Okay so here’s the hypothetical situation that I have concocted in my head: You, my friend/acquaintance/stalker, are planning a visit to the windy city, but you only have one day. Also , for some reason, you theoretically want my opinion on the matter. Here is my imaginary itinerary of the things that you should do in that time span.(Note: This itinerary will have nothing to do with deep dish pizza or Chicago pizza in general, because gross. Unpopular opinion, I know. My apologies. Also, I am completely forgoing allotting transportation time. It’s all make believe, after all. )
8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. – Morning coffee at Heritage General Store. Combination coffee/bike shop that is one of those local gems that you won’t find anywhere else. Plus they make a mean chai. Even if you’re not a coffee or bike aficionado, it’s worth a visit.
9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. – This is going to sound weird, but you have to pay a visit to the Salvation Army that’s on Clybourn (right across from Ashland). Not only is it huge, but it has a particularly impressive selection of used books and women’s clothing as well as assorted odds and ends. The best thrifting I’ve found in Chicago, by far.
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – The first time that I entered Uncharted Books, I fell in love. Few used book stores in the area can compare to their selection. They also have a section entirely dedicated to supporting local writers. Just a cool place, all around.
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Next up would be a quick jaunt to Dave’s Records. There are so many good finds hidden in this small shop, and Dave could tell you where anything is. Never have I encountered someone who was so friendly and familiar with his stock.
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – For lunch, there is no better spot than Conte Di Savoia. Hands down the best subs in Chicago, and it’s located in Little Italy (a.k.a half a block from my old apartment). Fresh baked bread and meats and cheeses sliced right in front of you makes this the closest sub I’ve found to Publix. Opt for the outdoor seating now that the sub-arctic temperatures have thawed, and maybe walk a few hundred feet afterwards to check out the fountain and Joe DiMaggio statue. (If you hit Starbucks, you’ve gone too far)
1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. – The best place to lose a few hours is at Logan Hardware. Admittedly, I’m probably biased because that’s where I picked up the Don McClean record that I hold so dear. Besides being just a record store, Logan Hardware also features a secret arcade. All you have to do is make a purchase and then you’ll get a password printed on your receipt. Walk to the door in the back, type the password into the keypad, and walk into the free arcade that makes this place truly warrant a visit. They have a cool selection of classic arcade games and pinball machines that’ll keep you entertained for quite some time.
3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.- I’m not a big beer person, but a visit to Revolution Brewing is still a cool time. They give free tours Wednesday – Saturday (with varying times) and it’s cool to see the growth of this Chicago native company.
5:00 p.m. -6:00 p.m. – You can’t go wrong with dinner at The Rosebud, another Little Italy hangout. Prices can be steep but it’s the best eggplant parm of life. Of life, I tell you!
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 pm- One of my favorite hangouts in Logan Square is Logan Theatre. It’s a relatively small theatre with only a few movies running at a time, but it’s the best place to catch films that have a limited release (Drinking Buddies). Not only that, but prices are incredibly cheap. Oh yeah, did I mention that they have a bar? It seems to be a very Chicago thing to put bars in every place possible, but it works in this environment.
8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – The best way to end the evening would be the independent book store, The Book Cellar. What makes this a great nightcap to the day is that ,in addition to their great selection, they also serve craft beer and wine. Also their name is a pun, and I love a good pun. Or a bad pun. I like ’em all. Complete with cozy areas to hang out with friends, discuss books, and play board games. Getting back to that aforementioned great selection, they have a large selection of autographed John Green novels since he is a friend of the owners.
Casually just going to end this thing at 10 p.m. because I’d probably be ready for bed around that point, and there’s no point in keeping this going just for pretenses sake. Once again, sorry about the lack of pizza.