 at 3:00pm
Chicago Symphony Center
220 S. Michigan, Chicago, IL
The angelic voices of one of the oldest boy's choirs in the world.

Christmas in Geneva
Geneva, Illinois (suburb just west of Chicago)
Christmas with 200 shops. Geneva is a gorgeous town and worth checking out. The walk along the Fox River (bundle up) is worth a trip as well.
Holiday Open House - November 14-15
Christmas in the Country - November 22 - Annual Illumination Ceremony. More than two million lights followed by fireworks display.
December 4 - Festival of Lights - Tree lighting with Santa Claus.
800 345 1020 for more information.

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
November 21 at 11am
Annual daylong event provides music, a tree lighting parade and fireworks.

Handel's Messiah
December 19-20
Harris Theater for Music and Dance
The Apollo Chorus of Chicago brings the mighty worship music of Handel's Messiah in a 2 1/2 hour perfomance.

Wonderland Express
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
November 27-January 3
Christmas and Hanukkah concerts, ice sculpting. $8-$12, free for children under the age of two.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Celebration of Christmas with the von Trapps
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
December 19, December 21, 22, 23 - All performances at 3:00pm. 

The King Elephant and the Mice
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
December 6 at 1:30pm
For young children.

A Christmas Carol
Drury Lane Theater
Oak Brook Terrace
November 18-December 23

A Christmas Story
Paramount Theatre
23 East Galena
Ralphie and his quest for a Red Ryder BB gun come alive in this stage production. $41-$56

Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre
November 1-December 31
Buddy, the human elf has left the North Pole and has arrived in Manhattan.

The Tenors
North Central College
December 18
Surely, the Tenors will be singing some Christmas songs and carols during their performance.

Please note: you should check specific dates and times since some of these schedules are subject to change.

If you are visiting Chicago, there are several five and four star hotels we highly recommend:
Trump International Chicago, The Peninsula, Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Waldorf Astoria Chicago, Renaissance Blackstone, Sofitel Water Tower, Hotel Monaco, The Drake, Conrad Chicago

Christmas is a wonderful and miraculous event in history. There is a reason for this glorious season! Merry Christmas and enjoy the offerings in and around Chicago!

Copyright Chicago and Then Some 2015

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Restaurant Review: Formento's - In the Heart of the Market District

We don't write reviews for lousy or even mediocre dining locations. It's not worth it on any level. I only spend time and effort on rewarding excellent eateries with a review. Chicago and Then Some made a commitment to engage in shining a light on the city's finest fooderies.

So to my fellow gastronomical gurus (or wannabe gurus) I found a superb entry into the stakes of fine Italian restaurants. Cooking Italian food is not easy. On the surface, it may seem easy, but it isn't. A great sauce is something to treasure and unfortunately, you rarely come by a great sauce or a great dining location, for that matter. Formento's on West Randolph Street is seriously worthy of your time.

The restaurant is a gorgeous display of understated elegance from the antique armoires to the distinctly eye-catching light fixtures to the magnificent presentation of the bar area. Formento's wields a big stick in the more than appropriate location for dining out for special occasions and for not so special ones as well. The service is excellent.

Chef and Partner, Tony Quartaro has provided fantastic food with superb presentations on everything from the exquisite marinara sauce to the desserts. Formento's hits all the objectives in the search for fine food, beautiful atmosphere and worthwhile service.

Appetizers are as wonderful as the entrees, but the jardinera sauce with bread which opens your experience is one of the highlights at Formento's. They can literally boast of having one of the best jardinera sauces in the city. Outstanding. Keep going for the bread!

Gluten free and dairy free options are available, but for those who need neither of those distinctions then go wild with this dining delight. Formento's is a must go to dining experience.

925 West Randolph Street
312 690 7295

Copyright Chicago and Then Some 2015

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Restaurant Review: Roberto's Ristorante & Pizzeria - Elmhurst

The town of Elmhurst is among the top suburban downtown areas in Chicagoland. It's a delightful town center with worthwhile walking sidewalks. Roberto's Ristorante & Pizzeria is an authentic and homey Italian center of edible treats. The menu offers up a wide assortment of intensely Italian specialties; and one can also indulge in excellent meat and seafood offerings that aren't necessarily in the Italian vernacular.

We were all fully engaged in the superb dinner menu that also included near perfect bread options and excellent appetizers. Roberto's provides a downright suave menu punctuated with elegance and yet still streetside. Risotto specials are flavorful and undeniably first-rate. Pastas are tender and the capellini was spot-on in cooked perfection. Lasagna is wide, long and top flight. Italian food is inevitably about the sauces and the sauces here are superb. Top ranking goes to the marinara. A tasty pesto was quite good as well.

The highlight appetizer was the Fiore Di Latte featuring a hardy Mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, olive oil, fresh basil and some roasted red peppers. The peppers were unexpected and now I don't know if I would want it any other way.

The service is impeccable and we even had an Italian (yes, a server born and raised in Italy) server which managed to extend the concept of Italian dining to a level rarely achieved.

Roberto's Ristorante & Pizzeria
483 Spring Road
Elmhurst, Illinois

Copyright Chicago and Then Some 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center Proves To Be A Must-See In Suburban Chicago

Chicago has been gifted with a wide assortment of spectacular museums. Visitors from inside and outside of Chicago's borders can choose from a variety of different locations, including the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum, the Art Institute, Shedd Aquarium, Planetarium and a large number of smaller museums that cover everything from nature to various ethnicities.

The largest Holocaust Museum in the nation is in Washington, D.C., but Skokie's Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is an outstanding museum that serves to educate, restore and memorialize the millions of people who were catastrophically destroyed by evil hatred.

The museum offers solid information on the overall historic journey that dates back to the end of World War I; and takes the visitor through a thorough and near all-encompassing history from that period through the end of the Second World War. Since it is a Chicago based museum there are multiple examples of Holocaust survivor stories from this area, including five detailed stories of marriage, family and love that survived.

Discussing and studying the Holocaust is never an easy situation due to its graphic background and brutal nature, but this is history and even though multitudes have said "never again" we are now witnessing the rise of not one, but several terrorist groups taking down Jews, Christians and fellow Muslims just because of what they do or don't believe.

The museum ends with a lovely room of remembrance and a hall for thought. It's a physically beautiful location with stunning features reaching around every turn of a corner. One of the items in the museum is an actual train car once used to carry our fellow human beings to the gas chamber prison camps.Standing in it made me feel below human. I can't even bear to see cattle in a train car, so the imagining of a human being in one is a near devastating experience even with the weight of seventy years plus.

This museum is highly recommended, so set your calendars for a destination at some point this year. There are some graphic film clips and images, but schoolchildren 12 years and up would be able to learn from the history.

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
9603 Woods Drive
Skokie, IL
847 967 4800
Free Parking
10am-5pm - Mondays through Sundays with an 8pm closing time on Thursdays

Copyright Chicago and Then Some 2015