The sun finally made an appearance in the Windy City this past weekend, which means Chicagoans rushed outside in droves, myself included. While we didn’t have a particularly harsh winter, it was uncharacteristically long making everyone feel a sense of relief at the first glimpse of spring.
Instead of bumming the day away on my couch, I took the opportunity to visit some of my favorite Chicago shops. I don’t go to them very often since they’re in West Town and require a trek from my Lakeview apartment but I figured there was no better way to spend my Saturday afternoon.
The first place I bused to was RR#1, a hole in the wall at Chicago and Ashland where you can find anything from luxurious, scented candles to vintage kids toys. Even though it’s small, you can spend a good 45 minutes treasure hunting through the layered and stacked items. The last time I was there, I spotted a red metal arrow (see image below because that’s the worst description ever) but couldn’t bring myself to spend $26 on it. Fast forward four months and it was still winking at me from the back of a bookshelf so I took it as a sign that it was meant to be mine. It serves no purpose other than the fact that it’s awesome.
The second store was Paperish Mess, another small shop at Chicago and Damen. If you’re on the lookout for prints to put on your wall, this is the place to go.
For a while, I’ve wanted to feature some more Chicago artwork in my apartment and the only one I have so far is the Lakeview print I found at the Renegade Craft Fair last Christmas. While looking around, I was immediately drawn to the work of Hiroshi Ariyama because of his style that combines traditional photography with screen printing. I decided to purchase an 8″x10″ screen print of his “6 p.m.” piece because of its nod to Chicago with Willis Tower in the background and a scene that I’m very familiar with: the El platform. In all honesty, I view it as MY Chicago – not the touristy one you see on TV or the White City you read about in books. It’s the one that you only experience as a Chicagoan commuting on the Brown Line every morning, staring out across the Chicago river as you cross Wells Street Bridge with the sun rising. Now, I just need to find where I’m going to hang it.
What were you up to this past weekend? Any other shops you recommend I explore? What do you suggest I do with the red metal arrow?