|I just had to.|
The Glenwood Sunday Market & Evanston Farmers' Market because although I've heard that St. Petersburg has recently taken up the charge of community marketing again, when I visited these two markets it was a new experience for me. I'd never walked to a place I could buy produce, sample cheese, sign up to volunteer, and pet strangers' dogs until this. Even though we moved to Chicago in December, and I had to wait a while to enjoy this, it was a big deal to me.
Festivals. All of them. But mostly Custer's Last Stand, Maifest in Lincoln Square, & St. Alphonsus Oktoberfest. Any city that encourages & publicizes neighborhood festivals where people can dance and drink beer in public is alright by me. ESPECIALLY if they encourage & publicize it the ENTIRE summer (not just a few times a year). I'll miss the festivals.
Block Parties. If people aren't already doing this where we're moving they're about to because I'm going to petition city hall to close whatever my block ends up being down for the first annual block party. Invitations to follow. My favorite Block Party in Chicagoland was on the street where 2 of the families I worked for early in my Chicago life live. That neighborhood is one of my favorite places in this whole town, and that block party will always be one of my favorite experiences in Chicagoland.
|Watching the Air Show from|
(Most of) the people of Chicago. Speaking of how everybody gets right outside when its nice, I just love that about the people of Chicago. I was walking recently with my mom in Florida (in January or February) and there were like 20 people in the park. 20. If it was that nice in Chicago as often as its that nice in Florida they'd have to start selling tickets for a place to lay your blanket. I love about the people of Chicago that whatever they were planning to do just gets done outside once it reaches a certain temperature. I'll miss that quality about the people here.
The Buena Pumpkins Trick or Treat event. Buena Park is one of those rare, charming, close knit communities where (most) people care about each other, we donate resources to support our community, and the neighborhood association creates a tradition where the children of the neighborhood have a safe place to trick or treat. Rich, Charlene, Greg, Lilah, Sadie & I have been so spoiled by this tradition. We'll miss it for sure.
The Drawing Room, which is where we had dinner the night we got engaged. I will miss that place for that reason but also because it's underground. I mean that both literally and figuratively. I feel like it's little known (perhaps I'm wrong) but it's also quite literally underground. The bar tenders fix you a drink based solely on what you usually order. And it's always right on.
The Halsted Whole Foods, or the Boystown Whole Foods as I call it. I make it a point to spend as much time in Boystown as possible. I love this place because #1 it has the best hot bar of any whole foods I've ever visited, INCLUDING the Whole Foods on North Ave. It also happens to be connected to the Center on Halsted, which is a community center that serves Chicago's LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community. Grabbing some lunch, and sitting in the window of a place that works so hard to build, empower and cultivate is just the kind of goodness that makes me feel especially nostalgic about Chicago & the perspective of many of the people who live here.
Roost in Andersonville. A retail shop that does the collecting of random knick knacks that you say you'll do at a second hand store but you never do. It's either a good place to spend more than you'd like on things you love, or a good place to brainstorm about what you're looking for in the way of things to love. There's a coffee shop near by (that isn't a Starbucks...or at least it wasn't) that you should go to first, then walk down to Roost. Makes for a great Saturday.
Dollop which is just the most normal coffee shop you'll ever want to go to. It's across the street from our place and I love to go there. I always think whatever season I'm currently in is my favorite season to go there (Oh it's so nice to come here and work/read/drink coffee while it's snowing/the leaves are falling/the sun is coming back out) but this place is just awesome no matter what time of the year it is. My favorite parts of this place are the mismatched coffee cups which look like they've been acquired from a variety of second hand shops (which I love) and the funny wireless passwords. The drawing to the right will absolutely live in the bedroom of a child of mine. Hopefully the creativity & charm of Dollop will rub off on my little one(s).
Lincoln Square Lanes, a good time that's hiding next to a McDonalds and above a hardware store. It's the perfect blend of old & new. We just visited a few weeks ago & that place is the kind that'll make you say "Wow, I never would have known this place was here & I can't believe everybody in Chicago isn't trying to get in".
Cousins Incredible Vitality Raw Vegan Restaurant where the food is terrible. I love this place though for two reasons. One is because Coop & I had a SERIOUS laugh after trying to "eat" here one evening while Greg was travelling. Two is because Chicago is a place where a restaurant like this one can actually get legs and thrive. I just love that about Chicago.
Millennium Park. YES! Millennium Park. Know why? Because you just have to appreciate what a rare and special opportunity it is to have that much green space, with that much culture and a city that invites you to get right in the middle of it for FREE. Tourists love it, but even I sometimes remark to myself how often I've taken the entirety of downtown for granted. I often have a meeting downtown on the fifth floor of a building right on Michigan avenue that over looks Millennium Park. When I'm up there I feel so privileged that Chicago's been my home for 3 years.
The Grant Park Music Festival particularly the performance on "Independence Eve". That performance features all of the songs I love to hear on the 4th of July. I once saw a woman run across the length of the Jay Pritzker Pavillion (dodging picnic blankets & open bottles of wine) to join another woman in doing the can can. I know everybody's city has things like this...but nobody else's city is Chicago. This experience is high on my list of things I'll never forget.
The Chicago Fire Department
104.3 and 94.7