Out of the Loop: Hyde Park Edition. The World beyond Woodlawn

By Disha Malik, Class of 2018

By Disha Malik, Class of 2018

Spring is, dare we say, here and summer is on its way. As the weather improves, Boothies find themselves stepping out of the Harper Center to Summer Garden, perhaps venture as far as the outdoor patio at Plein Air Cafe. As a double Maroon (former UChicago undergrad) I love it when people explore beyond the bubble of Harper. Hell, we’re going to Mandel Hall for Follies! So this article is an introduction to just a few more places in Hyde Park and the great big university just beyond Woodlawn.

Coffee - Hallowed Grounds. (1127 E 57th St)

Up on the second floor of the Reynolds Club is the dim-lit, dark paneled, gothic Hallowed Grounds coffee shop complete with pool table. The soundtrack is barista’s choice, making this feel even more like a coffee shop by the students and for the students. Its cozy vibe and devoted customer base creates a homey atmosphere that you discovered all for yourself.

Quick Bite - Grounds of Being (Swift Hall, 1025 E 58th St)

The Divinity School Cafe known as “Grounds of Being” would be my pick for a quick bite, a cup of coffee, and a great place to see how the Battle of the Gods tip jar competition is progressing. It’s super pun-ny right now, with Protestant Reformation vs. Beyonce’s Formation my recent favorite matchup. The cafe curates lunch options from around the neighborhood so if you want a falafel or some pad thai, or both, go grab lunch and maybe an Irish Catholic coffee. After all, as their mugs put it, it’s “Where God Drinks Coffee.”

Collectibles at Grounds of Being Cafe

Collectibles at Grounds of Being Cafe

Leisurely Meal - Medici on 57th (1327 E 57th St)

Medici or The Med, is a Hyde Park institution. Go for the Garbage Pizza (or Garbage Salad if you’re being healthy) and stop at the Med bakery next door for a fruit tart or a mexicana shake! Before you leave, make sure you find a moment to scratch your name in with the millions of inscriptions in the tables and walls.

Frosty Beverages - Woodlawn Tap aka Jimmy’s (1172 E 55th St)

Go beyond The Pub to Jimmy’s, nicknamed after its legendary bartender and owner (you may find it on Yelp as Woodlawn Tap) for cheap food and fare. Walk up to Woodlawn and 55th Street to sit amongst a mix of students, professors and Hyde Park locals and order up a side of fries with your drink. You won’t regret it. (PSA: It’s cash only.)

Best View of the Chicago Skyline - The Promontory Point (5491 S Shore Dr)

This was a close one between the Astronomy Tower and Logan Arts Center, but since frisbee season is almost here, I went with The Promontory Point, also known as The Point. The Point (not to be confused with the restaurant The Promontory, which is also great) is a little oasis on the South Side. It’s right on the lake, you get an amazing view of the skyline and you can always sunbathe there.

Secret Escape - Osaka Garden or Garden of the Phoenix (6401 S Stony Island)

While you’re at The Point, visit the Osaka Gardens right behind the Museum of Science and Industry! The beautiful serene space has an art installation by Yoko Ono. It’s worth it.

Study Space - Harper Memorial Library (1116 E 59th St)

This doesn’t happen often but every once in awhile, Boothies need a study space that's not the Winter Garden. For that, head over to Harry Potter… uh… Harper Memorial Library. Comfy chairs, coffee supply from yet another student run shop, Common Knowledge Cafe, and the opportunity to enjoy a little slice of the Harry Potter world.

Fantastic Find - $1 Shake Day at the C-Shop (5706 S University Ave)

$1 Shake Day! If Wednesdays are getting you down, and the “hump-day” camel isn’t helping with the fact that the weekend is far away, step over to Einstein Bros Bagels at the C-Shop to grab a shake for just a dollar. Personally I wait for the Cookies N’ Cream but I respect your decision to get that Strawberry Shake with Oreos too.

Disha loves revisiting her favorite spots on campus and would be happy to lead a tour or give suggestions to anyone who wants to wander beyond the world of Woodlawn.

Out of the Loop

By Sidney Santos Filho, Class of 2017

By Sidney Santos Filho, Class of 2017

A frequent feature of the hottest happenings (mostly) outside of the Loop

There's More University to Discover Outside of Harper Center

From tasty milkshakes to real Nobel Prize medals, the University of Chicago offers many hidden treasures waiting to be discovered by Boothies. I am often astonished by how little Boothies seem to know about the greater university community and sometimes how little we seem to care. In chats, we often see the importance of connecting with UChicago more broadly, yet when was the last time you ventured beyond the Metra--Harper Center path? 

I decided to collect a few interesting things that might motivate you to leave our Booth bubble and, who knows, maybe stumble upon a student from another program, have a chat, and make a new friend. In the process, you can share your experiences and learn from them. So, spread the word, grab a classmate, and go explore. Here are some great ways to get started:

Food trucks prepare for the lunch rush on the University of Chicago campus.

Food trucks prepare for the lunch rush on the University of Chicago campus.

$1 Milkshakes on Wednesdays (Reynolds Club, Einstein Bros. Bagels, 5706 S University Ave): With the heat that is surely to come (we hope), why not treat yourself to a delicious shake? It’s so cheap.

Food trucks (daily, S University Ave and S Ellis Ave, between 57th and 59th streets): Many of you may know this, but there are many great alternatives to Kovler. During lunch time, there are several food trucks on campus offering diverse cuisines, from Korean and French, to Italian and Mediterranean. So put that microecon theory to work and exercise your freedom of choice!

Saieh Hall of Economics (1160 E 58th St, across from Harper Center): Besides the amazing architecture and the fact it is a former Seminary, Saieh holds two hidden gems: the Chicago Economics Experience, where you can see actual Nobel Prize medals and certificates, and a full-fledged Starbucks (ahhh...Frappuccinos!). 

Max Palevsky Cinema (Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E 59th St): For a bit of culture, Doc Films, the longest continuously running student film society, holds screenings of different movies every evening, directly across from Harper Center. Tickets sell for $5 and the quarter pass goes for $30.

King Tut stands 17-feet above the main exhibit hall at the Oriental Institute.

King Tut stands 17-feet above the main exhibit hall at the Oriental Institute.

Oriental Institute Museum (1155 E 58th St) A full-fledged campus museum housing artifacts from Mesopotamia, Assyria, and Egypt, the Oriental Institute features a 17-foot tall statue of King Tutankhamun. Visit to show your support for the field research and excavations undertaken by researchers and students. 

Sidney loves to explore the university community and would be happy to lead an excursion for anyone who wants to branch out of Harper Center!