If you have never seen a baseball game, seeing a game at Wrigley Field will make you a fan. If you have seen plenty of baseball games, Wrigley Field will remind you of what’s still to love about baseball.
Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grill has been called the best restaurant in America. Why limit that accolade to America? Rick has resisted all importuning to dilute his personal touch by opening outposts in New York, London, or Las Vegas. But if you make the pilgrimage to Chicago and can’t get a table, pssst: he has a cafeteria-style place called Frontera Fresco on the seventh floor of Marshall Field’s (Macy’s), that serves the Mexican street food of your dreams. Macy’s intends to open Frontera Frescos in several others of their stores. Help is on the way!
The Museum of Science and Industry will make you will feel some of the old excitement of going to a school field trip. They have an amazing model train display, which follows a route from Chicago to Seattle, huffing, puffing, and whistling, and the original German U-505 submarine. You can walk the length of the sub, feel it shudder from a torpedo attack, and live to go up to the gift shop.
The Second City is the famous cauldron of comedy talent in the funniest, most theater-rich city in America. Nichols and May, Ackroyd and Belushi, all the most famous names in comedy, past and future, have come out of here. The improvisations that follow two nightly shows are free, and each set contains the crackle of excitement and discovery.
You don’t know the allure of pure chemical attraction until you’ve exchanged smiles with an orangutan at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Our New York is mostly for kids. Danny Meyer’s Blue Smoke has jazz, blues, and barbeque, and lets children decorate cookies for themselves.
Rosa Mexicano (I know it should be Mexicana, but that’s how they spell it) across from Lincoln Center, will bring emergency rice and beans to you if you have children in tow. They also have a kid’s menu that is tempting to adults. Maybe any kids menu is, if accompanied by pomegranate margaritas.
The Museum of Natural History has a specially warmed and contained butterfly conservatory that is magical. Tip: rub a sweet gel discreetly through you hair, and the butterflies may light on your head. Children will think you have a special power.
Also, everyone should see the Holocaust Museum
Our friend Will Grozier is the best-read man we know, and the most engaging conversationalist. Email him before you land inLondon to have him meet you at the airport. By the time you arrive in town, you will be better-informed than if you had read all of London’s fat Sunday newspapers.
Anything put on at Sam Mendes’ Donmar Warehouse is worth seeing. When you have, go across the street to Belgo’s and have the best of both worlds—London theater and Belgian mussels and frites.
Veeraswamy is London’s oldest Indian restaurant (1926), and possibly the oldest continuing Indian restaurant in the world. Mahatma Gandhi and Charlie Chaplin had lunch here; Chaplin admired Gandhi, and the Mahatma wondered why he was having lunch with a man who made faces for a living. The menu changes constantly, rotating through all regions, and you’ll be glad India has so many regions.
Simon Parker Bowles keeps a teddy bear—Teddy Parker Bowles—at Green’srestaurant, a theater hangout on St. James. The teddy bear recommends the scotch salmon. So smooth you’ll pick up the lemon wedge with disdain and ask, “What the hell is this for?”