The Signature Room

Posted on
Dec 11, 2009

When I told a few friends we were going to Chicago, the suggestion that kept popping up was The Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center. The top of the Hancock Center has amazing views, and you can either go up to the observation deck (at a minimum admission price of $15) or you can get sloshed on the floor below at the Signature Room (high altitudes make you drunker quicker, I think) and just pay for drinks.

Go ahead. Guess which one we chose?

The pros: its a hot chocolate. AND its alcoholic. The cons: Its $13.

The pros: it's a hot chocolate. AND it's alcoholic. The cons: It's $13.

We went just after lunch on a Tuesday, and for a while we had the place to ourselves. It was quiet and peacful up there, high above a snow-covered city. Since we had just eaten at Frontera Grill, we didn’t get anything to eat, but I’ve heard the apps are good (if pricey) and according to UrbanSpoon, the restaurant is pretty solid. But the real story is the views …

Rand noted how incredibly flat Chicago is, which I hadn’t noticed until he pointed it out. I grew up in Florida, and so I naturally equate flat places with hot weather: Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas … the idea that we could be somewhere flat and covered in snow was foreign to me. Even now, if you ask me, I’d probably say Chicago has rolling hills. Lots of them. Then again, I’m also convinced that Duran Duran sings “She Moves in Mysterious Ways.” I know the truth. My brain just can’t accept it.

And, since a view is a terrible thing to waste, the women’s restroom at the Signature Room (but not the men’s, according to Rand) is also lined in huge windows that let you look out onto the city. Not from the stalls, of course. Unless you want to leave the door open. And honestly, I wouldn’t judge you too harshly.

I got some weird looks while exiting the bathroom with my camera.

I got some weird looks while exiting the bathroom with my camera.

I’m sure it’s even more fantastic on a clear day, but even with the fog and snow, it was a great way to see Chicago’s landscape – rolling hills and all.

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