Sunday, February 17, 2013

Spend the Day in Wicker Park / Bucktown

For those of us who call Chicago home there are a few things we wish out-of-towners knew:

-Don't call Chicago "The Chi" - it will give you away
-Don't put ketchup on your hotdogs
-Public transportation is your friend
-Deep Dish pizza is a challenge not to be taken lightly
-Magnificent Mile doesn't own the best shopping - one could argue that right in the backyard of Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast you can find some of the best, most interesting and independent shops in the city.  Here are some of our favorites and why:

4 Miles 2 Memphis is a new fixture in the neighborhood - thanks to the hard work of one the cast-members of American Pickers. Upcycled silk, taffeta, satin and lace make their refurbished appearance as artfully crafted "green" goods such as posters, gifts, clothing,etc.

Rudy's Roundup is a staff favorite and many a white-elephant gift has been bought here over the years.  This year's purchases included a tea infuser shaped like a robot, star trek playing cards, and various unique and humorous greeting cards.  It's a local "treasure" for sure, and not something you would ever find on the Magnificent Mile

Even when it gets windy out, the true trendsetters and secretly prosperous hipsters may be seen wearing hats from Goorin Bros hat shop.  Yes, if you do your research you will find out this is in fact a chain with locations throughout the U.S. but it's a fun shop idea and reflects well the eclectic nature of the shopping district in Wicker Park / Bucktown.  Hats for all ages and styles!  Just, if you buy a quality-made fedora, remain aware that you are, in fact, still wearing a fedora.

If you need a caffeine break, or simply want to protect your new hat from the Chicago wind-tunnel along Milwaukee Ave, you can rest up in Filter Cafe - in true hipster style they do not have a website, but it's worth a stop, especially if you are 400 feet away at Rudy's Roundup.  They have the largest capacity for seating in the neighborhood, with plenty of couches and tables to pick from, and a decent food menu as well.  It's right in the middle of awkwardly-silent and annoyingly-loud.  The perfect din for either getting work done or chatting to the fedora-wearing stranger next to you bonding over your hat-wear tastes.

Moving right along, we come to Reckless Records - one of the spots that makes Wicker Park what it is. Huge selection, and even if you emerge to find you have wiled away the daylight hours you will be happy you did.  Chances are you'll walk out with something you didn't even know you wanted.  But you bought it anyway. 

photo from
Quimby's Bookstore and Myopic Books are the best of a dying breed; good, old fashioned bookstores. Myopic is large in comparison to most crowded and unorganized used bookstores and manages to keep their stock pretty well divided by genre and author alphabetically.  They also host poetry readings and other such finger-snapping events.  Quimby's leans more towards the independent author scene, hosting zines and comics from local artists and authors as well as those well known to enthusiasts.  Check out No More Coffee zine, authored by the incredible man-friend of our own dearest manager.

Tired from all your shopping and people watching?! Come stay at Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast of course!

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