Illustration by Ryan Alexander-Tanner

HOLY SHIT, I went to Chicago last week, you guys. I'd never been to Chicago before, which as a comedian is a little bit like a Muslim never visiting Mecca, or like Bill Maher never making a condescending joke about a Muslim visiting Mecca, or like a super liberal comedian who only kind of reads headlines never making an equally condescending joke about Bill Maher making a condescending joke about a Muslim visiting Mecca. (LEVELS TO THIS SHIT.)

I was afraid that Chicago was going to fall victim to the "FUCK, YOU HYPED THIS UP TOO MUCH, DARYL" curse. You know, when your friend Daryl or whoever hypes something decent up way too much—like a restaurant or the movie Napoleon Dynamite—and then you see it, and even though it's pretty good, it can't live up to the vocal Thanksgiving Day Parade of hype that fucking Daryl bestowed upon it. Various Daryls told me I would love Chicago, so I prepared myself not to love Chicago... once Daryl'd, twice shy, fam. Chicago, though, lived up to the hype. Chicago could have withstood 1,000 Daryls hypebeasting on 1,000 MacBook Airs in 1,000 overhyped coffee shops for 1,000 years.

I don't have enough room here to talk about Chicago in its entirety, but let me just say this: That city has some amazing museums. I don't know if I'm just burned out on Oregon's museums after a lifetime of "THE STRUGGLES OF THE PIONEERS WERE NUMEROUS!" and "NOTICE THIS IMPORTANT AMERICAN INDIAN BASKET!" Or if Portland just doesn't really have great museums. But the Second City has it going on.

GO: The Art Institute of Chicago. It's full of all sorts of important-ass paintings. We don't have important-ass paintings in Oregon because we don't have any old money in Oregon. Our art museums are places where it's like, "Hey! Look what Chuck drew! Good job, Chuck!" and Chuck is in the corner drinking white wine. I don't have the vocabulary to adequately appreciate the art in Chicago. You can't be like, "Oh man, look how fucking dope this fucking Vincent van Gogh shit is... I'm into it." Chicago has the art that will make you feel dumb as hell. It's good to feel dumb as hell.

DON'T GO: The Field Museum. It's a beautiful building full of taxidermy! I guess if you're into that, this would be a fun place to visit, but it just feels very morbid... plus some of the taxidermy was performed almost 100 years ago so the animals are kind of falling apart, and that gives the whole place an "opening credits sequence for the next season of American Horror Story" feeling. Also, they have actual Tyrannosaurus rex bones, which is just THE MOST played-out dinosaur. Ugh, we get it, T. rex.