Instagram / Chigago / Illinois

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By Studio Marcus Hay / Published by Studio Marcus Hay
Instagram / Chigago / Illinois


Marcus on behalf of SMH, Inc has the pleasure of visiting Chicago a number of times for work a year and is always delighted at new discoveries in that great city. 

With his iPhone camera and Instagram never far from reach, Marcus loves capturing the essence of a city in his graphic and very particular way. 

 This trip he played even more attention to the architecture of the city having the opportunity to wander the streets. Chicago CBD revolves around Michigan Avenue, the iconic building ‘s and big stores but it’s really the suburbs that take extra effort to explore. 

With this in mind Marcus explored much of the northern suburbs visiting a number of flea markets and shopping districts in that area, sourcing vital props for our latest projects. View more at on our Instagram account.

Here are Marcus’s recommendations: 

 Hotels 

 The James Hotel/ Chicago 

 Marcus stayed here 2 weeks of the trip, A easy to mistake reasonably large hotel that actually feels more boutique, The rooms are modern and clean and the staff very helpful 

 The Virgin Hotel/ Chicago 

 You sleep with the rattle of the L train in the distance but this location is great. The hotel is very hip with lots of great social areas and very cleverly designed rooms. The views are spectacular. 

 The Chicago Athletic Club 

 The whole complex is amazing with this conversion of the traditional Chicago Athletic Club to a buzzing hotel and with over 4 eateries to choose from including an amazing rooftop situation. 

 Shops 

 Scout, Andersonville 

 This store has an amazing curated collection of decorative items and industrial furniture, brimming with decorators; it’s the place to be inspired.

 Sprout and Sprout Home 

 This plant store is so inspiring with vignettes galore of amazing well curated plants and pots, they even have potting classes for kids. Their new home store directly across the street has amazing wares. They also have a store in Brooklyn/ New York.Broadway 

Antique Market 

 Two stories of dealers with an amazing collection, Lot’s of vintage record dealers currently, great to build up your record collection. Hours of fun!

 Restaurants 

 Avec 

The freshest menu in the city, classic minimalist interior, great service. 

 Duck Duck Goat 

 An amazing interior and a fun take on a traditional Chinese restaurant with a great selection of cocktails and dishes. 

 Eataly/ Chicago 

 For when you have to be in the city, A bowl of pasta and a glass of chilled white wine are fine friends to have after a long day in the studio.  

Instagram / Chigago / Illinois - Photo 1 of 6 - Left: The skyscrapers are amassed in Chicago, Right: The 9-5 commuters on the streets

Left: The skyscrapers are amassed in Chicago, Right: The 9-5 commuters on the streets


Instagram / Chigago / Illinois - Photo 2 of 6 - Left: The rooftop bar at The Virgin Hotel has an amazing red installation Right: The Art Deco Fortress near Ashland Station

Left: The rooftop bar at The Virgin Hotel has an amazing red installation Right: The Art Deco Fortress near Ashland Station


Instagram / Chigago / Illinois - Photo 3 of 6 - Left: North of the city and abandoned sky blue mattress against a red brick wall, Right: Skyscrapers face off

Left: North of the city and abandoned sky blue mattress against a red brick wall, Right: Skyscrapers face off


Instagram / Chigago / Illinois - Photo 4 of 6 - Left: The bridges of Chicago city, Right: Mies meets Picasso, what a duo!

Left: The bridges of Chicago city, Right: Mies meets Picasso, what a duo!


Instagram / Chigago / Illinois - Photo 5 of 6 - Left: The Mies forecourt with an amazing tree, Right: Ellsworth Kelly at The Chicago Institute of Art, a must see!

Left: The Mies forecourt with an amazing tree, Right: Ellsworth Kelly at The Chicago Institute of Art, a must see!


Instagram / Chigago / Illinois - Photo 6 of 6 - Left: Blue tiled wall, north of the city on Broadway with Brutalist sculpture, Right: Shipping yards

Left: Blue tiled wall, north of the city on Broadway with Brutalist sculpture, Right: Shipping yards