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For my trip to CHICAGO I need your input!

Home Forums Coffee Break For my trip to CHICAGO I need your input!

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  • #112804
    Sonya Wiley
    Member

    I’ve about decided I need to go to Chicago to choose my harp; I have a deposit on one and I want to hear it as well as others that fit into my budget. I ‘ve had some input from others on the forums which has been very helpful; I need some info on hotels near L & H or your choices on where you stayed. We’ll probably take a taxi there; not brave enough to take the train probably. We will fly up on Thurs, go to L & H on Friday. Any places you recommend for lunch? Just tell me everything about your experiences if you have time like Brook in his blog. Thanks ahead! Sonya

    #112805
    Donna O
    Participant

    Sonya,

    There is an Italian restaurant right across the street from L&H called La Luce. Very convenient if you need a break. You are also close to Randolph street and restaurants abound there. Hotels depend on whether you want to be near the airport or downtown.
    Are you planning on sightseeing in Chicago? If so would recommend something close to Michigan Ave. It also depends a lot on your budget. There are so many hotels to choose from, it’s hard to make recommendations. If you are just planning on visiting L&H you may want to just stay at the airport. Since I am local, I do not have a lot of experience with staying in hotels in the city. I usually use Expedia to search for hotels and reviews when I travel. I would definitely recommend taking a taxi to L&H, the neighborhood isn’t all that great. I would not take the train either to L&H and I am from the Chicago area, although I live about 60 miles northwest of the city now.
    Sorry I can’t be more helpful.
    You must be excited to be selecting your harp. Have you narrowed it down in terms of models??? I know when I selected my harp it was similar to Brook’s experience. I spent almost the entire day there. I tried out 3 harps. One of them just kept calling me back to it. I’ve never been sorry.

    #112806
    Sonya Wiley
    Member

    Donna, that was very helpful, thankyou! yes, my budget narrowed it very quickly, lol. I’m looking at a Style 15, new neck , spiffed up ; very pretty and the Chicago 47CGextended. We did want to try to sightsee some, maybe a museum. It’s a quick trip; up on Thurs. back on Sat. My wonderful sister is contributing her frequent flyer miles to do this!

    #112807
    brook-boddie
    Participant

    Sonya, this is awesome to hear!! I stayed out near the airport, but that’s because my flight Thursday night got in very late, and I didn’t want to have to spend a lot of time trying to find the hotel closer into the city. L&H is basically a straight shot in from the airport on I-90. There is limited parking there, but I know they try to save the parking spaces in the front of the building for customers. Of course, if you’re taking a taxi, this won’t matter. Natalie or Nancy can recommend some hotels that are nearby. I used FF miles to get there but got a good deal on a hotel and car using Travelocity.

    We had lunch at La Luce, and it was very good and also convenient–just a walk across the street.

    Are you looking at the Style 15 that is on the CPO site? I did play through a few of the CPO harps last week, but I don’t remember this one in particular. It’s a beautiful instrument, for sure. The customer in the room next to me was purchasing a Chicago 47CG, and they are very impressive looking instruments (they had three in there–all natural finish). They seemed to have a good number of the Chicago models in stock, so that will be good. Don’t discount the Chicago 40s, btw. I owned one of these once, and it had a great sound for a smaller pedal harp. The only issue I had was the pedal spacing. As I was leaving, there was a young boy–probably 12 or so–trying out three Chicago 40s. It was inspiring to see this.

    Be sure you check out the high end instruments that are in the concert hall. There is a specialized hand painted Style 11 that is stunning. They’re more than happy for you to look around at all the harps, not just the ones you are considering.

    Please keep us posted. I can assure you that you won’t regret this trip one bit. We’re excited for you!

    #112808

    Hi Sonya, just wanted to remind you, don’t forget to make a point to tour the factory! Everyday they offer tours, around noon. If you’ve been in correspondence with Nancy, maybe mention it to her, if you are interested, and make a point to go there at that time 🙂 Hope you have fun here!

    #112809
    Sonya Wiley
    Member

    Don’t worry, i won’t forget the tour! The Style 15 i’m looking at is straight; i really thought i wanted an extended so I need to play and hear them. I just wonder that the quality of the older one is better than the newer Chicago line; I read so many of the posts about them in years past and the China issue. I want at least 46 strings. I’m tall so I don’t really want a petite.

    #112810
    brook-boddie
    Participant

    Sounds like a Chicago 40 might not be the best for you then. With the Chicago CG’s on sale, those would be a great option. I think the CG’s with the straight sound boards are on sale too.

    The China issue has been floating around on this website for a while. One thing you’ll be able to see on the tour is that these harps are not made in China. L&H confirmed this for me several years ago. You’ll be able to see the Chicago harps in production when you take the tour.

    #112811

    Sonya,
    I just wanted to add my two cents as a harpist living in Chicago. I actually live about 4 blocks from Lyon & Healy. The neighborhood is not downtown and I wouldn’t wander around alone in the dark, but it is safe during the day. I would highly recommend taking the train from downtown. It is extremely easy, just take the Green line and make sure you’re going in the correct direction and get off at Ashland. When you get off the train you walk down to the sidewalk level and L&H is 1 block away. $2.25 is a lot less than the probably $20 a taxi will cost.

    Like everyone has said, La Luce is a wonderful and convenient restaurant across the street but just a short walk away are tons of amazing restaurants on Randolph St. Being a foodie myself, I would highly recommend trying one of them out.

    Finally, if you plan on sight seeing you could stay near the airport if you are willing to take the train into downtown. (Again, super easy and only $2.25) If you’re driving, traffic will be a nightmare during rush hour into the city so you might consider staying downtown in that case.

    There is a great Crowne Plaza Hotel on the corner of Halsted & Madison that is very nice but not a Michigan Ave price.

    Have fun!
    Lynn

    #112812

    Unrelated but I wanted to post a quick response to Lynn, can you please check your musicstand? I just messaged you!

    #112813
    Sonya Wiley
    Member

    Thankyou Lynn and everyone for the info. My sister is a foodie also, do you recommend a great one on Randolph street? We want to eat gooood!

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