a bit about Annie
What do you do and why do you do it?
I always save this question for last because it's hard and I'm a complex human. For work, I am an account manager at an integrated marketing & communications agency. But I don't define myself for what I do to pay the bills. I am a curious human, an adventure junkie, a travel enthusiast, a bicyclist who is too stubborn to wear a helmet, a friend who will make you laugh, a beach volleyball player, an excellent drinking buddy and wingwoman, a mediocre but carefree dancing nut, a Chicago Cubs fan, a positive reinforcer, a person who knows that I should wear sunscreen but won't, and a Chicago resident who obnoxiously loves her city. Hi.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?
Working for someone who did not have a single bone of respect for other human beings in his entire body. Safe to say he taught me everything not to be in a manager, boss, or human in a professional setting.
Were you born and raised in Chicago? If not, where did you grow up and what brought you to Chicago?
I was born & raised on a small farm in a tiny, tiny town in the country, about 2 hours NW of Chicago. Although Chicago was huge city within driving distance, I didn't really know much about the city and only explored it a handful of times because sports & extracurriculars kept me busy throughout my childhood. Ah, I was so good at being 'present' then.... Anyways, during college my collection of Chicago friends grew exponentially and I started visiting & exploring more & more often, and just plain fell in love with the diverse and eclectic city. The energy is vibrant, the people are fabulous, and 'Summertime Chi' is truly unlike anything else.
What’s your current hood in Chicago and what’s the best/worst thing about it?
I live in the Southport Corridor area in Lakeview on the North Side of Chicago. It's basic AF, but for day to day life it is incredibly safe, friendly and within walking distance of Wrigley Field. (Go Cubs!) It's young and filled with blocks & blocks of beautiful houses that make you question what you do for a living, but equally accessible to other amazing nearby neighborhoods such as Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Roscoe Village, Bucktown, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park and Old Town.
What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?
You can always find me jamming & dancing. Music just sets a mood & makes every situation and moment that much better. Life is more fun with a soundtrack. I enjoy listening to new artists & exploring new genres, but am particularly into R&B, jazz, funk, reggae and soulful music - anything that brings the funk, has a good beat and has a great message. Chance the Rapper, Bruno Mars, Khalid, Queen B, Big Gigantic... I'm all about the positive energy. Bonus love points for brass instruments. One of my life goals is to be Chance's best friend. He's an angel. Fingers are crossed. I don't do metal, pop, rock or punk music.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
Bruno Mars - High energy to get my dancing and out of my funk. Absolutely no sappy or sad jams - life goes on.
Name the best TV shows of all time, and what makes them so good?
Not a television person - I'd rather be outside, being active or catching up with friends. I see it as a waste of time; time I don't have. I AM a [shameless] Shameless addict, so I bend my TV rule for one hour on Sundays from January - March. Cheers to the Gallaghers!
Name some spots in Chicago that are good for a Tinder date.
Those apps don't interest me. Put your phone down & talk to the humans you interact with on a daily basis. In the line for coffee, uncomfortably invading someone's space while squished on the train... you'll meet some cool ass people.
Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”? (every public figure is fair game).
Donald Trump. Then to lift my spirits, maybe Jimmy Fallon because he's wonderful & would handle a Roast like a damn champ.
Who’s your hero and where in Chicago would you take them out for a serious hang?
Chance the Rapper - I think what he's doing for the city of Chicago is incredibly admirable and I think anyone on this planet would agree. I'd let him chose where we'd hang because he knows more and knows cooler shit than I do. I also look up to Joe Maddon and would let him bring ME to Wrigley. But on the real real, my brother is my hero. I don't get to see him very often because he's a real life nomad, but if I had my dream day in Chicago with him, we would bike the 606, grab some drinks on the rooftop of The Robey and tear up the dance floor at Slippery Slope. I think me, my bro, Joe and Chance would have an epic night.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
I'm really trying to become more of a minimalist, so I'm not really into shopping right now and I see this trend sticking with me for a while.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Can't say there is one... all 77 neighborhoods are what make Chicago, Chicago.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
This is a tough one... but I'd have to say that I'd love to try more of the restaurants around the city. I really try, but my wallet and my stomach cannot possibly keep up with the rapid expansion of amazing dining and damn good food this city is seeing.
Where do you go in Chicago for a casual night out?
Logan Square, Wicker Park and Bucktown - patios galore, good vibes and many disco balls. Nothing beats drinking outdoors. In the summer, you can always find me at one of the 8 million-gajillion street festivals every single neighborhood has or posted up for music and live movies in the park... on my picnic blanket... usually with multiple bottles of wine and LOTS of snacks.
Where would you go in Chicago to celebrate some freaking good news?
A rooftop or patio bar to drink a little too much with my friends. Then the next day with a bit of a hangover I'd continue celebrating at a boozy brunch. I know, I know... brunch is basic, but I assure you I'm not. Or, of course, in Wrigley Field bleachers. There's no place like it. Celebrate with 200 people who start as strangers and end as best friends.
What’s your choice of transportation in Chicago and why?
Biking or walking if possible, because it's such an accessible city. It's the most bike friendly city in the states, so hop on two wheels and explore!! I don't put up with the Chicago winters to spend any ounce of time indoors when it's even remotely nice outside. When in a hurry, Uber and Lyft are super convenient but you can get EVERYWHERE by public transit. The L is best for quick downtown access, where you don't have to worry about traffic and you can get some really, really great people watching in.
What are the Chicago spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
Jay Pritzker Pavillion, Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park and the Bean - touristy but touristy for a reason. They're awesome. The rooftop at Hotel Lincoln and the rooftop at Chicago Athletic Association are my personal favorites... In the summer: Green City Market, the Lakeshore path (walk or bike) and while there, hit up a game of beach volleyball at Oak Street Beach, North Ave Beach or Montrose Beach. There's something totally unique about being at the beach, sitting your booty in the sand while staring at the impeccable skyline.
What are the Chicago spots tourists should run from screaming?
The Signature Room on the 95th floor of the Hancock - there are SO many better places to see the city from up top and grab a drink. Navy Pier is fine, but you won't miss anything if you don't spend time there. The Lincoln Park Zoo is also fine but if you're like me & on the fence about zoo's, it's a skip. Oh, and Giordano's. Please do yourself a favor and head to Pequods or Art of Pizza for some true Chicago deep dish.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Chicago. How do you spend it?
I'm not ready to think about that right now!
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
There is still way too much of the world I have yet to see for me to possibly choose! But for now, I'll just say that I'd love to rent a VW van and drive ALL around for an unforeseeable amount of time. Probably in Australia.