The Local: Hayet’s Chicago, IL

On those days you’re stuck at your desk, dreaming of a mini getaway — or, better yet, actually planning one — we’ve got the solution for you: head out on a virtual tour! In this edition of The Local, blogger Hayet Rida takes us around her stomping grounds: Chicago! Check out Hayet’s five must-see spots.

For more Chicago hotspots and simply chic style, follow Hayet on Instagram.

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I didn’t grow up in Chicago, but Chicago has grown on me over the last few years. There are so many things to love about my city, but its true character lives in the parts, and times of the city that many of us may overlook in the blink of an eye. Here are my favorite parts of this cultural hotspot.

The African Exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago
I grew up in the home of an art collector, with paintings and sculptures from across several continents. The challenge is when I was growing up I wasn’t fond of African art, being surrounded by it made it my norm. Fast forward years later, while studying Art in college, I had the dream of studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, but never had the courage to apply. These days, when I am not working, I love to sneak into the African Art exhibit at the Art Institute and learn about my own culture from the outsiders view, looking in.

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Millenium Park Art – Chakai Booker Exhibition
When I am stressed, I love to put on headphones and go down to the famous Millenium park and people watch. Something about this calms me, just making up possible stories of the tourists that flood the area. Many people come here to see the bean, but I come here to see the artwork sculptures being displayed. My little secret is that when I walk through the sculptures, I never read the story behind them. It is more fun to decide my own story each time I visit.


Lincoln Park Zoo – Saturday Morning Yoga
Don’t let me lie to you and say I am a fan of yoga. It is complicated and lacks conversation. Every Saturday morning I love to walk to the Lincoln Park zoo, and sit at it’s gorgeous honeycomb sculpture, right after Saturday morning yoga is complete. If you come early enough, you will see the sun perfectly light up the honeycomb.


Cuban Food in Chicago
My photographer Ethan is of Cuban descent. Every time we shoot, we make it a challenge to visit a different Cuban restaurant on our lunch break. While there, he helps me understand the foods, and tells me stories about his family. Habana Libre is my favorite Cuban restaurant in the city. My favorite appetizers are the Croquetas, and I will never share!!!

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Park on Michigan Avenue
Tucked away in the heart of the city is a Renaissance park. This has to be one of my favorite parks. I love to sit here and read or write. The best part was I wrote this entire post sitting on one of its stone benches.

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Thanks for showing off Chicago, Hayet! Do you love Chicago too? Comment below with the spots we just can’t miss there. 

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