field trip: Chicago (part 1)

Never visit Chicago. That’s what I learned this weekend. Never visit; because everyone is so nice and the city is so cool that you will lament the uncoolness of your own home and consider moving (or staying).

I was in Chicago for a football game, but wanted to make sure that I did you all a solid and found some great local shopping and resources. I was crazy busy last week and didn’t have time to scan the blogs (Chicagoist, The Feast Chicago) for where I should go. So I did it the old fashioned way: I asked someone. The proprietor of downtown’s maze-like Design Within Reach was invaluable. Melissa Shockley not only answered my tentative question of “where should I shop”, she gave me a killer lunch suggestion and a full rundown of places I could not miss. Melissa: the world needs more people like you!

Destination: Wicker Park

First stop: Big Star Tacos. Amazingly good and cheap. If you are in Chicago stop here, no exceptions (and the Girl and the Goat, among other fabulous restaurants).

super yummy tacos and guacamole. pork belly & pineapple (oh. my. god.)


the restaurant is a converted gas station. awesome.

Second stop: Tangerine. Tangerine rated a ‘can’t miss’ from Melissa. And she was right. It was an incredibly well-curated boutique run by the fabulous Alex. While there wasn’t too much in my price range, my dad’s girlfriend Kathleen came with me and she found great items, including a grey felted vest that I envy. And an added bonus: Alex styled her head to toe to see what she could wear with the vest and what might flatter her figure. It was pretty above and beyond.

Kathleen lookin hip

And then Alex made my month. I stared longingly at a pair of Pedro Garcia wood wedge heel clogs that were on sale but north of $250 (still) and not in my size. Alex confessed that she had a slightly damaged pair that she would practically give me, but they weren’t in my size. “Ummmmm… sizes can be fixed”, I said, “I’ll try them on!” And they were AMAZING. And hardly damaged (at least not to me). So for $50 they found a loving home with yours truly.

the amazing Alex and my damaged, beautiful shoe

Third stop: Stitch. Stitch is a shop that has it all: beautiful leather goods, amazing knitted items, boldly hued home goods, couches and perfect holiday stocking stuffers. A favorite item, and Christmas present for my chef cousin:

Animal shot glasses, found online here.


super cool store decor. a common theme: shopkeepers in Chicago love decor

Part 2 coming soon…



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