Saturday, May 2 – Thursday, May 7, 2015
Westin Lombard Yorktown Center
70 Yorktown Center
Lombard, IL 60148
Attendees are responsible for making their own hotel reservations at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center using the contact information above. Group reservation rates are detailed below.
The conference hotel is about 17 miles (27 km) from O'Hare International Airport (ORD), about 24 miles (39 km) from Midway Airport (MDW) and about 21 miles (34 km) due west from downtown Chicago.
Online hotel reservations at the PIUG group rate are available by contacting the hotel at 1-630-719-8000, 1-888-627-9031 (toll-free in USA) or via the reservation web page. Identify yourself as attending the Patent Information User Group Conference.
The rates for a Standard Guestroom is $154 for single or double occupancy, $169 for triple occupancy, and $184 for quadruple occupancy. Rates do not include applicable state and local taxes, currently 11%. The Westin Lombard includes complimentary Wi-Fi in the guestrooms for the annual conference as well as complimentary parking.
Check-in time is 3:00 pm. Check-out time is noon.
Cut-off date for making reservations is 5:00 pm Central time on April 13, 2015.
The month of May can be rainy, but temperatures should be moderate.
Lombard is about 30 miles (48 km.) from Lake Michigan but it still benefits from the flywheel effect of a large body of water keeping the temperatures mild. In early May, days can average 60-70 F (16-21 C) and night can get cooler (50-60 F, 10-16 C). Though nearby Chicago is called the Windy City, it is not due to the breezes but to the politicians, so the actual wind is no more or less than anywhere else. The town of Lombard is a suburb and most locals wear casual clothing with perhaps an additional sweater for the evening. The hotel is across the street from a large shopping mall with several clothing stores.
Travel to the conference hotel from either O'Hare International or Midway International Airports
O'Hare International Airport is about 17 miles from the Westin; Midway airport is about 24 miles away. There is no direct train service, shuttle service or public transportation from either airport to the conference hotel. It is highly recommended that you book a taxi service in advance (see list below), plan on calling American Taxi from the airport luggage claim, or rent a car ahead of time. The services will quote you a fixed amount and will take credit cards in advance or after the ride.
It is NOT recommended to simply take a taxicab at the taxi line at either airport because of the extra rates that the Chicago taxis must charge. They are not allowed to pick up passengers outside of Chicago for their return trip to the city, so they are authorized to charge you 150% of the meter rate if you take a Chicago taxi from an airport to the suburbs.
Call one of the suburban taxis below ahead of time or from the airport luggage claim to book a fixed rate (about $32 one way) transport between the hotel and the airport.
American Taxi: 1-847-673-1000, 1-800-244-1177 (toll-free in US) or reservations web page – $32 fixed rate, one way, plus tolls and tip. At the airport, call for taxi or book online AFTER you have retrieved your luggage. Otherwise, you will be required to call again. The usual wait is only 5 - 10 minutes after booking at the airport.
Windy City Limousine: 1-866-949-4639 (toll-free in US). The hotel claims fixed price of $31 one way, plus tolls and tip.
Uncrabby Cabby: 1-630-397-9029 or 1-877-202-8294 (toll-free in US), x.1; www.uncrabbycabby.com
Public Transportation: (not recommended)
It is possible, but not recommended due to the amount of time expended, to take the L-Train (Blue Line from O'Hare or Orange Line from Midway) to downtown Chicago and then take the Union Pacific West (UP-W) train line from Ogilvie Terminal to Lombard (see instructions below). However, this option would work if you arrived a few days early, stayed in downtown Chicago and toured, and then proceeded to the conference hotel. The L-Trains will take about 45 minutes from either airport to downtown Chicago, but the L-Train stations are about a mile from the Ogilvie (Union Pacific West UP-W) Station, so you would have to take a taxi from the L-Train downtown station to the Ogilvie station and then take the UP-W line to Lombard and get picked up by the hotel at the Lombard Station. Estimated time from airport to the hotel would be about three hours. It is also possible to rent a car at either airport; the hotel is conveniently located adjacent to a major expressway.
Travel to the conference hotel from downtown Chicago and nearby locations
Take the Union Pacific West (UP-W) line from Ogilvie station (500 West Madison) in downtown Chicago to the Lombard Station (ten stops from Ogilvie station). Call the hotel () ahead of time with an estimated time or arrival and the free shuttle will pick you up.
From the North:
Travel south on Route 53 until it becomes 290 East, then merge on Interstate 355.
Continue south on the left towards Joliet and take Butterfield Road (Route 56).
Travel toward Aurora and turn left onto Butterfield Road (Route 56), then take a left into Yorktown Shopping Center.
Follow the center around to the hotel entrance.
From the West:
Travel onto Interstate 88 east and exit onto Highland Avenue.
Turn left onto Highland Avenue after the tollbooth, merging to the far right.
Then merge right onto Route 56 east and then take a left into the Yorktown Shopping Center.
Follow the center around to the hotel parking lot.
From the East (Chicago):
From 290(Eisenhower Expressway)stay in left 2 lanes and continue onto Interstate 88 west.
Continue to the tollbooth and exit on Highland Avenue.
Taking Chiropractic College, turn right onto Highland Avenue and merge onto Route 56 (Butterfield).
Turn at Yorktown Mall Drive into the Yorktown Shopping Center and take the circular route within the parking lot to the hotel.
From the South:
Travel North onto Route 83 then turn left onto 22nd Street. Take 22nd Street until it turns into Butterfield Road. Turn right into Yorktown Shopping Center and follow center around to the hotel entrance.
From Chicago O'Hare International Airport via automobile:
Take Interstate I-90 ramp to Interstate 90/Interstate 294/Chicago and Take I-294 South.
Exit I-294 (toll) to I-88 West (toll).
Exit I-88 West at Highland Avenue; turn right at intersection (to head north on Highland).
Take Highland Avenue north about 0.2 mile to Yorktown Mall Drive (just past stoplight at Butterfield Road).
Turn right at Yorktown Mall Drive into Yorktown Shopping Center (just past Claim Jumper restaurant).
Follow main circular drive to eastern edge of shopping center and arrive at hotel.
From Midway Airport via automobile:
Take Cicero Avenue north to I-55 West (Stevenson Expressway).
Take I-55 west to I-294 North (toll) towards Wisconsin.
Exit I-294 at I-88 West.
Exit I-88 at Highland; turn right at intersection (to head north on Highland).
Take Highland Avenue north about .2 mile to entrance to Yorktown Mall Drive into the Yorktown Shopping Center.
Take circular drive around shopping center to hotel.
Lombard is a village of 44,000 people located about 22 miles (35 km.) west of Chicago. Downtown Lombard is about 4 miles (6.4 km.) south of the conference hotel. It was settled in 1830 and early residents included several civil war veterans who left a legacy:
Dr. William LeRoy, a doctor who made artificial limbs for civil war veterans, lived at 119 N. Main Street and this house became the home of Harold Gray's studio, the creator of the Little Orphan Annie cartoon strip
Colonel William R. Plum, a civil war telegrapher who brought two lilacs from France to start a garden and after many graftings and replantings in 1927 he donated his 8.5 acre garden with 700 lilacs and 25,000 tulips to the village of Lombard which named it Lilacia Park (150 S. Park Ave.) The lilacs bloom in early May, a welcome coincidence with the timing of our conference! http://www.villageoflombard.org/218/Lombard-Park-DistrictLilacia-Park
Lombard Historical Society at 23 West Maple Street (open Wed., Fri., Sun. from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, at 23 West Maple Street) is located about one block away from the Lilacia Park and illustrates a typical homestead when Lombard was founded. http://www.lombardparks.com/programs/special-events/lilac-time
Robert R. McCormick Mansion Museum and Cantigny Park
This is the mansion where Colonel McCormick, a relative to Cyrus McCormick, inventor (1834 US patent for a successful mechanical reaper), founder of the International Harvester company (now Navistar) and owner and publisher of the Chicago Tribune lived. The Colonel served in World War I and the nearby Cantigny (pronounced Kan-teeny or Kan-tigny) Woods copies a wooded area of France from the era, complete with period-specific military tanks hidden in small copses of trees. The large grounds are decorated with several gardens, two museums (First Division and the Mansion), a light-food restaurant and coffee shop and a golf course. Located about 10 miles (16 km.) from the conference site. http://cantigny.org/museums/robert-r-mccormick-museum
Morton Arboretum is a 1700 acre preserve with almost a quarter million plants that are accessible via automobile roads and walking trails. It is located about ten miles away from the conference site. www.mortonarb.org.
Local ShoppingThe conference hotel is adjacent to the Yorktown Center shopping mall with 150 stores and 17 restaurants and is easily accessed by foot. The Oakbrook Center shopping mall with 160 upscale stores is about 4 miles east (take Butterfield Road east to 22nd street and enter the mall at Route 83).
So you have a day to take in nearby Chicago, but you don't know where to start. Here are some recommendations:
Try a walking or guided tour downtown or to the Gold Coast or Navy Pier, take a boat ride, eat some local chow, go shopping or visit museums or art or take in a play or a concert or just gawk at the architecture. See below for suggestions.
Websites that list events, restaurants, sites, etc.
Good Eats and Restaurants
Good, but not too expensive eats (local fast food) can be found at various locations throughout the city. See Portillo's, or Al's Italian Beef; or for pizza, try Lou Malnati's, Giordano's, Bacino's, or Gino's East (312-266-3337; 162 E. Superior).
While Chicago is known for some foods that are hard to get anywhere else, like Italian beef sandwiches (Al's Italian Beef, Portillo's, Mr. Beef), don't miss the local pizza. It is not deep dish, nor mushy crusted like you'll find in the east, it is very deep, usually about an inch to two inches (5 cm) in depth and contains lots of tomato based sauce, usually vegetables and sausage (either Italian or pepperoni or both) and gooey cheese. And, it is eaten with a fork and a knife, just like you would eat a pie, but never call it a pie as this will identify you as an outsider. Same thing for the word, "slice," which is used predominantly in the east. Just call it pizza, and toss in some typical extraneous Chicago words like, "…over by der," or putting the word "with" at the end of a phrase, like, "We're going to get a pizza over by der, you wanna come along with?" Best to pronounce the th in with like a d. Avoid Due's Pizza as the crowds are so bad that you put in an order, then wait in the lobby and when the food is ready, you are whisked to a table, served immediately, and then whisked away. Go a block south to Uno's which is the same pizza, but nicer surroundings. All meat topping at Lou Malnati's is worthwhile, and Giordano's is good, but try the "heart healthy" pizza at Bacino's which is made with spinach.
Italian beef. A beef roast is baked for hours after being drenched in spices and then thinly sliced and served on a hard roll that will be dipped in the tasty drippings if you ask for it "wet," or "dipped." Served with broiled green pepper slices or hot giardinara, it can be sloppy, but good. Can also be had as a combo which is a hard roll with Italian beef and Italian sausage in a roll.
Most places that serve Italian beef will have both hot dogs (see below) and Polish sausage. Ask for a Polish (long o like the country, not short o like what you use to wax your car) and it will come on a bun with grilled onions.
Chicago hot dogs have mustard, fluorescent green relish, raw onions, fresh tomatoes, sometimes a pickle slice and sport peppers (optional), with a dash of celery salt, but never, no, never will a Chicago hot dog have ketchup. Don't even ask for it. Best places; Portillo's
Garrett's popcorn. Get the Chicago mix which has half caramel- coated popcorn and half cheddar coated popcorn. Worth the wait, but you will not stop eating them so don't even thing you'll be able to take any home.
More upscale dining, though not prohibitively expensive.
The Berghoff (17 W. Adams) - beautiful wooden walls and tables, hearty German-themed food, and abrupt service that starts with rye bread slices. Try Berghoff's own beer or root beer, but don't miss the creamed spinach.
Lawry's The Prime Rib (100 E. Ontario) - set in a period piece restaurant with lots of character and your choice of freshly cut prime rib right from the cart. Of course, Chicago used to deal in cattle and while the stockyards are long gone, the steak restaurants abound.
Frontera Grill (445 N. Clark) - this is the medium priced but very good Mexican restaurant that started the empire. Other restaurants established by Mr. Bayless abound in the city and at O'Hare airport.
And, while Harry Caray's restaurant would also be on this list, there is a Harry Caray's next door to the conference hotel.
Many more restaurants listed in the websites above. Another point worth noting is that a local company called Lettuce Entertain You, has a chain of restaurants that are all fairly good and also fun, though too numerous to list here. Typically, this firm will start with a concept in Chicago, like Ed Debevic's restaurant which looks like a 1950's drive in and then it replicates copies throughout the world.
Walking tour up Michigan Avenue (aka, "The Gold Coast," "The Magnificent Mile")
This is a walk that is more or less straight north and is about a mile and a half long, visiting several cultural sites and many stores, starting with the Art Institute and ending at the Hancock Building.
Start at the Art Institute of Chicago (111 S. Michigan Avenue), a fine collection of paintings and sculptures with an excellent collection of French Impressionists and Picassos. Not to be missed are Grant Woods American Gothic, Edward Hoppers' Nighthawks, Georges Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte or Pablo Picasso's The Old Guitarist which if you look at closely at an angle, you can see a picture of a woman painted underneath, The Art Institute is easily found by its two lion statues at the entrance. Not that the lions can find the museum, but you can look for them at the entrance. Also, the famous Route 66 starts at Michigan and Adams/Jackson, and meanders to Los Angeles, though most of it needs further investigation as it is no longer an active highway.
Start at the Art Institute and head north on the east side of Michigan Avenue, along Millennium Park. Stop by the Cloud Gate (the Bean) sculpture (not to be missed) which you can't see from the street but will emerge if you walk into the park about fifty yards (46 meters) east and fifty south of Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue. Take a picture of yourself in the mirrored finish with the city or the park in the background. Just east of Cloud Gate (now you know why it's called The Bean) is an outside concert area that looks like a large aluminum unwrapped present.
Side trip: You can now take a winding bridge over Lake Shore Drive if you want, and get closer to the lake; if you want to wander off the Michigan Avenue tour, keep heading south to get to the Museum Campus; see "Another Trip" below to head to the Museum Campus which is about a mile south and along the lake. Else, head back from the outside concert area back to Michigan Avenue and keep heading north.
Cross Michigan Avenue and go into the Chicago Cultural Center (78 East Washington). Walk up the inside stairs on the south end of the building all the way to the third floor to see the large mosaics on the ceiling. You can get in for free and there might be an art show in the building. This building used to be Chicago Public Library and it was saved by the wrecker's ball. It has also been the backdrop of several movies. Head outside; feel free to exit by the northern doorway. A small cafe can be found inside.
You will see the very tall Aon building to the east (200 East Randolph), a white marble covered tower east of Michigan Avenue; used to be called the Standard Oil Building, or SOB.
Continue north on Michigan Avenue past the black art deco hotel (at 230 North Michigan) formerly the Carbide and Carbon Building, now the Hard Rock Hotel) to the Chicago River at Wacker Drive (the only street that has a North, South, East and West component; you will be at East Wacker Drive at Michigan). Look down at the sidewalk on the south end of the bridge and you will see the outline for Fort Dearborn, an early settlement on the Chicago River that was the foundation of Chicago. Looking around you will see the corner building at East Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue (360 N. Michigan Avenue)), the building where Paul Harvey broadcast for fifty years, the Trump Tower across the River (like his hair, you cannot miss his named on the building), Marina City (looks like two corn cobs), the white marble Wrigley Building, and the Chicago Tribune Tower. The bridge across the Chicago River is a double cantilever - two long parts anchored on the shore rotate up to allow boats to pass underneath; and have been used for car chase scenes in many movies in which vehicles use the sloped bridge as a ramp to try to cross the river. Cross the Chicago River, making sure you stop in the middle of the bridge with one foot on the south portion and one on the north - a bus going by will let you know how an earthquake would feel. There is also a lower deck for traffic under this bridge. Look down the river and note that not only is this body of water dyed green for St. Patrick's Day, it is also going in the opposite direction than it did in the 1890's. The city didn't like the river dumping waste into Lake Michigan, so it reversed the direction of the flow, much to the chagrin of the people downriver like those who live in St. Louis.
If you have the time, a very nice Wendella Boat ride along the river can be taken on the west side of the bridge on either side of the River (around $35).
You may see a water sprout across the river east of the bridge which celebrates clean water about once an hour.
Continue north on the east side of Michigan Avenue and take a close look at the 149 rock samples embedded in the walls of the Tribune Tower. Colonel McCormick, the publisher of the Chicago Tribune, used to fly his airplane downtown from his own airfield in Cantigny, just west of our meeting place in Lombard.
Heading north on Michigan Avenue you will find many high end stores on either side of the street, and several shopping malls, like the one behind the walls at Nordstrom's (55 East Grand on the west side of Michigan Avenue, and with an entrance on Michigan Avenue) which is just about across the street from the Chicago Tribune building. The Nordstrom entrance is to the north of an office façade that was taken down and put back up so as not to lose the impact of the façade on the street. About twenty stores are hidden behind the wall on the way to Nordstrom's, along with some casual eating places; a good place to sit for a bit and get refreshed.
Side trip: Head west about three blocks at Ohio to Eataly (at 43 East Ohio), a two story celebration of Italian food, including several restaurants, plus groceries and lots of people watching.
In case you missed the Garrett's popcorn at 151 N. Michigan, there is another at 625 N. Michigan (at Ontario). Just follow the smell and the stand in line. Best to order the Chicago (aka Garrett mix) blend in which half of the popcorn is covered in caramel and half with cheddar cheese, tempting you to put one of each in your mouth and then wonder why you didn't buy more.
Side trip: At Michigan and Grand Avenue, go down a level and head east on Grand Avenue to Navy Pier (600 East Grand) about four blocks walk or take a free Navy Pier bus. This almost exactly one kilometer long carnival-like venue features great views of the city from the lake, also has a Ferris wheel (the first such was in Chicago at the 1893 Columbian Exposition) and a huge restored auditorium at the end of the pier, plus restaurants, bars, theatres and interesting shops along the way. Also, no entrance fee.
Get back to Michigan Avenue, and heading north, a decent Chicago pizza can be had at Gino's East (162 East Superior, about a block east of Michigan Avenue).
Heading north back on Michigan Avenue, at Chicago Avenue you will pass by the Water Tower, the only structure that survived the Chicago Fire of 1871 - imagine everything from where you are standing back to where you started this tour destroyed in a fire; when you crossed the Chicago River you passed the halfway point of the fire's spread. Most of the land to the east of you was created by landfill of ashes and remains of burned out buildings that were to the west of you. Feel free to head east on Chicago Avenue to the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 East Chicago).
Side trip: At Grand Avenue, go down a level and head east to Navy Pier (600 East Grand) about four blocks walk or take a free Navy Pier bus. This carnival-like venue features great views of the city from the lake, also has a Ferris wheel (the first such was in Chicago in the 1890's) and a grand auditorium at the end of the pier, plus restaurants, bars, theatres and interesting shops along the way. Also, no entrance fee.
Back on Michigan Avenue, keep heading north past Burberry's, Nieman Marcus, and other high end shops until you end up at Water Tower Place (835 N. Michigan Avenue), on the east side of Michigan Avenue, which is a tall shopping mall just north of Neiman Marcus and attached to Macy's (the old Marshall Field's store where you can still buy Frango Mint chocolates - hint, this is a scrumptious souvenir of Chicago). Take the escalator up, past the dancing waters, to the lobby then take the glass elevator to the top and then the escalators down, stopping at whatever levels you wish. All high end stores; make sure you tell the snotty clerks at the time store that their display clocks have the wrong time.
In the bottom most floor of Water Tower Place are some restaurants, including Foodlife on the mezzanine level in which you walk up to a counter that serves one type of food, order something and give the clerk your credit card, then walk somewhere else to get different food, etc. Great if you have a disparate group of people who cannot decide on what they want to eat. Bloomingdale's at 900 North Michigan Avenue has extended a 10% discount (only at this location; use this Bloomingdale's coupon) to our attendees.
Outside, cross the street to see the Hancock Building (875 N. Michigan) and take the elevator to the Signature Lounge (Get it? Like John Hancock's ….) Lounge on the 96th floor to try to take in the views. The same view from the Willis tower (aka Sears Tower) further south would cost you a lot more.
From here you can walk to Oak Street Beach, just north of Water Tower Place, or head to the small but trendy shops east and west of Michigan Avenue. Else, head back along the opposite side of Michigan Avenue, looking into the chic shops along side streets along the way, stopping at those places you missed along the way.
Head east from the Art Institute of Chicago (111 South Michigan Avenue) to the park and then south to Buckingham Fountain. Just east of here you can cross busy Lake Shore Drive at a light and then head south along the lakefront to the museum campus which sits right along the lake. Here you will find the Field Museum of Natural History, the Adler Plantetarium , and the Shedd Aquarium. Each can be pricey (around $35 each), so pick wisely or check out City Pass where you can buy a pass to five venues (these three plus The Skydeck at Willis Tower and the Museum of Science and Industry ) for $96; passes have to be used within nine days of first use. A cheaper alternative is to walk all the way out to the Planetarium to take in a very pretty view of the city from the north side of the peninsula. Then, you can stroll through Northerly Island which used to be Meigs Field. Don't try to walk to the Museum of Science and Industry; it is about four miles south. Best to check out public transportation. The view of the city from the tip of the peninsula (at the Adler Planetarium) makes for very nice pictures of the lakefront.
Also, across the street and down the block is the Chicago Symphony Hall (220 S. Michigan Avenue).
Chicago Trolley double decker bus - This private bus company allows you to hop on and off its buses which roll throughout the downtown area of Chicago for the day ($33), with pertinent landmarks pointed out.
Chicago Architecture Foundation Tours - This non-profit entity sponsors professional walking, boat, Segway and bus tours from $20-44 plus. Learn about the unique architecture in the city, led by a knowledgeable guide.
Another excellent museum is the Museum of Science and Industry (5700 South Lake Shore Drive) which features several airplanes indoors, several used-only-once space capsules, a captured WWII submarine and a model coal mine, but it is at 57th street and Lake Shore Drive, so it's a bus or taxi ride from downtown. This museum is close to President Obama's house but you really cannot get near to the house even though he is in Washington, DC. Check City Pass, for information about saving money on admissions if you are planning on visiting other museums, covered elsewhere in this listing.
The area just west of the Art Institute is considered the theatre district with many touring and resident companies featuring professional acting/dancing/musical experiences. Check Hot Tix for last minute seating options or the League of Chicago Theater for other options.
Buddy Guy's Legends Blues club (754 S. Wabash, 312-427-1190) Buddy Guy's is across the street from the Hilton Chicago Hotel - worth a quick look at the lobby. Lou Malnati's pizza is nearby at 805 S. State, or consider The Berghoff, a bit of a hike away at 17 E. Adams.
The Second City in Old Town, near the corner of North and Wells) to take in an improvisation show. Second City has several stages, so you may be able to get tickets for one show or the other. Nearby good dining at Topo Gigio, 312-266-9355, 1516 N. Wells) an Italian restaurant with good portions, good food and reasonable prices and less than a block away from Second City. Across the street is the Old Town Pour House (1419 N. Wells) sports bar which might just be worth a lookey loo if you have time after dinner and before the show. O'Brien's (1528 North Wells) is also a good choice for hearty food at reasonable prices and is a little more than a block from The Second City. Consider picking up a fudge apple at The Fudge Pot (1532 North Wells), though light food is served at The Second City.
You can use the Divvy rental bicycles to get around cheaply ($7/24 hours). You put a credit card into the rack and take a bicycle, but note that the rental is only for 30 minutes before you have to put it back into a rack. Racks are all over the city and can be identified by an app downloadable to your smart phone. There are extensive bicycle lanes throughout Chicago.
L-trains. You can take an L-train (short for elevated trains, so El-train works, too) from either airport to downtown for a reasonable fee ($5 from O'Hare; $2.25 anywhere else; see Transit Chicago. The Blue line starts at O'Hare and the Orange line starts at Midway airports and all lines go downtown where most of them will loop around the downtown area, hence the downtown area is called The Loop.
Ask a bus driver if a bus goes to the Loop and the bus driver will probably tell you it goes beep beep. The trip from either airport to downtown is about 45 minutes and during rush hour you will pass by thousands of cars on the expressways. Getting from one airport to the other is possible, but there are better ways to do this via airport shuttle services. You can take the trains to many sights around the city, including Wrigley Field (Cubs baseball) or Cellular Field (White Sox baseball) or even to Second City (see above).
Do have fun and stay safe!