The World’s Worst Chicago Tourism App?

It’s always interesting to see what people in other countries think of Chicago.  It’s one of those places they know exists, but can’t quite put their fingers on.

In Tokyo I’ve shopped in a used clothing store called Chicago.  In Hong Kong and Singapore I’ve eaten at “Dan Ryan’s Chicago Grill.”  And in cities from Berlin to Istanbul, I’ve been greeted with the cringe-inducing greeting, “Hey, Al Capone!” from hotel clerks.

You’d think that with all this misinformation about our fair city that I’d be happy to stumble across an iPhone app in the French iTunes store purporting to be a Chicago tourism guide.  All I can say is that this is the worst guide to Chicago ever.

It’s called “TVtrip: CHIcago” and for the love of God, I hope the information this company has on other cities is better than what it’s dishing out about the Windy one.  Let’s browse through just a few of the horrendous screenshots.

On the list of top “Must-See” places in Chicago is…. Wendy’s.

Here’s the obligatory Al Capone reference.  Oh, and as an aside, the Green Mill also has music.  And people who live in Uptown will be happy to know that people around the world are being warned away from their neighborhood because it “does not have a good reputation.”

Did you know that it is “impossible” to visit Chicago without eating at Wendy’s, the fast food chain from Ohio?  Also, note that this is “North American cuisine.”  The last restaurant I ate in that described itself that way served deer and corn and squirrel and other Indian foods.

It’s an Apple Store, but it’s not our Apple Store.  The address is Michigan Avenue, but the picture is wrong.  That’s not even the Lincoln Park Apple Store.  But I guess to the French, if it’s not the one beneath the Louvre, they’re all the same.

O.K., I can understand putting the old Marshall Field’s on a Must-See list.  But while the picture is from Macy’s State Street, the address they give is the Macy’s on Michigan Avenue…

So we shouldn’t be surprised that the Macy’s at Water Tower Place has photos of the Macy’s on State Street.  And I don’t think I’d count Macy’s in Water Tower Place as a Must-See.

Translation: “Those are some sophisticated hillbillies if they even have Seurat in their museum.”

I can just imagine the new campaign: “I went to the Billy Goat and imitated journalists and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”

The Maxwell Street Market has 100 years of history, and all anyone will ever know about it is that you can get four panties for ten bucks.

This strange thing called “Baseball” is played at 1060 West Addison.  And from the photo, it’s the White Sox that play at Wrigley Field on the North Side.

If you’re looking for a sport tournament, you can head to Wrigleyville.  But still no mention of “Cubs.”  They must all be in the zoo.

These are but a few of the dozens and dozens of inaccuracies this app presents about Chicago.  And it’s not even a free app!

If anyone from Rand McNally out in Skokie is reading this, I really hope our guidebooks of Europe are better than the European’s guidebooks to Chicago.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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