4xForth: Brenda Bergen by Natalie Pavela


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.

It’s 4 x Forth Friday and today we’re talking to Brenda Bergen, the creative force behind Wink Design Atelier! She's also the lady behind Get Fueled, an interview series with inspiring people about their creative process. 

Places I frequent in Chicago:

1. Bluebird Restaurant: It has a great vibe, awesome wine list and cocktails, nice bartenders, yummy mussels and frites. And the best part? It’s my closest neighborhood bar. 2. Belmont Harbor: the lake is one of the best things about Chicago, and we’ll have a sailboat docked there if it ever gets warm enough! 3. Millenium Park: I grew up near Ravinia, so I’ve been spoiled with great outdoor concerts my whole life. But Millenium Park has kicked it up a notch. I love sitting on the grass, eating a picnic, looking up at Chicago’s architecture, all while listening to music on a warm summer evening. Divine! 4. My own neighborhood: I spend the most amount of my time in Bucktown, my own neighborhood, because it really has everything I need within walking distance. There’s Olivia’s Market for last minute groceries, The Daily Method or Core Power Yoga for working out, my son’s school, Stitch for great gifts, Steven Alan for clothes, City Soles for shoe shopping, Double Door for concerts, the farmer's market for fresh veggies, Buzz: Killer Espresso for coffee, Trencherman for burgers and cocktails, Bluebird (see above), and soon the Bloomingdale Trail for biking and walking.

Places I'll go someday:

Travel is a priority in our family. We will give up living in a larger home in order to travel more. I’m very lucky, I’ve been to some incredible places that I would love to return to. I also have a long list of places I’ve never been, so here are some that I’m hoping to go to sooner rather than later.

1. Istanbul, Turkey: I’m just so intrigued by the opposing forces of ancient and modern. The architecture, the history, the food, the markets. This place is high on my list. 2. Cartagena, Colombia: I think it’s going to be the next hot spot. I want to go before it gets too touristy. 3. Querétaro, Mexico: One of my closest friends recently opened a restaurant there. I’m dying to visit her and eat there. Queretaro is an old colonial city with gorgeous architecture and a rich history. Plus, it’s less than an hour from San Miguel de Allende, which is also on my list. 4. Mentawai Island, Indonesia: My husband likes surfing, I like yoga, and our son finds fun things to do anywhere. All 3 of us love Indonesia. There are numerous private islands near Bali that we would love to explore, and this is one of them.

Best Bites in Chicago:

1. Fish Tacos: GT Fish & Oyster and Antique Taco could arm wrestle over this one. 2. Salted Caramel Gelato: Black Dog Gelato on Damen 3. Polenta & Pork Ragu: Davanti Enoteca on Taylor Street 4. Pig Face: Girl & the Goat. Don’t be scared, go for it, it’ll blow you away. I have celiac disease and therefore I have no choice but to eat gluten free. The folks at Girl & the Goat do the best job of dealing with it. It feels as if Stephanie Izzard is personally taking care of me. She actually knows what each person in her restaurant is eating - crazy!

Sites I lurve:

1. Jenna Park writes what I’m thinking and feeling, it’s absolutely uncanny. Recently, I reached out to her to invite her to be featured on my blog and now we are penpals. It’s so cool. 2. Reading this makes me feel hip. Everyone on it is so beautiful. Plus they have some great recipes and adorable guys on Mondays. 3. Vineet Kaur's Tumblr: One of the best curated sites out there. 4. I check this site out religiously whenever I’m about to go on a trip. I always love her suggestions, they are right up my alley.

Thank you for sharing Brenda. I think we're kindred spirits when it comes to dining, exploring Chicago spots, and neighborhood appreciation.

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