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Plan: 2008 Heartland Gathering in Chicago Aug 8-10


Alex
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Ok all you chocolate workshop people - I've got to start doing some planning.  I will haul along a couple of molds, I'll bring some chocolate to work with.  But what shall we learn?  I suspect the basic emulsion for a truffle ganache, how to temper - the really important one, we'll do a bit of molding (because our ganache may not be as firm as we'd like to make truffles)...

Any specific things folks want to learn?

I want to make bark with lots of nuts, but I guess that's just tempering chocolate and mixing nuts in?

I'd really like to see some dipping, too. Will there be dipping?

But I'm just happy with anything, as long as we get to eat some of them!

I'd vote for dipping, too. Truffles would be great, if possible, especially how best to make liqueur-flavored ones, and perhaps a discussion of unusual flavors, à la Vosges.

If someone can bring along some thinly sliced really crispy cooked bacon, I'll bring some smoked salt and we can make bark with that.

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Ok all you chocolate workshop people - I've got to start doing some planning.  I will haul along a couple of molds, I'll bring some chocolate to work with.  But what shall we learn?  I suspect the basic emulsion for a truffle ganache, how to temper - the really important one, we'll do a bit of molding (because our ganache may not be as firm as we'd like to make truffles)...

Any specific things folks want to learn?

I want to make bark with lots of nuts, but I guess that's just tempering chocolate and mixing nuts in?

I'd really like to see some dipping, too. Will there be dipping?

But I'm just happy with anything, as long as we get to eat some of them!

I'd vote for dipping, too. Truffles would be great, if possible, especially how best to make liqueur-flavored ones, and perhaps a discussion of unusual flavors, à la Vosges.

If someone can bring along some thinly sliced really crispy cooked bacon, I'll bring some smoked salt and we can make bark with that.

If you want to also make a more traditional bark, I can bring some Marcona almonds.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Ok all you chocolate workshop people - I've got to start doing some planning.  I will haul along a couple of molds, I'll bring some chocolate to work with.  But what shall we learn?  I suspect the basic emulsion for a truffle ganache, how to temper - the really important one, we'll do a bit of molding (because our ganache may not be as firm as we'd like to make truffles)...

Any specific things folks want to learn?

I want to make bark with lots of nuts, but I guess that's just tempering chocolate and mixing nuts in?

I'd really like to see some dipping, too. Will there be dipping?

But I'm just happy with anything, as long as we get to eat some of them!

I'd vote for dipping, too. Truffles would be great, if possible, especially how best to make liqueur-flavored ones, and perhaps a discussion of unusual flavors, à la Vosges.

If someone can bring along some thinly sliced really crispy cooked bacon, I'll bring some smoked salt and we can make bark with that.

I can take care of that!

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A taxi to the northern suburbs will be quite expensive, so consider the L unless you really have too much to carry.

You're probably looking at somewhere around $25 for a cab from the Hyatt Regency Chicago to Evanston, and if it's not prime commuting time, it will take about 25 minutes. That compares with $1.75-2.00 per person for the el. With the el, you're looking at a walk of between 1/4 and 1/2 mile at both ends, from the Hyatt to the el (the stops at Grand/State and State/Lake are about equidistant from the hotel) and from the el to the Evanston Farmer's Market and from the el to the location of the Heartland Gathering. The el doesn't go to Niles. There are also commuter trains to the northern suburbs, but they leave from the train stations on the opposite side of the Loop from the Hyatt. Another option is to rent a car for the day from a location near your hotel.

You can see a complete map of public transportation in the Chicago area, combining the CTA (el/subway and buses in the city and a few suburbs), Metra (commuter trains) and Pace (suburban buses) on the RTA website here. I've found that their "Trip Planner" function (same one as on the individual websites of those three agencies) is often inaccurate, because it fails to recognize geographical locations when they are typed in.

Given the current state of local road construction, I would allow at least an hour get north by car or taxi on Saturday morning.

Niles is very well served by bus lines. To take public transit from downtown to Niles, take the Red Line L to Howard Street and transfer to the Yellow Line to Skokie. From there, you can transfer to a Pace bus that will go directly to our meeting point. (The Ethnic Tour meeting point I have in mind is on the route of the #250 Pace bus, but if I change it, I will be certain to choose somewhere else directly on a bus line.)

If you are staying in Evanston, buses also go from there to Niles.

I've had good luck with the online RTA Trip Planner, but if you don't, you can call 312-836-7000 and get advice from a live person. (BTW, if you have a PDA or smart phone, the free program MetrO is a wonderful, downloadable route calculator for rail and subway systems, including Chicago's. I managed to get all over Tokyo using it. It also has a web-based version.)

LAZ

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You're probably looking at somewhere around $25 for a cab from the Hyatt Regency Chicago to Evanston, and if it's not prime commuting time, it will take about 25 minutes.

Given the current state of local road construction, I would allow at least an hour get north by car or taxi on Saturday morning.

No, it won't. You can do it consistently in 25 minutes. The only construction on the route is on Ridge Avenue, which is under construction but still has one lane running northbound (it's one lane in Chicago anyway). Heading back to the Hyatt Regency, Ridge is closed southbound, so you will need to take an alternate route (e.g. Sheridan Road), but it will still take you 25 minutes. If you hit every light red (unlikely) it might take you 30, but no more.

If you're going to Niles, it will take you a little longer, maybe 35 minutes, if you're going fairly early in the morning (before 10 a.m.). Later in the day on Saturday, it might take you 45 minutes.

I drive both routes all the time on weekends (although I generally avoid it during the day during the week). There's no way it will take you an hour unless you get lost. Not on a Saturday morning. No way. Try it this Saturday morning and you'll see for yourself!

Edited by nsxtasy (log)
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You're probably looking at somewhere around $25 for a cab from the Hyatt Regency Chicago to Evanston, and if it's not prime commuting time, it will take about 25 minutes.

Given the current state of local road construction, I would allow at least an hour get north by car or taxi on Saturday morning.

No, it won't. You can do it consistently in 25 minutes. The only construction on the route is on Ridge Avenue, which is under construction but still has one lane running northbound (it's one lane in Chicago anyway). Heading back to the Hyatt Regency, Ridge is closed southbound, so you will need to take an alternate route (e.g. Sheridan Road), but it will still take you 25 minutes. If you hit every light red (unlikely) it might take you 30, but no more.

If you're going to Niles, it will take you a little longer, maybe 35 minutes, if you're going fairly early in the morning (before 10 a.m.). Later in the day on Saturday, it might take you 45 minutes.

I drive both routes all the time on weekends (although I generally avoid it during the day during the week). There's no way it will take you an hour unless you get lost. Not on a Saturday morning. No way. Try it this Saturday morning and you'll see for yourself!

This may be true but it's still best to allow extra time because one never knows if there will be a change in the construction pattern or an accident. And since some attending are out-of-towners, getting lost is a realistic possibility. I'm sure the last thing any of us want is to make fellow attendees wait for us to begin an event because we didn't budget enough travel time.

This is Chicago during construction season. My advice is to allow plenty of extra travel time and should you arrive early, have a book or some other diversion at the ready.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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This may be true but it's still best to allow extra time because one never knows if there will be a change in the construction pattern or an accident.  And since some attending are out-of-towners, getting lost is a realistic possibility.  I'm sure the last thing any of us want is to make fellow attendees wait for us to begin an event because we didn't budget enough travel time.

This is Chicago during construction season.  My advice is to allow plenty of extra travel time and should you arrive early, have a book or some other diversion at the ready.

Very true, and good advice.

You should also be aware that this advice applies to public transit as well as to travel by car and cab. Our event consists of activities on weekdays, and activities on weekend days, and typical travel times are quite different during the week from the weekends. During the week, traffic can create huge delays on the roadways for those traveling by car or cab, especially during the prime commuting hours (roughly 6:00-9:00 a.m. and 3:00-6:30 p.m.), and only somewhat less so in between - the Friday evening rush is especially nightmarish - whereas travel times by public transportation are fairly predictable. During commuting hours, it's not unusual for trips via public transportation to be as quick as, or quicker than, trips by car/cab; not only is traffic worse, but public transportation has more frequent service during those hours.

On the weekend, it's typically quite the opposite. Travel times by car are often relatively quick, although the roads currently under construction (including the Edens Expressway from the Kennedy Expressway to Clavey Road, and the Tri-State Tollway from O'Hare to the Wisconsin state line) can be slow. Public transit can take quite a long time, not only due to greater intervals between buses and trains, but also because the public transportation system, too, is under construction.

The above advice describes typical traffic patterns. While these are typical traffic patterns, the simple fact is that you can get stuck in a massive traffic delay at any time and place in the Chicago area, day or night, weekday or weekend. And delays can occur with public transportation as well as on the roads. (Although they are generally less common on the Metra commuter trains and the Pace suburban buses.) Again, Ronnie's advice is good - ALLOW EXTRA TIME, no matter when and where you're going, and no matter how you're getting there.

Oh, and this reminds me to mention, for our friends staying in downtown Chicago...

With the el, you're looking at a walk of between 1/4 and 1/2 mile at both ends, from the Hyatt to the el (the stops at Grand/State and State/Lake are about equidistant from the hotel) and from the el to the Evanston Farmer's Market and from the el to the location of the Heartland Gathering.

If you intend to take the el, there's one other important thing to keep in mind. Several of the el lines are under construction this year, including the Red Line. For this reason, the CTA is frequently re-routing the Red Line on weekends between Fullerton and Chinatown, so that instead of running underground under State Street in the Loop, it is running on the elevated tracks around the Loop. There is an elevated stop at State and Lake, directly upstairs from the subway stop, and if the Red Line is running on the elevated tracks, this would be the closest stop to the Hyatt.

They typically announce re-routing only a few days ahead of time; I see they just announced today that they will be re-routing the Red Line again this coming Sunday and Monday. You can check the CTA website (click here) for the latest information on re-routing.

Edited by nsxtasy (log)
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Omg, I'm drowning in all these transporation details. Apparently, I've been stuck in my small town for way too long. Hopefully, someone else staying at the Hyatt( hint, hint) will take the lead and I'll be more than happy to just follow.

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Omg, I'm drowning in all these transporation details.  Apparently, I've been stuck in my small town for way too long.  Hopefully, someone else staying at the Hyatt( hint, hint) will take the lead and I'll be more than happy to just follow.

Damn, I was just reading this and thinking - I hope Randi is paying attention to all this - so I can just follow!

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Omg, I'm drowning in all these transporation details.  Apparently, I've been stuck in my small town for way too long.  Hopefully, someone else staying at the Hyatt( hint, hint) will take the lead and I'll be more than happy to just follow.

Damn, I was just reading this and thinking - I hope Randi is paying attention to all this - so I can just follow!

And I was thinking..... I'm sure Kerry is good with directions. Maybe we can just follow Alex and Rona.....

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Omg, I'm drowning in all these transporation details.  Apparently, I've been stuck in my small town for way too long.  Hopefully, someone else staying at the Hyatt( hint, hint) will take the lead and I'll be more than happy to just follow.

Damn, I was just reading this and thinking - I hope Randi is paying attention to all this - so I can just follow!

And I was thinking..... I'm sure Kerry is good with directions. Maybe we can just follow Alex and Rona.....

I, too, am freaking out about these directions. Maybe we can all shell out a couple extra bucks and squeeze into a taxi? I am really bad about directions and especially bad with trains. I also have an irrational fear of buses but if I am with others it may be OK.

Is there anything to do around Union Station for a couple hours Friday morning? I am arriving at 5am and since the bread class isn't starting until noon I have quite a bit of time to kill.Anyone else going from this area to the bread class?

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Hi, Kristin. I work not too far from Union Station and am trying to think of what you could do on Friday morning. If you could let us know approx where the class is, that would be helpful so that we'll know how much time you'll need to allocate to make it there on time.

My first reaction, if you haven't been to Chicago before, was to visit the Art Institute, which isn't a terribly long walk from Union Station. However, they don't open until 10:30 a.m. Fridays. Another idea is to take one of the wonderful architecture river tours, which CAF has starting at 10am: http://www.architecture.org/tour_view.aspx?TourID=8

In any event, I'd suggest a great breakfast. There are options in the South Loop, which isn't too far away from Union Station. The Bongo Room, one of my favorite breakfast spots, has a second newer restaurant in the South Loop. They open at 8am. Many folks also like Orange and Yolk. I've been to the former, but didn't enjoy it as much as the Bongo Room.

Something else that might be fun would be to go try Marcus Samuelsson's new restaurant, C-House, for breakfast. I haven't been. They open at 6am. http://www.affinia.com/Chicago-Hotel.aspx?...ouse-Restaurant

Closer to Union Station and recently featured on Top Chef Chicago, is Lou Mitchell's on Jackson, which has standard breakfast fare. Big omelet's and the like.

Please let us know how much time you expect to have, and ideally where you'll need to be at noon, and I'll see if I have any other suggestions.

All the best,

Ronna

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Omg, I'm drowning in all these transporation details.  Apparently, I've been stuck in my small town for way too long.  Hopefully, someone else staying at the Hyatt( hint, hint) will take the lead and I'll be more than happy to just follow.

Damn, I was just reading this and thinking - I hope Randi is paying attention to all this - so I can just follow!

And I was thinking..... I'm sure Kerry is good with directions. Maybe we can just follow Alex and Rona.....

I, too, am freaking out about these directions. Maybe we can all shell out a couple extra bucks and squeeze into a taxi? I am really bad about directions and especially bad with trains. I also have an irrational fear of buses but if I am with others it may be OK.

Is there anything to do around Union Station for a couple hours Friday morning? I am arriving at 5am and since the bread class isn't starting until noon I have quite a bit of time to kill.Anyone else going from this area to the bread class?

Hi, Kris. Here's my post about Lou Mitchell's, near Union Station. You also might want to seriously consider taking a taxi straight over to the Hyatt rather than hanging around the station and schlepping your bag all over Chicagoland. There's really not much going on around there, anyway. The taxi stand is on Jackson at Canal, right by Union Station, diagonally across Canal from where the MegaBus stop is now. It's only about $7 + tip. Randi told me she has to do the actual check-in, but there's a dedicated place in the hotel where you can leave your bag with them until later. You don't even have to deal with the check-in counter to do that. There's also an information desk across from the check-in counter that should be able to tell you which breakfast places are open nearby. If you don't feel like wandering out, the Bistro at 151 restaurant at the hotel opens at 6.

Public transportation in Chicago isn't as daunting as it might appear. The System Maps page on the CTA web site is very clear and useful. For example, if you look at the downtown map, the Hyatt is at the corner of Wacker and Stetson, near where the Chicago River comes off Lake Michigan. You can easily see how to get to the CTA from there.

It looks like you have a might have a ride in someone's car to the Ethnic Shopping Tour on Saturday. (I don't know if LAZ's post referred to getting a ride *to* the Tour or if you'd still need to get there on your own.) If not, you'd just walk to the Red Line and follow her directions from there. However, if you're anxious about getting there via public transportation, then sharing a cab wouldn't be a bad idea. It looks like there are at least a couple other Hyatt residents going to the Tour.

I almost certainly will be going to Lao Sze Chuan from the hotel, so I'd be glad to lead the public transportation crew. (It's not too a long cab ride, for those who prefer that method.) I also can lead folks back from Evanston on Saturday night.

Edited to add: REB made an interesting suggestion of C-House for breakfast; it's about a brisk 10-minute walk from the hotel. However, the prices are outrageous, imho: an omelet with a side of bacon will set you back $20. For that price, there better be egg-laying chickens back in the kitchen. The café at Fox & Obel, also about a 10-minute walk, is just as good, I'm sure, for half the price.

Edited by Alex (log)

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Contrary to popular belief :wink:, I'm actually pretty good at finding my way around strange places! Other than one mishap (which was entirely my fault), we did pretty well in Chicago last year, and we used public transportation exclusively.

I must confess, though, I'm afraid of the el. We witnessed a potentially scary situation on the el last year, and now I'm afraid of using it! If there are more of us, though, I suppose it will be OK!

Kristin--I agree with Alex about making your way to the Hyatt first thing. Even if your room isn't ready, my +1 and I are up pretty early, so we can do breakfast and you can rest and relax for a bit. The last overnight bus I took was from Osaka to Tokyo, and I remember being very uncomfortable and not getting much sleep, so you might need the rest!

My +1 is also going to the bread workshop and the ethnic tour, so I hope the two of you can manage together! (She's pretty bad with directions, but she has no qualms asking strangers for help.)

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I would advise our visitors not to panic too much about getting around Chicago. Just remember the following:

Leave extra time to get places

Cabs are plentiful

Leave extra time to get places

Check the CTA website when you get here for the Trip Planner (how to get from Point A to Point B) and any system outages/reroutes

Leave extra time to get places

This is a very easy city to get around, sometimes it just takes longer than one might expect.

-Josh

Now blogging at http://jesteinf.wordpress.com/

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I just want to remind everyone that we are definitely still on for our guided Maxwell Street Market Tour with David Hammond on Sunday morning, probably starting around 10 am. The tour should last 2-3 hours, depending on how often we stop, shop, eat, etc. The only reason I haven't posted more about it lately is because no purchase/ticket is required and there is no attendance cap. However, I didn't want people to think that it was no longer on, simply because I hadn't mentioned it in a while.

I will be back to post some salient details about it in the next few days. I'm traveling right now but will get to it asap.

Thanks,

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I would advise our visitors not to panic too much about getting around Chicago. Just remember the following:

Leave extra time to get places

Cabs are plentiful

Leave extra time to get places

Check the CTA website when you get here for the Trip Planner (how to get from Point A to Point B) and any system outages/reroutes

Leave extra time to get places

This is a very easy city to get around, sometimes it just takes longer than one might expect.

Sorry, my above post was in response to this.

Also, I'm excited about the Maxwell Street Market tour. I didn't realize there was an event on Sunday until today, and I thought I was going to miss out on all the fun. I'm coming in for a week, from the 9th through the 17th, and unfortunately I get in too late for any festivities on Saturday.

Edited by MikeHartnett (log)
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Good advice from jesteinf. And my intent, of course, was not to overwhelm anyone, but to provide as much information as possible. Sorry if it accomplished the latter.

Public transportation tends to be a bit involved because you have to figure out routes and where to take it. If you're good with directions and the internet, it can be relatively easy. But if you're not traveling between two points that are on the same el or bus line, there's that much more to figure out.

Public transportation in Chicago is actually very safe; incidents of crime are very rare. Of course, take the same precautions you would in any big city. But there is no reason to be afraid to take it.

Keep in mind that the areas referred to as "downtown Chicago" cover a pretty large area, much larger than "The Loop", the area contained within, and a couple of blocks outside, the loop that the elevated trains make. For example, the Hyatt Regency is just northeast of the Loop; Union Station and Lou Mitchell's are just west of the Loop. The distance between the two is at least a mile - a pleasant walk on a nice day, but as Alex aptly notes, if you've got baggage or it's raining, hop a cab.

Regarding the breakfast recommendations being discussed, you'll want to keep distance in mind. Bongo Room, at Roosevelt and Wabash, is my favorite breakfast place downtown, too, but it's a good mile and a half from the Hyatt, maybe more. They have creative pancakes and sauces, and you can mix and match the sauces, get partial portions to try different things, etc. (I think they open at 9 on weekdays, and as previously mentioned at 8 on weekends; for places that don't have websites, hours posted on Metromix are generally accurate.) I've eaten at Yolk and it's a big bustling place with utterly conventional breakfast foods (Lou Mitchell's is similar), nothing out of the ordinary but if you want a big breakfast, you can get it. Orange on Harrison, also in the South Loop but not as far south as Bongo Room, also has pancakes and create-your-own juice blends. If you are staying at the Hyatt, the recommendation above for Fox and Obel is excellent; it's our upscale gourmet food store, with a cafe in the rear serving all day long, nothing fancy but the food is very good. It's a five minute walk across the river from the Hyatt. One other place for breakfast not too far from the Hyatt is the Wabash location of Heaven on Seven, which serves Cajun food in an old Loop mixed-use high-rise.

Those staying in or around Evanston have other options for breakfast. Walker Brothers has a location in Wilmette, just over the town line from the north end of Evanston. Their apple pancake is exquisite, and so is the stained glass in the restaurant. Just south of Evanston is the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, and at the far end of that neighborhood, just into the Andersonville neighborhood, is M. Henry, another place with excellent breakfasts.

Beware, ALL of the above breakfast places get very busy on weekends.

Edited by nsxtasy (log)
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This is karen who's having the Bread Workshop on Friday 8th.

I've given Tom the info by personal pm. FYI - I'm in the Old Irving Park

neighborhood - close to Smoque. Off the Montrose EL - stop / Blue Line. 2 stops on the Metra - Northwest Irving Pk. line and about 4 stops on the Milwaukee - Metra Mayfair stop. Also , where the Kennedy and the Edens split. 90/94

This will give everyone an idea , of suggestions for our out-of towners what to do before 12noon when Tom wants to start the workshop.

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Public transportation in Chicago is actually very safe; incidents of crime are very rare.  Of course, take the same precautions you would in any big city.  But there is no reason to be afraid to take it.

We must have been unlucky because we witnessed a potential assault of a woman on the el during our stay there last year.

neighborhood - close to Smoque. Off the Montrose EL - stop / Blue Line.

Ooooohhh! It's close to Smoque! Maybe I'll convince my +1 to have lunch there, so I can take her (and anyone else) most of the way. Montrose is just 1 or two stops from Irving Park so it should be easy from there. It seems to be about a 15-minute walk from Smoque, but it might be a wee bit far for my +1 (she's kind of a slow walker).

For anyone who's planning to use public transportation a lot, consider getting a visitor's pass. It's really a bargain if you do a lot of travel, or have a lot of transfers (if you pay cash for a fare, you don't get free transfers). They can be purchases as 1-, 2-, 3-, and 5-day passes.

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For anyone who's planning to use public transportation a lot, consider getting a visitor's pass.  It's really a bargain if you do a lot of travel, or have a lot of transfers (if you pay cash for a fare, you don't get free transfers).  They can be purchases as 1-, 2-, 3-, and 5-day passes.

That's not quite right. A cash fare on a bus indeed doesn't get you a transfer. However, one cannot pay cash for the El, but every station has vending machines at which you can purchase a paper transit card, which does allow transfers -- $2 gets you three rides within two hours of the first boarding. CTA fare and purchasing info is here.

As Rona said, a visitor's pass can be a good deal IF you plan on using the CTA regularly, i.e., averaging the equivalent of two or more round trips per day. You can get one from a machine at the airports or at Union Station near the Metra ticket windows. Also, there's still time to order one online. Mine's always arrived in a week or less. The fare link in the previous paragraph also has information about purchasing visitor passes in town.

Please note, too, that Metra commuter rail is independent of the CTA, so if you're going that way to Evanston, you'll need to buy a ticket at Ogilvie Transportation Center, from which the train leaves. The $5 unlimited weekend pass would be your best deal.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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That's not quite right. A cash fare on a bus indeed doesn't get you a transfer. However, one cannot pay cash for the El, but every station has vending machines at which you can purchase a paper transit card, which does allow transfers -- $2 gets you three rides within two hours of the first boarding. CTA fare and purchasing info is here.

That's correct. Oh, and the CTA fare, if you're only riding on the el or on one bus line, is $1.75; the $2 fare is only if you transfer to or from a bus (i.e. the second and third ride included). There are free transfers between el lines at most stops serving multiple lines. (If you paid cash, though, don't go out through the turnstile; find the place where you don't need to do that.)

And you can put as much money on the transit card as you like; it's reusable, so you can just buy one once, and (assuming you put enough money on it) you can then use it for all your CTA bus and subway rides. Pace buses also accept the CTA transit card; however, I believe you have to pay a separate Pace fare, they aren't included in those three rides for $2 for the CTA fare. Most Pace buses are $1.50 (and they do accept cash as well as the CTA transit card) and for another $.25 you can transfer to another bus, but not with cash - just like Alex describes for the CTA. And you can use the CTA transit card for more than one person (it will deduct one fare per person, though).

So, for the sake of convenience, if you think you're going to be spending $X on the CTA and Pace during your stay, you may want to put that amount on the card. There are no refunds, though, so don't overestimate. :wink:

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Oh, and the CTA fare, if you're only riding on the el or on one bus line, is $1.75; the $2 fare is only if you transfer to or from a bus (i.e. the second and third ride included).

That is not quite correct. You may be looking at the information for users of Chicago Cards.

If you use regular transit passes purchased from CTA station machines, the fares are:

* One ride: $1.75 (bus); $2.00 (rail)

* First transfer use in two hours: 25 cents

* Second transfer use in two hours: Free

After the free ride, an additional ride costs $1.75 and a new two-hour period begins.

See http://www.transitchicago.com/maps/fares.html#cc

LAZ

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