My favorite place? That’s a hard question - Metropolitan Planning Council

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My favorite place? That’s a hard question

As a Chicago native, it’s hard to think of just one favorite place. On a hot summer night, there’s nothing like enjoying an Italian beef on Taylor Street and joining neighbors and friends on the curb to cool off with a homemade Italian ice from Mario’s.  Other evenings, I’ve taken my dogs to the parking lot of a famous fishery, eating fried shrimp and frog legs next to the river, taking in the best of industry and modern skyscrapers in one breath. From walking along 26th Street and capturing the bustling smells, sights and sounds of Little Village to sitting on the quiet shores of Lake Michigan on Loyola’s campus, the city is truly home to several of my favorite places.

If I had to pick just one favorite place, it would be on the top of a hill in Humboldt Park, my old neighborhood. I have fond memories of riding my bike to this quite escape in the heart of the city. I love buying lechon and platanos maduros from the back of a trailer selling Puerto Rican food along one of the park’s winding roads and catching a glimpse of an almost professional baseball game in one of its many fields. With unobstructed views of the city, it truly is a gem.

I’ve shared my favorite place. What’s yours? Tell us by entering the “What Makes Your Place Great?” contest by Monday, July 26!

This summer, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) and Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) want to shine a spotlight on these special places across Chicagoland through the “What Makes Your Place Great? Your Secret Corner of Chicagoland” contest.

From June 2 through July 26, 2010, entrants can e-mail original photos or videos showcasing their favorite undiscovered public places across Chicagoland, along with a 250-word-or-less description, to The four chosen winners will win a prize package that includes passes to the Brookfield Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, Chicago History Museum, or CAF – and the chance to be featured in a CAF tour this fall. 

To get your creative juices flowing, MPC staff has been profiling their favorite spaces throughout the summer. To enter your own favorite space, read the complete contest guidelines at


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