Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Big excitement today!

I'm so excited this morning I can hardly stand it. I'm guest posting at Scribbit today!

Last week, Michelle, who writes Scribbit and who lives in Alaska, mentioned that any big city looks just any other big city to her. She just wasn't interested in visiting any of them. Always up for a challenge, I wrote her a post to convince her otherwise.

And she published it! Today! Go read it and then come back here.

* * * * *

Welcome back!

As you can tell from reading my post over there, I am a big fan of Chicago. Most people who visit are surprised by how beautiful the city is. And they usually mention that the people here are friendlier than they thought we'd be.

What did they expect? Al Capone? (Don't answer that.)

Last week, in the interest of research, I coerced my friend, Amy, to come along on a driving tour of the city. Our goal was two-fold: to show Amy some corners of the city she'd never seen before and to take pictures for the blog.

You saw a good bit over at Michelle's, but I left out a few places that I thought I'd highlight here.

The Art Institute of Chicago. These lions herald the way to the Art Institute, one of the most popular museums in Chicago. Wander through the galleries here and you'll see world famous paintings by artists such as Monet, Cezanne, and van Gogh (I'm a huge fan of the Impressionist, can you tell?). Kids, big and small, will enjoy the Thorne Miniature Rooms and the hall of armor. Very cool.

The Art Institute is located on Michigan Avenue and is FREE during the month of February and every Thursday evening from 5-8 P.M. During the summer, free hours are extended to include Friday evenings from 5-8 P.M. And this year, to celebrate the opening of the new Modern Wing, the Art Institute will be free for the entire week of May 16-22.

Millennium Park. Just a short walk north on Michigan Avenue from the Art Institute is Millennium Park, home of the famous Chicago Bean sculpture. (I know that's not its real name, but that's what everyone calls it.) Millennium Park is home to Chicago's ice rink, which provides hours of fun in the winter. In the summer, you can take in a concert from the beautiful Pritzker Pavillion.

Chicago is full of hidden gems. Architectural bounty. Beautiful gardens. And specialty shops that just call my name.

I know in my "other" post I said I wasn't much of a shopper, and I'm not. But I do enjoy hunting down treasures in out of the way places.

If you enjoy that kind of thing, too, then today is your lucky day because I'm going to let you in on one of my favorite little shops in the City: Vintage Pine.

Vintage Pine is located at 904 W. Blackhawk, just a couple blocks south of North Avenue. It's an obscure little place--you might even miss it if you drove past it, but the huge Whole Foods Market they're building across the street should point you in the right direction. If you find the door, you have to ring a bell to get inside.

Kind of like walking through Lewis's wardrobe, once you're in, you're in a magical land. Walk up two flights of stairs to a loft that contains treasures from all over Europe--pine chests, cherry dining tables, French market baskets. It's worth the drive just to browse around this treasure-trove of European furniture and accessories.

So there. You should have your fill of Chicago by now. If you haven't ever been here, do come check us out--you might find yourself surprised by what you find here.

And for my friends who live here, I'm always up for a day in the city, so let me know when you want to go!


  1. I've been most everywhere in the US, so I can't believe I have never been to your beautiful Chicago...and it's not because I haven't wanted to!
    Thanks for the invitation!
    I live in Little Rock and some people, for a unique experience, ride the Amtrack train to Chicago. Our school had a special 'field trip' to Chicago where they did just what I mentioned...very fun for those who participated.

  2. I love going in to the city! Unfortunately, I don't get to do it as much as I'd like. You did a great job hitting the highlights...however, I was disappointed you only mentioned Wrigley Field and not US Cellular Field, the home of the WHITE SOX! Go Sox! Another thing I like to do is go to the Broadway shows. I'm always wanting new restaurant ideas, so thanks for some new picks!

  3. Great article, Shelly!!! And beautiful photographs.

    A few more things I like about Chicago: the Lake--for its beauty, and its ability to still take my breath away when I catch the first glimpse of it; art galleries and fantastic art supply stores, including Paper Source and Pearl Arts at the corner of Chicago and Franklin; the Newberry Library for its fascinating collection of anything to do with the book and printing arts; and all its ethnic neighborhoods and the delicious food one can sample from places all over the world!

  4. Hill, come on up and I'll show you around. It'll be fun!

    Mitzi, there's a reason for that . . . :)

    Julie, you are absolutely right on all counts! (We LOVE Papersource too!)

  5. I'm coming to Chicago in July for our Pampered Chef convention. I'd love to meet up with ya for dinner some night. Do you meet fellow bloggers? I've never done it but think it would be fun--We'll talk more later--congrats on the feature. I agree--I LOVE Chicago!

  6. Come on Mitzi, the Sox? Really.

    I went to the Art Institute for the first time in my life (after living within an hour of Chicago for my first 20 years) in 2005 with an exchange student that had lived with us. I loved the miniature stuff. Could have looked at that for hours.

    My Kansas kids upon first seeing the Lake thought they were seeing the ocean. Yeah, we don't get out much.

  7. Never been to Chicago...my husband has and loved it.

    A guest post on Scribbit? You GO, girl!