One of the best parts about my job is working right smack in the middle of downtown Chicago—a city I adore and praise to no end. If you have not been here all I can tell you is come. We have so much to offer!
In December, when I can, I like to spend my lunch time wandering through the Christkindl Market outside city hall. I’ll get a grilled cheese pretzel and hot chocolate in a ceramic boot and window shop my way around the square. Sometimes there is live music and a real festive atmosphere, but sometimes, it’s just me and a handful of other office folk coming out to spend their lunch time. The beer garden in the middle of the square is a happening place for the after work crowd, so I like to take my time at lunch. The Salvation Army tuba player plays Silent Night and a good time is had by all.
I think a lot of people write it off some cliché gimmick—like the city orchestrated some pop-up holiday market to draw in tourists, which, let's be honest--is partially true, but they don’t realize that this is the real deal. Most of the merchants live, work and create their goods in Europe, then fly in to Chicago for one month each year, then return home on Christmas Eve. Having been lucky enough to live in Switzerland for several years, by my estimation, Chicago’s market could hold its own against any Christkindl market in Europe. Ok, maybe not any market in Europe, but it's as close as you will find outside of Germany.
Not a bad way to spend your lunchtime :)