TravelShark Heads to Chicago and Brings Mako Mark Along
Mako Mark at the improv show
By Becca Schwartz | Tuesday June 12, 2012
Yesterday was the first day of TravelShark's sharky Chicago adventure. Katie O’Block and I had been planning this most recent trip, where we’d be making a series of in-depth TravelShark videos about the ins-and-outs of the Windy City, for weeks.
The catch: Mako Mark was coming with us.
Architecture, history, and the shark
We started the day off by interviewing a few members of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, where we learned about the local architecture scene as well as the history of many of the world’s most famous 19th and 20th Century buildings.
A swim through the park
After a not-so-quick detour through Millennium Park (have you ever tried walking through a public park with a shark?), we headed to the historic Navy Pier. Originally, we hadn’t planned the stop as part of our search for hyper-local travel finds, but Mako insisted (he’s got a thing for carnival rides).
Turns out, his instincts were killer: we found plenty of locals who were willing to talk to us, and more importantly, who were eager to share their sharky smiles. We even got invited on a splash-and-scream speedboat around Lake Michigan.
The Chicago improv scene and some "Cub-mingling"
Next, we took the “L” (Chicago's subway system) to the renowned IO comedy studio to interview an improv expert, Jim Burchill, who’d been on the scene in Chicago for years.
On our way, we wound up making friends with one of the biggest local celebrities in town—Ronnie Woo Woo, a Chicago native who told us that he attended his first Chicago Cubs game at nine-years-old in 1947, when he went to see baseball legend Jackie Robinson play. He hasn’t missed a home game since, and has become known as something of a legend himself to all Cubs fans.
Later that night, we went with Jim to watch the weekly amateura improv show that he hosts at Mullen’s Upstairs, and he asked Mako Mark if he would help him co-host—he was hilarious, of course.
After watching the groups Playmation, Mandate, and FrankenReagan perform for about an hour, we got a chance to chat with the players (and a few IO students who’d wandered over), we headed back to our hotel for bed.
It was obvious to Katie and me, though, that Mako had been distracted for most of the day. When we finally asked him what was up, he told us that he’d had a question burning in the back of his mind all day—why is Chicago called “The Windy City?”
We decided we had some investigating to do.
Becca Schwartz is a chocoholic from New York City who started at TravelShark as a Content Associate last fall. She loves telling stories about how much she loves the Rocky Mountains just as much as she loves telling stories about how much she loves Central Park, but nothing compares to her love for travel.
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