4xForth: Michelle Marchisotta of Firehouse Chicago / by Clare Johnson

Happy New Year wonderful Forth community!

It's our first 4xForth Friday of 2015 and today, we're talking to Michelle Marchisotta of Firehouse Chicago. You may remember Michelle from our Summer Salon Venue Spotlight. Michelle, the Venue Manager at Firehouse Chicago, joined Forth at the Summer Salon in 2014 and has been an sparkling light in the community ever since. She even opened her doors to us for our festive Winter Party last month; what a woman!

Today, we're not asking Michelle about her amazing work at Firehouse, we're asking about HER! Read all about Michelle's favorite city spots, bites, travel plans and so much more!

Top 4 places you frequent in Chicago: 

1. Buckingham Fountain: It is my favorite thing in the city. Mostly because it was a monumental turning point in my life. I played soccer for 17 years and decided not to play me senior year because I was offered the opportunity to teach a kids painting class at the School of the Art Institute for college credit. I was so early my first day that I went and sat by Buckingham Fountain, sketched and wrote in my sketchbook and balled because of how lucky I felt. I find any reason to take a cruise by it to relive that memory.

2. Half Acre: I like beer. All beer. They are my favorite brewery. Their beer tastes amazing. Their artwork is crazy good. The tasting room is gorgeous.

3. The dog beach & park: My husband and I have a three year old Alaskan Malamute, Nomi, that has so much energy. She loves to swing and run around the parks, fetching all day with her Jolly Ball.

4. Logan Square Farmers Market: I love the cheese and my cheese monger, Brian, from Stamper Cheese. My release is cooking seasonally and from scratch. Have you seen how big and golden the yolks of local eggs are?! For veggies, my favorite is Iron Creek, and my collection of Co-op sauce is getting ridiculous.

Top 4 places you plan to go someday:

1. Forest to Shore Gallery in Stratford, Connecticut: Our (my hubby and my) tattoo artist owns this shop. He always comes to see us and I would love to see his shop, get some work done and take one of the drawing classes he offers. Not to mention, explore the beauty the East Coast has to offer. 2. The Isle of Capri: to eat, to relax, to indulge. 3. Back to Big Island, Hawaii: I swam with a whale in the middle of the ocean. Enough said. 4. Croatia: to explore where my Mom's family is from.

Best bites in Chicago:

1. The Orchid Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich from Jeni's Ice Cream. 2. The pulled pork bahn mi, shrimp spring roll and chicken pho (I always split all three) from Saigon Bistro. 3. The mussels, frites, and garlic aioli from Hop Leaf. 4. The lentil soup from Taste of Lebanon.

Favorite places to visit outside the city/day trips from Chicago:

1. Geneva, IL: The old tuning fork factory, downtown (Grahams, Cocoon), the river - where I grew up and miss dearly. It's quaint, historic town on the Fox River. 2. Prairie Wolf Dog Exercise Area, Lake Forest: where we take our wolf to run for hours. 3. Heritage Prairie Farm, Elburn: Where my bear and I got hitched. 4. Milwaukee, WI: The Public Market, the art district, and Comet Cafe. We always stop in for a bite, sip and cupcake for the ride home.

Products you can't live without:

1. H2O Face Oasis 2. Rusk, Thickr: I was born with sad straight, fine, think hair. 3. Burt's Bees: My lips don't produce moisture on their own anymore. 4. Bounce Dryer Sheets.

Thank you sharing, Michelle! We always love featuring you on our blog.

I absolutely loved reading your answers and dreaming of warm, summer days with outdoor farmers markets, cheese, and trips to Jeni's Ice Cream. I've determined two things while inputing your wonderful responses: 1) We need to plan a farmer's market date, asap. 2) I need more Hop Leaf frites and aioli in my life.

Connect with Michelle on Facebook and Instagram, and with Firehouse on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Yelp, and the Firehouse Chicago website.