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February 19, 2012

Chicago Part Three

I've had a great time here in Chicago. I'm heading back to Providence to start my second semester at RISD. I definitely needed the break of winter session and seeing some friends before diving back into the RISD bubble. Chicago is a great city with tons of places to go & delicious places to eat. This post is a list of some of my favorites that I went to during my week stay here. They're all over the city, from downtown to up north, and the west side, as well. One of my favorite things about being in a city is just walking and exploring. Getting the feel for a new, or not so new, place. I've been coming to Chicago since I was very young, but I get to see new sides of it every time I come here. I hope anyone who gets the chance to visit this great city will visit some of these places I mention below and let me know how you like them. I have some stores, restaurants, and cafes. If you click the name, it will bring you to the website of the place.
Posh is fabulous store in River North that carries household items and gift items with a vintage influence and themed areas of the store such as, vintage America, vintage France, etc. I wish I could come back and decorate my first apartment with just items from this store because the owners have impeccable taste.

Haberdash is a men's store with several locations in the Chicago area. The stylish guys that run this store have very carefully selected clothing items, accessories, shoes, & apothecary items for guys (and girls!) that are follow the minimalist trends. I stumbled into one of their stores in River North that was having a moving sale a got a great knit scarf from Theory, so if you're in the area, I would check that sale out as soon as possible. It is a men's store only, but that's never stopped me before (seriously, they have great shoes.)

Greer is a stationary, card, and gift shop in Old Town that has been noted as one of Oprah's favorite shops. But more importantly, it's one of mine. I bought a great fountain pen there and a birthday card for my friend who I was visiting in Chicago. The people who work there are terribly nice and the store is as beautiful as could be. Don't buy Hallmark, guys.

Stitch has furniture, gifts, bags, you name it. Just a sort of well-curated shop, it has beautiful sofas to gorgeous leather wallets and soft scarves. A great place to find a present for someone you really really like, or probably just yourself.

BHLDN is the new Anthropologie wedding store that has dresses, shoes, & decorations. The dresses were nice, but I was there for the decorations, and they were everything I'd hoped for. BHLDN has had a great online store for a while, but I was happy to see that their stylists had done an excellent job with BHLDN ("beholden"), as they do with the visual display in anthropologie and free people. free people is my favorite store and anthropolgie is my favorite store to go in and look at for visual display.
Grahamwich is a gourmet sandwich shop in River North, directly next to Posh and a Haberdash location. Also featuring great sides such a truffle, parmesan, and black pepper popcorn and homemade vanilla bean soda. There's not much seating, so during the summer, it would be great to take to a park for a picnic. But we found seats relatively quickly and enjoyed our tasty sandwiches.
Newberry Library
I went to the Newberry Library to look at some artists book, but I ended up getting a great behind-the scenes tour about the Newberry Library's entire print and book collection. They have books back from Babylonian tablets to new artists books and prints beings catalogued today. I got to see a range from the ancient to modern, as well as hear the inside scoop about the book world from an expert. It was an opportunity that I was not expecting that furthered my excitement to major in graphic design.
Quimbly's Bookstore
Quimbly's is a zine and bookstore carrying hundreds of handmade zines and other books, mostly about graphic arts and comics. A bit of a find, if you ask me. Having just taken a class in bookmaking, I was happy to know that there were supporters of media such as these.
The Publican
The Publican is an outstanding restaurant featuring shared plates of meat and seafood in a highly-designed pub with closed-in booths and (also) shared tables. I noticed a trend of shared tables in Chicago, which is sort of looked at as an undesirable thing to Seattlites, who prefer to be sectioned off from strangers. But I suppose we will have to get used to it as it's becoming more and more popular. The Publican was definitely the most memorable meal of the trip.
Art Institute of Chicago
I don't have a whole to say about the Art Institute other than if you haven't been: go. They have some of the best art in the world. I was lucky to get to see the Irving Collection of Drawings and Prints which was one of my favorite exhibitions I've seen in a long time. I really amazing collection of pieces. I spent most of my time in the Modern Wing, the newest part of the museum.
Intelligentsia Coffee
Anyone who knows me knows that I love coffee--a lot. I was pleased to find that Chicago was a coffee city, which, unfortunately, Providence is not. As long as one coffee shop knows what it's doing, soon others will follow because they will realize what they are doing wrong. Fortunately, Intelligentsia is one of the Coffee shops that knows what they are doing. I went here several times for my morning latte. And sometimes for my afternoon coffee. And sometimes for my afternoon afternoon coffee. Many coffee shops advertise that they serve Intellgentsia coffee, and while none will serve it as well as they do in an Intelligentsia cafe itself, that's always a good sign. Another good local coffee is Ipsento. I never got to the Ipsento cafe, but I bought some for my chemex back at school and drank some at the Dose Market and it was great. I love my Stumptown, but I always like to try a local roaster.
The Girl & The Goat
The Girl & The Goat was a last minute restaruant choice. My mom and I went here and ate at the bar, as it is one of Chicago's most well known restaurants at the moment. It definitely lived up to its name. Everything we ate was delicious and slightly unusual in some way. Butternut squash ravioli with almost a thai curry sauce and hedgehog mushrooms was a memorable dish. Highly recommended, and a reservation is required if you want a table.

Milk & Honey Cafe
A great cafe serving breakfast until noon and espresso drinks (yay). Has a cozy vibe with a fire place and is family friendly, but also totally acceptable for something like a business meeting. Had great food and super cute business cards, which is always important!


Anneka Björkeson said...

i want to go to every single one of those places and eat everythang.

nicole said...

seems you have the same taste as me!

Natalie said...

Nicole- as in good taste :)

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