My approximation of a Thanksgiving dinner was the delicious (free!) food at the Whirlaway, a neighborhood bar in Logan Square. I hung out with some people that Wednesday night watching an amazing Blackhawks @ San Jose Sharks game, but I put that story on my other blog...
Since I've been in Chicago without family for the past few Thanksgivings, I consider it a big day to see a lot of the city. I think 2005 was my first time doing that--I took buses around, mostly to the far northwest side, and eventually found somewhere to eat. The CTA was on its holiday schedule, the weather was very cold and a little snowy, and I took 8 buses around. And waited a total--a TOTAL--of about 45 minutes for ALL the buses. I doubt I'll ever have such luck with the CTA again (for comparison, last week, I waited an hour in freezing rain for a bus that never showed up).
Then in 2006 (these link to my Flickr photos for each day, but I might not have many posted) it was sunny and 60 degrees F. I went on the longest bike ride I've ever had in Chicago, about 50 miles total, including bicycling all of Pulaski Ave. from south (111th Street) to north (Devon) within city limits. This needs its own post someday... In 2007 I had an exciting visit to my favorite, and now gone, abandoned building, Washburne Trade School. In 2008 I didn't do much, but had dinner a couple different places.
In 2009? I did even less. In fact, all I did besides stuff at home was go downtown for a brief visit before it got dark, to look at decorations and shop at Old Navy--they were open on Thanksgiving in the Loop.
I'll confess, I've done the early morning door-buster sale on the day after Thanksgiving--once. It was Target, years ago (they haven't done doorbuster sales--i.e. the 5 am-11 am Black Friday morning type of sales--in years), probably back when there was only the Logan Square Target in Chicago. I usually buy a few things that day but try to avoid crowds. I appreciate the spirit of Buy Nothing Day, created to counteract Black Friday hype, but...oh, I guess I now have 11 months to work on my rant about it (suffice it to say, I think it's a little elitist to have it on the day a lot of things people actually want are at a price they can afford, especially in this economy).
This year, I wasn't motivated to go shopping in the morning. But I felt like taking a look at the one Wal-Mart within Chicago's city limits, which happens to be just a couple miles down the street from where I live.
It wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared. Kind of messy, though. I was there briefly in the early afternoon, snuck a few photos (Wal-Mart was being strict about photography/video this year because of negative publicity from last year's tragedy), bought a few things, and went home to watch a depressing Blackhawks game online, then went out to watch a not quite as depressing (but still a loss) Chicago Wolves hockey game in Rosemont.
I'd love to actually cook, or help cook, a huge Thanksgiving meal in Chicago, but it never seems to happen. A Thanksgiving potluck/big bike ride (if it's nice weather)/abandoned building excursion could be spectacular....