I really loved our visit to Chicago. We spent the past weekend there and I'm already hoping to go back in the near future. We had been given a few lists of recommendations, and we managed to visit many of the restaurants, bars, and shops listed. I thought I hadn't taken too many pictures, but I did have four rolls from my LC-A+ developed. I wish I had more pictures of the people we spent our time with, but I have many happy memories for now.
Just thinking about the trip makes me feel a little misty-eyed. It couldn't have been better. We were able to see my friend Allison again, and we met Caitlin and her boyfriend James for the first time, as well as my penpal of a few years, Mia, and Sarah of Cursive Design, and Jennifer of Hound, and Casey! So many wonderful, beautiful, funny folks who were kind and sweet. They were generous with their time and spoiled us with rounds of drinks and drives back to the hotel. I felt as though I had always been there and that I would never leave (I was quite sad to leave). There is nothing better than that feeling! I really cannot express how grateful I am to all of them. I love you guys. I don't want to speak for Geoff but in this instance I know that he agrees with me absolutely.
Milk & Honey Cafe
This was on a few lists of recommendations, and it was really tasty. This cafe is well known for its granola. I had chocolate banana waffles (with a mound of butter on top), and Geoff had apple-cinnamon granola pancakes. It was so filling that we didn't have to eat lunch that day. We also visited Cipollina a few times, an Italian deli & coffee shop by the Damen L stop -- I just realized that the two are related.
A few doors down from Milk & Honey. We visited this shop twice because there was just so much to paw through. We picked up a zine by Gemma Correll, notecards by Essimar, and a "Midwest is Best" tote from Megan Lee Designs. An essential stop.
An amazing shop that carries a wide variety of men's and women's clothing at various price points. I tried on a few things (including this coat, which is adorable), and Geoff bought a shirt from Brooklyn Tailors. It is a truly beautiful shirt. I got some earrings by Lulu; they are peach-coloured enamel teardrops and were only $10 (what a deal!). This is also an essential stop.
We stayed at a hotel by the river that we had found through Hotwire. It's not often that we get to stay at a four star hotel, which happened to cost only a little more than some of the guesthouses we researched. The hotel was on the same street as the Pucci Corportation offices, and the sweet "Pucci" lettering became a bit of a landmark for me. When we would see it, we knew we were close to our cushy bed (and relief! We walked quite a bit).
This was taken after a coffee stop at Cipollina. I was quite enamoured of the El. So clean, so efficient, and with a nicer overall feel than a subway. We made good use out of our transit passes, although Caitlin and James and Mia were so kind as to drive us around as well.
One of our goals on this trip was to eat as much Mexican food as possible, so we spent some time wandering around Pilsen looking for a place that wasn't too crowded (this was on Saturday night). We ended up at a place called Perez, which had great margaritas and even better wall art. We didn't go into this ice cream shop, though. We did go to a vintage shop called Knee Deep, which was pretty fun. I just found out about a shop called Workshop that is near here, but we didn't know about it at the time: next time!
I think this place opened fairly recently and is a bit hot right now. We had to wait about an hour for a table, but it was delicious. $2 tacos; I think I ate four because they were just so good. I like this little walk-up counter for takeout.
Our first stop on this trip was the Art Institute of Chicago as we arrived on a Thursday, which is their free admittance day. I took pictures there with my digital camera, but took some pictures of the public art around the city with my LC-A+.
This is a great shop on North Milwaukee, with its own in-house label as well as a few other women's lines. When we were visiting there was a vintage sale on, which was nice. We were given free beer mimosas. Perfect!
Rhonda Hoffman Gallery
We took the train out to the West Loop but weren't able to visit too many galleries; a lot of them were closed that day. Rhona Hoffman wasn't, however, and there were some Sol LeWitt paintings on view.
This was a shop in Andersonville, a part of town which has a few Swedish businesses. Dala horses everywhere.
We stumbled upon Brimfield while wandering around Andersonville, and it proved to be a fantastic shop full of treasures. They specialize in reupholstering services, using old wool blankets. Geoff & I felt quite at home with all the Canadiana. It felt like a Georgian Bay cottage!
We only had about 20 minutes to look around Quimby's Bookstore, but I was happy that we were able to visit. It kind of reminded me of Pages bookstore in Toronto.
We met our friends here for lunch on Sunday, and it was where we had one of our most memorable meals. The sun was shining that day, and the food was carefully and thoughtfully prepared. They also have a version of the Pimm's Cup. I was pleased!
Seeing Marina City in person made me quite happy. There were a few other places that I would recommend visiting, but that I have no photographic evidence of: the Marc by Marc Jacobs store in Wicker Park, where I picked up an inexpensive umbrella and a cute tote for $13; Lenny & Me, where I found some sensational vintage cat-art; Dovetail, a vintage clothing store where we attended a two year anniversary party; Yolk restaurant, which offers good quality enormous (!!) plates of food; Jerry's, a restaurant with a massive sandwich list where we met up with a large group -- I was too shy to take pictures, sadly; as well as all the bars with cheap drinks: Rainbo Club, Skylark (black & white photobooth!), a few others (but I wouldn't recommend The Green Mill, unless you like listening to jazz while being shushed and don't mind the sounds of scatting -- although that was kind of hilarious). It was kind of funny that we spent so much time in Wicker Park as a few years ago Geoff had read a book called Neo-Bohemia about the gentrification of Wicker Park. He remembered some of the places that had been mentioned in it.
Thank you, Chicago! You are a beautiful city.
(Incidentally, Anabella had asked on my Hoof Cafe post about the type of film I use with the LC-A+: I really only use cheap film from a photo chain here in Canada [Black's]. When you buy it, prints & developing are free. I probably wouldn't take as many pictures without this film, which always seems to be on sale. For some of the close-up shots I put a funny little lens on my camera that I got on eBay. It's meant for the Fuji Instax camera, but it works on the LC-A+ and it allows you to take pictures from about 0.3 meters away, as opposed to 0.8m. If you search on "close up lens lomo" on eBay, you should be able to find it for about $20.)
vicky: Oh, thanks! I'm glad you like it. It takes a lot of time but I don't mind.
thegirlworks: Oh, I don't understand it myself. It kind of freaks me out a little bit -- I tend to avoid those aisles of the craft stores. Thank you for your thoughtful comment on Sonja's work. I'm sure she would blush if she read it.
Megan: Yeah, Spike is in the book! Spike's story scared little me when I was a kid. I love Degrassi (while simultaneously being really embarassed about how low-budget it was -- but in retrospect, it was amazing). I never really did watch the Next Generation though! Magic Pony is really cool. If you visit Canada, I'll show you around!