NFT Chicago Illinois Medical District

Illinois Medical District

The conglomerated facilities making up the Illinois Medical District comprise the second largest such quarter in the nation. Rush University recently opened the doors to its architecturally complex but simply named Tower building, a butterfly-shaped, hard-to-miss facility at the eastern end of the medical campus. A townhouse colony of new constructions in the area house green MDs.

Residents of the Tri-Taylor building boom go a few blocks east to Little Italy or north to River West for nightlife and fine dining. Local options include Lulu's (for a quick lunch) and the Ferrara Bakery, with assorted treats for carry-out and a limited dine-in menu. Visitors and locals alike avoid chain fabric stores and head to the city block-wide See more.

>Textile Discount Outlet. Don't get lost in the upholstery wing.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Elissa Pociask
Photo:  Elissa Pociask

Cafe Aorta
The Holy Grail of the socially acceptable breakfast milkshake rests humbly in Pilsen's Cafe Aorta. Owner, Papi Perez will whip up some deceptively healthy blend of oatmeal and fruit while you take a gander at the Cuban and soul food-inspired menu. Try fueling your intellectual coffee banter with the spicy hobo skillet, or a slice of homemade sweet potato pie. Cafe Aorta has a treat for every palate and creed, from mac 'n' cheese to tofu meatballs; from carrot juice to Kool Aid. Whether he's pureeing his signature hot sauce, helping the local artists network, or inventing a new way to trick people into eating wheatgrass, Papi is on a constant quest to become the Mother Theresa of coffee shops.

Posted By:  Tamara Matthews
Photo:  Tamara Matthews

Tucked away in the Pilsen neighborhood is this day-trip sized museum that encapsulates Mexican culture from BC to present. This is not the type of museum where you dash from one famous painting to the next. Instead, be prepared to read some wall plagues and take in a cultural history lesson with visual components to enlighten you along the way. Though, speaking of famous paintings, Frida Kahlo’s La Venadita will be on view until September 2 in one of the two temporary exhibits. The permanent exhibit is Mexicanidad—Our Past is Present. Among what you’ll see are paintings, pottery, a “quilt” made of bright beads, Day of the Dead skeletons, sketches by Diego Rivera, and a “customized riding tractor lawnmower” (think rims and hydraulics). Be sure to check out Mario Castillo’s The Ancient Memories of Mayahuel’s People Still Breath, which is supposed to do something when you stare at the eye in the middle but I was too distracted reading “semen-acrylic” and “body presence” on the plague to try. Do not touch? You don’t have to tell me twice.

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