This past weekend I had the privilege to witness the induction of Lorraine Hansberry along with five other classic American writers into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame. I will take a moment to acknowledge the other five who all are amazing. Saul Bellow, Studs Turkel, Nelso Algren, Richard Wright and Gewndolyn Brooks. What an amazing night!! Along with this amazing privilege came a wonderful jam packed 2 days in the Windy City! Which actually was not so windy when I was there ..yay!
In the little time that I had I was determined to see all that I could.. I had it all planned out.. I had two days during day light hours..and hour here..an hour there.. stop through and get a feel.. well suffice to say it did not exactly work that way.
I literally only got as far as Wicker park. A charming neighborhood filled with coffee shops, dress shops, restaurants and bakery’s. I had exactly 4 hours to spare in my day and those five hours flew by on a street called Division.
Ahh Division St.
After borrowing a car (thanks Anton)..heading down the “Express Way”, Google map in hand, finding a parking spot and promptly checking and rechecking the posted signs (parking tickets are $60 bucks in LA, I wasn’t taking a chance) I gathered myself and began to comb the streets armored in my Black Marc Jacobs coat and my trusty Jill Sander platform boots. Once again armed only with my iPhone. (I had no intention in doing any type of work during my weekend stay)
1. Cafe Milk & Honey
An adorable coffee/sandwich shop. Very cozy and quaint. I felt like I had transported myself to a small town as soon as I walked through the door. Everything looked super good. They even had there own namesake blend of Intelligentsia coffee..I had a hot soy Chai..
2. Mulberry & Me
I walked in to this little boutique and thought I was in New York for about 20 seconds. I was greeted with a great big “hello” by the owner Jana Zacek.
Something that I noticed with everywhere I went on Division. The people that man the boutiques are the people that own them. This makes for amazing friendly honest service.
Zana and I chit chatted for about an hour.. as I tried on the perfect little BB Dakota black dress. Which I bought..of course..
3. Event Studio
Super cute everything shop!! Planning an event? This is the place.
Where do I begin.. I walk in..and am immediately greeted by two stunningly beautiful sisters and the cutest puppy on the planet. These lovely ladies just recently opened this edgy boutique. After trying on pretty much everything in the place..I settled on two tops, two bracelets and a ring.. yes I know..but the price points are amazing..everything ranges from $35-$250 bucks!!
After spending hours chatting with super nice boutique owners and trying and buying nearly everything I saw (yes I need help). I was famished. I crossed the street I noticed a sushi place!! Yay!! I was craving it so..
5. Mirai Sushi
All I can say is WOW!..Amazing!… A quick dinner of Shoshito peppers, Fried Tofu and two orders of Unagi..and I was off!!
6. Casa De Soul
Once again I was greeted by Kennedy Ashinze who opened this swanky little boutique 7 years ago. Which by the way in Boutique years is a lifetime. This place is filled with clothes, accessories and books an gadgets hand picked by Kennedy from all over the world.
And my Last stop was:
7. Alliance Bakery
I had to end the day on Division with something sweet.. And that is exactly what I did.. a Hazelnut cupcake and some french macaroons for the drive back t the hotel.. perfect!
…was spent in Lincoln park. Now I actually had less than two hours to eat and explore before I had to be back at the hotel and dressed for the induction ceremony..so here is what I found:
1.Vosges Haut Chocolate
Ginger bread toffee, spiced hot chocolate, bacon chocolate bars and dark chocolate with salted caramel and peanut butter. I highly recommend!!
2. Aroma Workshop
For as little as $18 bucks you can create your very own signature scent, name it and take it home!! I was in heaven. I had 20 minutes to spare..I had to work fast. Smelling…testing…running outside to clear my nostrils..smelling and testing again..I came up with my very own “Hansberry” blend. Sweet and spicy..love it!
..And last but not least
Spanish Tapas.. Amazing food and the best French 75 (aside from Chateau Marmont) that I have ever had..Just thinking about it.. I am getting hungry!!
So there you have it.. with less that 8 hours total Taye hours spent.. I give you the places I love in Chi Town!! Can’t wait to go back!!