Tomorrow is the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year! It’s the Year of the Rooster and, to celebrate, as well as to get us thinking about Annual in Chicago, I thought it would be fun to make conference attendees aware of Chicago Chinatown. As I accidentally discovered this neighborhood myself last time Annual was held in Chicago, I know from experience it’s an easy walk from where the conference is held. And, look, I even went ahead and Googled it for you! It’s just over a mile away (okay, okay, 1.2-1.5 depending on who you ask).
Besides the obvious – there is a TON of good food in Chinatown, there are also a surprising amount of cool shops to find any number of trinkets you are looking for. For example, I still have (and proudly display) the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil monkey sculpture I bought last time I was there.
You should definitely stop by the Chiu Quon Bakery for a Bao filled with custard. Or any of the other baked buns they have available. They all looked fantastic. Incidentally it appears I’m not alone in this opinion, as Chiu Quon is listed among the best restaurants in Chinatown according to Thrillist. Check out their article here: https://www.thrillist.com/eat/chicago/chinatown/best-restaurants-chinese-food-chicago-chinatown.
I like Chinatown as a recommended visit for Annual because it’s a nice, easy walk and can be as short or long a visit as you like. I went through as much of it as I wanted to in about two hours, including the walk. Of course, there’s also efficient and affordable public transportation should the weather not be kind, or should you already be exhausted from other conference efforts. You can certainly get some good food and cool, unique souvenirs to take back home.
So, when you need a break from convention craziness, head to Chinatown!
Be sure to check out chicagochinatown.org for all of the latest information and events that might be planned while you’re in town!
Joel Shoemaker was on the 2017 Stonewall Book Awards Committee for Youth and serves on the 2018 Stonewall Book Awards Committee for Adults. He is the Library Director for Oakwood Public Library District (Ill.) and has been a magician for more than twenty-five years.