Shannon, who are you?
I am a photographer, wife, and mother, traveling across the United States and abroad with my family as work takes us from one destination to another every few years. In the past ten years, we have called five different cities home. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
You used to live in Chicago, how is life there?
Chicago is my hometown and I’m its biggest fan. It’s a vibrant and diverse place, with all the advantages of a cosmopolitan city but the warmth of a smaller town. People from Chicago are tough as nails but have the biggest hearts.
Any advice for someone visiting the city for the first time?
Like any big city, the choices in Chicago can be overwhelming. I suggest starting central and working outward. The city center offers some of the best of Chicago’s architectural, cultural, and food scenes. You’ll be impressed enough to book another trip to explore what the many diverse neighborhoods have to offer - they are the true heart of the city.
What's a popular thing to eat in Chicago?
Chicago is known for it’s deep dish pizza, but I suggest skipping it and heading straight for the nearest Italian beef or Chicago hot dog spot for an authentic taste of the city. (Portillo’s is a personal favorite.)
Describe Chicago in three words...
Authentic, soulful, dynamic
You can only follow 3 Instagrammers, who are they?
Shannon’s favorite spots in Chicago…
3 Arts Club Cafe. In a historic building, this stunning restaurant is part of the Restoration Hardware design shop. We come for lunch, we stay for the decor. K1300 N Dearborn Parkway, Chicago, IL 60610.
Stony Island Arts Bank. A library-gallery dedicated to African-American history in a former bank. The setting is unique and the smell of old books is magical. 6760 S Stony Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60649.
The University of Chicago. One of the most prestigious University in the country, the campus is open to the public. 5801 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637.
Get Shannon’s full Chicago guide here.