When it comes to standing out: I am guilty. First, there is that recognizable laugh. Then, the tone-deaf voice, followed by this unique style. Lets just say, you know when I walk into a room.
This past weekend, I jetted off to Chicago to visit one of my best friend’s. You may know her. She’s kind of cool. Julie Fogel is the newly appointed Marketing Director of RockitRanch, a well known group that owns a night club called Underground and various restaurants, including Sunda, the equivalent of Zuma.
I packed a quick carry on suitcase, clad with a vintage Alaia patent leather motorcycle jacket, a Chanel 2009 Cowboy collection jacket with fringe, and some superb Comme Des Garçons….tops, leather pants, you know, the basics. I like to dress. Bottom line.
Reality hit me hard in the face when I looked around, and said to myself ‘I don’t even see myself unpacking, I think its time to stick to casual LuluLemon and Phat Buddha.’
Paired with a pair of periwinkle suede espadrille flats, from Isola d’Elba, I took it upon myself to ditch the Vivier pumps / Guiseppe flats and walk approximately 10 miles every day, for the two full days I spent in Chi-town. That included a strut to a cool consignment shop that I read about on Racked.com. It was downtown, and on my travels, it is at these sorts of second-hand shops where I usually find unique pieces. Lets just say, everything I chose was a size 10 and up (including that damn Roland Mouret dress for $88, but was impossible to fix). Disappointing, but note to self: diet time Ann Demeulemeester clients….because if you were a solid 4 or 6, you would be getting a fat check, literally. No pun intended.
Anyhow, here are my tips on where you MUST and MUST’nt go while in Chicago.
If it is not freezing, walk and see the City Art:
Jean Dubuffet Sculpture
Unveiled in 1984, French sculptor Jean Dubuffet’s Monument with Standing Beast dominates the plaza outside the James R. Thompson Center.
“The Picasso” (Untitled sculpture) Standing 50 feet tall and weighing over 160 tons, the Chicago Picasso in Daley Plaza is much more than just artwork to Chicagoans. It is a completely interactive and massive sculpture, giving local children the opportunity to play on a Picasso. Once in a lifetime kind of experience.
50 W Washington St.
This Anish Kapoor masterpiece is located in Millennium Park. It is quite likely you have seen images of it before, and if you have not, stop by. It is fascinating in its shape, similar to a XXL Tiffany’s Elsa Peretti bean.
also, I urge you to be a tourist and jump on the Boat Tour!
Boat Tour is a must. It is fascinating to understand how the industrial city developed, the architecture and how Chicago blossomed. You will also understand how it became a birthing place for our country’s top agencies. The views from Lake Michigan are also breathtaking.
Navy Pier, from the Spring to the Autumn
Sunda, where I insist you delve into the brussel sprout salad. Heavenly, as is the Lobster roll.
110 West Illinois
Ralph Lauren, the restaurant, for an uptight, mid-western equestrian experience, it was delicious.
115 E Chicago Ave.
Owen + Alchemy, for some healthy beverages that are cold pressed. Coincidentally, this company was started by former Publisher of Miami Modern Luxury Magazine Anne Owen.
2355 N Milwaukee Ave.
Do Not Eat:
Siena Tavern. The food was mediocre. That is a compliment, and left me as ILL as you can get in Illinois. Too bad, because Fabio the owner is really nice. I interviewed him a long time ago for Haute Living Magazine and this spot is a negative.
51 W Kinzie South
Ikram, a true concept store, way before the days of Colette Paris. I could not even walk in, would have been painful sans limitless American Express.
15 E Huron St
Consignment at Designer Resale. The kind of shop that is a total hit or miss. I found great items, thank god, none fit because closet space is limited now a days….
658 North Dearborn Street
The Four Seasons. I stayed a few years back, and I recall it was great.
120 E Delaware Pl.
Journalist Amy Tara Koch educated me, explaining that before any show officially goes to Broadway, it is tested in Chicago. Theatre lovers, hit it up!