The 15 Weirdest Things in Chicago
"Hey, look at us. We're Portland and Austin. We're SO weird." -- Portland and Austin. "What was that? Sorry, we couldn't hear you while we were turtle racing and visiting a poop fountain." -- Chicago. When it comes down to it, we actually hold our own in the city weirdness department, and these 15 things pretty much prove it.
Sh*t FountainCrafted by internationally known religious sculpture artist Jerzy Kenar, Sh*t Fountain is a sculpture of a big turd that rests on a 3ft-high concrete column. Yes, we’re serious. This is a thing.
Murder CastleThe 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition provided a backdrop for a murderous rampage by Dr. H. H. Holmes, who lured his victims into a trap-filled hotel which he had specifically designed with killing people in mind. Named "Murder Castle," the hotel had asphyxiation chambers, a crematory, and a dissecting table, and was the site of at least 27 (but possibly hundreds) of deaths. While the house has since burned to the ground, a post office currently stands on its original site.
No Pants Subway RideAs if sitting next to a person who is crying into a cell phone or freestyle rapping to the whole train wasn’t enough, your commute may get a lot weirder thanks to the jokesters at Improv Everywhere. Once a year, they organize the No Pants Subway Ride, during which people take off their pants, get on the L, and really crank up the awkwardness level. Why? Why, um, not?
Carl the umbrella hat guyFind former Chicago radio DJ Carl Bonafede roaming the streets in his mobile kiosk selling all manner of weird umbrella hats situated atop mannequin heats that're posted on spikes. This guy might be one of our favorite people. Ever.
Circle bike dudeThe photo pretty much says it all. Don’t you think?
University of Chicago Scavenger HuntAlso known as Scav Hunt (or Scav), the University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt is a four-day competition where teams compete to acquire items off a list that can probably be best described as "absurd." In the past, notable items have included a live elephant, a Stradivarius, and a breeder nuclear reactor. Hilariously, the team that successfully built the breeder reactor actually came in second place.
Big Joe's turtle racesThe most important part of turtle racing at Big Joe’s is realizing that there is an art to it. The second-most important part is keeping an even keel, because you never want to tell anyone that you lost your mortgage on a turtle race.
Pert Cleaners and Antique Fabricare MuseumIf you’re not getting your formalwear dry-cleaned inside a museum, then you’re not doing it right. Fortunately, the staff at Old Irving Park’s Pert Cleaners knows how to get your slacks as clean as a never-used whistle. Bonus: while you wait you can check out a variety of old-timey soaps, ironing boards, and steaming machines that show off how folks cleaned back in the awesome-but-not-in-an-ironic-way-mustache days.
Oasis CaféEver go shopping for a diamond ring and think: “Boy, I really wish I could get a falafel sandwich right now.” Well, you’re in luck, because hidden in the back of the Wabash Jewelers Mall, there's a quick-serve Mediterranean joint that offers cheap, tasty eats. Try not to get hummus on your new gold chain.
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