Welcome to Chicago, a City with Something for Everyone

We are looking forward to welcoming you to Chicago for the 2013 BIO International Convention. Chicago is one of the world’s most vibrant and sophisticated cities and has a wealth of things to see and do. Here are some of the things I like to do when I’m in town.

Our iconic sites

If you only have time to do one thing while in town, I recommend a trip to Millennium Park, the city’s 25-acre downtown Eden. Here you will findChicago’s most recognized icon: Cloud Gate (or “The Bean” as it has become known), a stainless steel sculpture with a mirror-like surface that reflects Chicago’s famous skyline.Millennium Park is also home to Crown Fountain, designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. It features two 50-foot glass block towers that display giant digital faces of Chicago residents; Between mid-spring and mid-fall, every few minutes water spouts from their mouths like a rain shower.

If you have a head for heights and fancy a panoramic view of the City, then head for Willis Tower. The 103rd-floor Skydeck is home to the “Ledge,” a glass box that extends out more than four feet from the building, 1,353 feet in the air.

For a leisurely trip through the city’s illustrious history, check out The Chicago Architecture Foundation river cruise. As you glide down the Chicago River past many of the city’s most iconic architectural wonders, a guide points out its historic buildings and explains how it transformed from a small back-country outpost into the third largest city in the US.

A taste for art and history

Chicago is home to some of the best museums in the world. The Art Institute of Chicago houses one of the largest art collections in the US and is home to Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” perhaps the city’s most cherished painting.

Not far away is Museum Campus, a 22-acre downtown site housing the Field Museum of Natural History, where we look forward to seeing you for the BIO Gala Reception, which is taking place on Wednesday, April 24 from, 7:45pm – 9:30pm. The museum is home to 42-foot Sue, the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered. At Museum Campus you will also find the Adler Planetarium, a highlight of which is the Galaxy Wall; created from 140,000 images, it is the largest, most complete view of the galaxy ever made; and the Shedd Aquarium, which houses more than 25,000 fish and aquatic creatures, including a giant octopus who has a 30-foot span and weighs 600 pounds.

Baseball

As a true Bostonian my team is the Boston Red Sox, however the Chicago White Sox will be in town in time for BIO. Head down to Cellular Field to see them take on the mighty Minnesota Twins on Saturday and Sunday or the Cleveland Indians on Monday to Wednesday.

Eating out

Downtown is home to many of the city’s best restaurants, including Spiaggia, where President Obama and the First Lady have “date nights” when in town; RL, the only Ralph Lauren restaurant in the U.S.; and Table 52, where Oprah Winfrey’s former personal chef is at the helm.

For one of Chicago’s infamous steaks try Gene & Georgetti on Franklin Street.It opened its doors in 1941 and was a favorite haunt for legends including Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, & Lucille Ball helping it earn its reputation asone of the finest steakhouses in the city.

For Asian-inspired fare, head to Chizakaya – not your typical American-Japanese restaurant; no sushi or bento boxes, but small plates of authentic cuisine meant for sharing; Jin Ju in Andersonville for a modern take on traditional Korean food and an extensive list of “sojutinis”; and Arun’s for four-star 12-course Thai.

No visit to Chicago can pass without trying one of the city’s signature dishes, deep-dish pizza. There are a lot to choose from, but Pizzeria Due tops my list.

Retail therapy

The most obvious place to shop is Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile,” Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to the Chicago River, lined with a variety of boutiques and stores, including many of the top designers, it caters for every interest.

If home-grown chic boutiques are more to your taste, take a detour to Bucktown and Wicker Park, a pair of once-edgy, now-bustling neighborhoods fifteen minutes by cab from downtown.

Come and see us

Partnerships are central to Takeda and we welcome to the chance to meet with you to explore how we can work together.  As the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and a leader in the global industry, we offer you the full benefits of our commercial capabilities combined with the expertise that comes from a 230-year history.

We look forward to seeing you next week; you can find us at the Takeda Booth (#3648 in the Exhibit Hall).

Anna Protopapas is the Head of Global Business Development at Takeda, a global pharmaceutical company focused on bringing innovative medicines to patients worldwide. Although based in Boston she spends a lot of her time in Chicago and in suburban Deerfield, home to Takeda’s global headquarters for Research & Development and the U.S. commercial organization. Here she shares some of her favorite places to help you plan your time in this amazing city.

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