If I had to describe myself with one word it would be artist - a visual artist and an artist with words. My artwork is included in Ohio Online Visual Arts Registry. I'm working with various galleries in the Midwest to promote my oil paintings and abstract light photography.

 

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Chicago’s Original Gangster Tour

 Untouchables Tours

© Becky Linhardt 2010

 “Before we start the tour, we give our usual warning about 1920’s gang rivalries and have the passengers practice ducking to avoid gunfire,” said “Al Dente” character/guide Don Fielding.  “It limbers them up and keeps them alert to all that we have to show them of the history of Prohibition Era Chicago.”

 This is not your typical sightseeing tour of Chicago.  The bus is painted black; the drivers/guides wear baggy suits and fedoras – and carry Tommy Guns (cheap fakes) to provide a bit of drama, and some comedy, on their “Untouchable Tours,” tours that have been perfected over 20 years of cruising the streets of Chicago’s historic gangster neighborhoods.

“We got to see most of downtown Chicago on the tour, at least the good parts,” said tour participant, Jenni Robbins of Rochester, Michigan.  “Since I was not driving I could really look around and feel safe in some areas that looked a bit rough or where traffic was very congested.  The highlight for me was seeing Harpo Studios, Oprah’s place.”

 There are lots of other little extras that keep the tours historic, fun, and lively.  Passengers receive a folded pamphlet with mug shots of the real gangsters, hitmen, and politicians that are a part of the tales of gangland Chicago in the Roaring ‘20s.  You can think of it as a gangland scorecard to help you keep track of the numerous “characters.”

 “The guides were really comical – trying to catch the gangster feeling and spoofing them a bit.” said Robbins.  “They played on puns; had a macho-istic, tough guy stance and posture.  All girls were dames – definitely not current P.C. but funny.”

 The sound system in the bus works with a microphone for the drivers/guides who take turns driving or being the tour guide – bad Brooklyn accents and all.  But it’s not all chatter, there are recordings of tinny sounding Prohibition Era songs that would have been played in the speakeasies, even a bit of ragtime piano music.  It adds another piece to the historical theatrics of the tours that make them so much fun.

Untouchables Tours

Prices and times listed on their web site.

Groups of 20 or more, call for a special offer “you can’t refuse.”

Information: 773-881-1195 or www.gangstertour.com

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        As a travel writer it is my responsibility to select the best places, events, and experiences to present to you. Most travel has been on my own though some has occurred on sponsored press trips. Travel listings here will be more informal than my published articles.

 

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