Each Friday we’re highlighting one of the lovely women in our community by learning about her favorite Chicago places and restaurants, hearing what websites she’s all jazzed about, and gaining some inspiration from destinations she’s dreaming of traveling to next.
1. Asrai Garden in Wicker Park is a floral shop that also carries unusual sundries and art. I love the proprietor's taste - it's dark beautiful: Edward Gorey meets Kew Gardens. And it smells MARVELOUS in there. Sometimes I go in there to breathe. 2. Lovely Bake Shop makes great pies, and has a wonderful farm-house aesthetic inside with shared tables for a nice day working out of the studio. They make the fancy milk coffees with a heart shaped foam pattern and have free wifi. 3. My favorite kids clothing store is in Evanston. Lollie Boutique carries understated French-looking clothes and cool toys & books. I don't like overly frilly (I have two girls) but I like FUN and age-appropriate. Lollie does this without having to add on Disney characters. 4. Millennium Park is one of my favorite places to go for a long walk and people watch. I like to pretend-name strangers I see in the crowd: "Oh there goes Hanz." "She is such a Bertha."
Places I’ll go someday:
1. Istanbul because it's the crux of East and West and I drool at the prospect of visiting the Grand Bazaar. 2. Macon, Georgia, because my best friend in Chicago, painter Kristina Bailey, is from Macon and her stories are too vivid for me to not take her up on a visit home one day. 3. Copenhagen because as an ex-urban planner it's the mecca of public biking, open spaces & dense urban form... amidst canals! And Tivoli Gardens look like a fantasy-place my children would love. 4. Mexico City because I love Mexican culture, music and food -- Mexico City its one of the great civilized old cities in the world, wrapped in layers of sprawl and congestion and mess and glory.
Best bites in Chicago:
1. The Publican! I am decidedly not a hipster. But I do like pickles, meat and deep wine lists. My friend who took me there is in the restaurant industry so she hooked us up, but I have a feeling that everyone is treated well there. 2. I love Julius Meinl coffee. 3. Blackbird has such a great feeling inside. It's petite, cozy, romantic and minimalist... and then the food comes and it's impeccable. 4. My favorite honky-tonk dive bar is The California Clipper. It has a real stage for rockabilly bands and is an unartificial place that reminds me of San Francisco (where I am from).
Sites I lurve:
1. www.theselby.com for all my voyeuristic tendencies. 2. www.brainpickings.org, because we all need to nourish our brains entertainingly. 3. www.McSweeneys.net is the Paris Review of our generation. And also very funny. 4. www.partnersandspade.com because Andy Spade is my professional role model and hero.
Thanks for sharing Olivia! Asrai Garden is one of my favorite spots in the city - for smells and flowers. They cyclist in me dreams of Copenhagen and a night at The California Clipper is a night well spent.
Olivia is the woman behind Vigilante Paper, an online destination for colorful and whimsical wedding stationary. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. She also blogs at Vigilante Living, a site that applauds and documents unconventional life