I’m teaming up with Patricia Nash to take you around my city–be a tourist in my city, if you will. I’ve lived in Chicago a long time and there’s always a hot new neighborhood or an undiscovered place to explore. I’ve largely been a west-sider and spend a lot of my time there (i.e. West Loop, Wicker Park, Logan Square) but my first apartment was actually in Old Town (back in 2007 when OT was more eccentric and arty–AKA before it had a Soul Cycle) and then I lived in Lincoln Park for a few years (when Armitage was going through a transition and a lot of store fronts were empty). It’s really fun to see how neighborhoods have changed and evolved even since I’ve been here–which now has been a little over a decade.
Inspired by Patricia Nash, a veteran designer (who has worked for Disney to American Eagle to Express), who loves to travel the world, I played tourist in my city for a day. Like Patricia, I love to explore–it feeds my soul and before kids, I traveled the world (don’t worry, we will again). But even though I’m no longer going on 14-day trips abroad, my excursions can start at home and I will never stop exploring in my own city. You can tell Patricia Nash is inspired by the places she visits–many of her items include intricate details or old-world craftsmanship (her bags remind me of items you could get from a leather market in Florence–I’m obsessed with wandering markets abroad for goodies). And I love her company’s core principles: quality, originality, and people. Those are three core pillars I can get behind.
As for Patricia Nash inspiring me to be a tourist in my own city, there’s SO MUCH to do in Chicago–especially if you’ve already done the tourist stuff. My favorite thing to do is explore the vastly different neighborhoods–they each have their own distinct flavor. If you ever find yourself here (or maybe you live here!), check out some of these places I love in their respective neighborhoods:
East Lakeview (pictured): Maison Marcel for coffee and light French fare
Wicker Park: Piece Pizza – my favorite since Eric moved to the ‘hood in 2007
Pilsen: Dusek’s or SKY for cocktails and small plates
Logan Square: The Logan Square Farmer’s Market on Sunday and brunch at Lula Café
West Loop: One of the most happening parts of the loop – you can’t go wrong with the people watching! The SoHo house is the best for that but be sure to walk around to all the shops and then treat yourself to a cookie at Beatrix.
Bucktown: Ipsento coffee (get the Ipsento latte and you’ll love me forever)
River North: Bavette’s – my favorite steakhouse in Chicago since it opened (even a great choice for a pescatarian!)
Lincoln Square: Hit up Baker Miller for brunch and Cho Sun Ok for Korean BBQ for a DIY dinner (you’ll be frying that meat). Oh, and I dream about their kim chi fried rice.
Chinatown (pictured – awesome mural, right?!): Dim Sum at MingHin and bubble tea at Joy Yee
Southport Corridor (pictured): Shopping at Free People, Anthropologie, and Lou & Grey, finished off with Almond Brittle ice cream from Jeni’s