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Vikings Instagram Group Returns to Chicago

The Vikings Instagram group took over Chicago to get set for the Vikings matchup for Sunday Night Football.

It's Week 11 in the NFL, and the Vikings are heading to Chicago to face the Bears in an NFC North showdown. Vikings Instagram Group is back to share the beautiful sights that the Windy City has to offer.

Vikings Instagram Group is a collective of photos that shows the unique aspects of each city the team visits. In its third season, V.I.G. has a new collection of photographers who are excited to show off their cities. This year, we asked V.I.G. contributors to use two cleats in their shots, one for the Vikings and one for the respective opponent.

Just a short flight away from the Twin Cities, Chicago is often a popular destination for Vikings fans to visit each season. We caught up with Stacy Schikman, a Chicago-based photographer, who showcased her favorite parts of the city and shared her recommendations for fans passing through town.

What's your Instagram handle? Tell us about what you like to shoot.

I am@stacyjoanna and I love being able to capture scenes that catch my eye. These moments come at any time, and I've found that photography has been a way for me to make these moments last and to share with people near and far. I think it's amazing how we all walk around the same places and notice completely different things; my photos are simply a window into the way I see them. Thank you for appreciating them along with me!

In your own creative way, describe Chicago in 5 words or fewer.

Clean, Diverse, Modern, Classic, Friendly.

Give us an explanation of what/where you photographed and why.

I took the cleats around to many of the most interesting and classic places around the city that visitors could easily get to in a weekend trip that would emulate the beauty and aliveness of our city. All are easily accessible from Soldier Field and downtown hotels. 

Cloudgate/The Bean: This is a must. There is such a magical feeling of diversity and unity here. There is something about it that makes everyone's eyes light up with wonder. Besides providing a mirror for all of the architectural views around it, the reflections of clouds and people are always beautiful both in real life and as a photo op.

Crown Fountain: This public art installation is jaw-dropping in its own right. The people featured are all real Chicagoans, with true evolving expressions depicted in LED lights. In the summertime, the mouths will periodically open and water squirts out of the mouths, which is always fun for kids to play in. One of my favorite things about it is seeing kids of all backgrounds playing together in it. Absolute joy, all together. The diversity reflected in the characters being featured is reflective of the melting pot of citizens and tourists of this city. A sight to see for sure! 

Oak Street Beach: This is one of my favorite places to go in Chicago and reflects a true essence of what makes this city special. The Chicago lakefront bumps right up against downtown and is easily accessible to all. There are bike and walking paths spanning 18 miles from the north side to the south side, giving access to parks, museums, restaurants and shopping. I chose my favorite view, the puddle reflecting the Hancock and Gold Coast skyline from the beach. This beautiful detour is right off of Michigan Ave. and is a must see. 

Michigan Ave. (North & South):Vikings fans visiting this weekend will be treated to the magic of Michigan Avenue tree lighting ceremony. This is something Chicagoans look forward to all year-round. This is a classic street and one of the most anticipated days of the year.

Chicago Riverwalk:If you brought warm clothes to bundle up in at the game, wear that same gear and take an architectural boat cruise to get the absolute best view of the Chicago River. There is amazing architecture all along the river, and this offers a great way to see it in a reasonable amount of time. If you don't want to do a boat tour, there is a beautiful Riverwalk which was just remodeled this past year. There is nothing quite like taking in the architectural views juxtaposed against the river water. There are many restaurants along it too, if you're looking for a cozy view from inside. 

Theater District:Chicago is the Second City, as they say, and lots of actors cut their teeth here. The productions in our theater district are top-notch, and short of New York or London, Chicago has a lot of theater to offer during a quick visit. If you don't see a show, it's still a beautiful walk around Randolph and Dearborn just to see each of the marquees. 

What's one place you would recommend going to while visiting Chicago?

Chicago's vibrant food scene is enriched by the deep cultural diversity, and nothing makes the experience more authentic than a meal in the neighborhoods themselves. Chinatown, Greek Town, Little Italy and more could be a 10-minute Uber ride away. This is something special about Chicago that I highly recommend. 

What was your favorite part about contributing to the Vikings Instagram Group?

I loved walking around with both cleats and taking photos everywhere, talking with people as they saw me doing it. I actually loved the idea that I was welcoming another team in with our own, capturing the beauty of both together and welcoming all of the Vikings fans to Chicago. What a warmer welcome than seeing your own represented here. I can't wait for all of the Vikings fans to get here. I will smile every time I see the purple logo – it now holds a special place in my heart! 

If you're a Vikings fan heading to Chicago this weekend, check out the Vikings Fleet Rally on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 2 – 4:30 p.m. at Redmond's Ale House. The Vikings will face the Bears on Sunday Night Football at 7:20 p.m. (CT).

For more Vikings Instagram Group updates throughout the season, follow **@Vikings** and **#VikingsIG** on Instagram.