Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chicago is for {Conference} Lovers

I'm off to Chicago tomorrow to present a paper. Today I'm meeting with students for 4 hours, polishing my paper, and finalizing my packing list. It's always challenging to pack for a cold and slushy conference destination when you're also planning on being outside for most of the time.

This is what I have so far--








I haven't quite decided to wear during my time off. Maybe a fancier top for dinner and drinks on Thursday, and then a button down shirt, fisherman sweater, and jeans for Friday.

My schedule is wide open Thursday afternoon until Friday afternoon. Any recommendations?

22 comments:

Moya said...

Good luck--hope the conference goes well and that you have a great time. I went to a conference at the Drake last year and did some window shopping. A friend took me to dinner at Fred's in Barneys. If you can get up to Wicker Park/Milwaukee North and Damen area, there's some shopping and restaurants. The Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium are two of my favourite places in the city and well worth the visit downtown.

joyce said...

Chicago is awesome. I really liked the Ukrainian Village neighborhood. Penelope's is there, Milk + Honey for coffee/brunch. And Big Star in Wicker Park for great tacos and guac.

P.S. That grey dress is fantastic. Perfect conference wear.

erica said...

I'm staying with a friend on campus at U C, but we're fairly mobile. Milk + Honey sounds yummy, and I haven't been to Wicker Park yet.

I'm glad you approve of the dress, it's also incredibly comfortable!

Jade said...

erica, i *love* that grey dress! who makes it? i highly highly recommend dusek's in pilsen. it's fairly new on the scene, has a full punch bar downstairs with a secret passageway! and the food is bananas good--lobster pot pie, anyone? so so good. i forgot to mention that it's also a part of a concert hall...

for that good good cold weather food i recommend the radler in logan square. german food and fun.

shopping: space 519 has great pieces by apiece apart (on sale)with no taxes this weekend! it's in the bloomingdale's building. eskell is the cutest little shop ever--they are in wicker park (not too far from milk and honey, which i periodically hate on, but they do have good granola).

if you want out of this world breakfast--i'd recommend sweet maple cafe in university village by UIC. it's southern style with amazing biscuits. also lula cafe in logan square *never* disappoints. for a limited, but also tasty brunch, i'd round out the list with carriage house.

feel free to e-mail me if you want other recs. i agree with joyce about penelope's being awesome and also in wicker park. p. 54 is super cool for clothes, too.

lc said...

Long time lurker here, but U of C alum! I'm sure your friend will take you to all the Hyde Park landmarks (the bookstores (esp. the antiquarian bookshop and the seminary co-op), Z&H for sandwiches, the Med bakery, and the Robie House, if you are into FLW and have time/money (admission is expensive!)). Outside of HP, I would check out the Art Institute for the miniatures gallery and the Renzo Piano modern wing. The art itself is kind of blah, in my opinion. Luckily, Chicago has a lot of affordable and tasty eateries. Pilsen for Mexican food (but really, good Mexican food can be found all over Chicago). Dulcelandia is an amazing colorful pinata-filled cultural landmark of a Mexican candy store. If you like Sichuan food, Lao Sze Chuan in Chinatown (also close to Hyde Park, and a definite U of C favorite). Hoosier Mama for great pie--both sweet and savory! Sunshine Cafe for homestyle non-sushi Japanese food. I wouldn't shop in Chicago because of the >10% sales tax. Whatever you do, stay away from the "Miracle Mile," as there is nothing of interest there, shopping-wise. If you do shop, I prefer vintage stores (e.g., Very Best Vintage) over the non-vintage. Garfield Park Conservatory is gorgeous and easy to get to. Lastly, if you're looking for souvenirs for your kiddos, Building Blocks Toy Store.

Carlene said...

It's really cold here, bring a hat. Humboldt House is way north across the city, but if you're up there, it's a great little shop.

erica said...

Thanks Jade, lc, and Carlene!

All of those suggestions sound fantastic. I haven't played tourist in Chicago in over 7 years, and a lot has changed. My last boutique visit there was Hejfina, which is alas no more.

And I appreciate the toy store recommendation, I always like to bring back a gift for the boys.

Oh, and the dress is by Ewanika, a local designer, which was a birthday present!

Claire Hungerford said...

Hey! I'm also a U of C alum, have to agree with all those Hyde Park Spots and a couple mentions of Milk and Honey on Division for brunch. My favorite restaurant there is Cafe Lula in Logan Square. And the Whistler for a wonderful cocktail and nice music. Enjoy chicago!

leanne said...

Have fun! And yes - that dress is gorgeous!! Sadly no Chicago recommendations but it looks like you have plenty already. Hope the conference goes well.

Jade said...
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Jade said...

i have to defend my city's sale's tax here! they repealed that whole 10% tax thing because it was silly. it's 9.25%, i believe. also, if you're looking for a great toy store, i recommend play in logan square. we've bought a lot of lovely gifts for friends' kiddos.

Jocy said...

I love that dress. So chic! How did you find the sizing? Good luck on the conference.

erica said...

Even 10% is a bargain compared with 13% here in toronto, plus stuff is already marked up about 30% for the same thing. I love the health care and family friendly policies, though, can't really complain!

Jocy, I took an xs in the dress. It's a bit longer on me, being only 5'4"...I would say the dress runs large. It's a very forgiving shape in a beautiful double knot wool. Ewanika does variations on this style every year, it seems.

Sarge in Charge said...

Is that the Thomas Sires coat? If so, I can assure you that you will be comfy cozy, since I wear my plaid one every day :) definitely bring the vest though! You also won't regret bringing your serious snow boots.

If you head to Wicker Park, you should try Big Star before going to Penelope's, Eskell, Robin Richman, and P45 to shop. There's a reason everyone recommends Big Star (cheap and delicious) and you won't have to battle the crowds if you are there in the afternoon. And I second (third?) the recommendation for Lula Cafe. It never disappoints.

Oh yeah, there is a Steven Alan in Wicker Park now! There may be 9.25% sales tax but at least you can avoid those import duties.

Sarah said...

I'm also an embarrassingly longtime lurker, but finally piping up as a new Chicagoan. If you do take the advice to make a morning on Division at Milk & Honey and then Penelope's, I would add Unison to the list, since it's right next door and has a nicely "curated" (kind of annoyed by that term, but whatever) selection of home goods and a few unique toys. And then a few more blocks west on Division at the intersection with Damen is Sprout, which has baby and kid stuff - it's mostly only up to toddler age, but they often have sales on Oeuf, Nico Nico, etc. which, even with tax is crazy worth it. From there you could walk straight up Damen to the new Steven Alan . . . but you don't have to live out MY fantasy shopping morning.

If you make it to Logan Square I second Lula and add Longman and Eagle, but they're both also a little precious and hard to get into, so not necessarily worth the trip from HP. Coffee at Z&H and kids' book browsing at 57th St. is a great morning, too.

jen said...

You bought that dress!!! Yay!

Jade said...

one more addition and then i'll shut it! katherine anne confections in logan square for THE BEST hot chocolate EVAR known to humanity. think drinking chocolate, house made and beautifully flavored square marshmallows, and you picking your level of chocolate-tensity! such a pick me up on a cold cold day.

syed ali said...
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Anas Sana ur rahman said...
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Human Racing said...

I've only been to Chicago for a weekend, but I you should go to Hancock Tower for a nice view. It's super touristy but you get a great view of the skyline. It's the second tallest building in Chicago (behind Sears Tower) if I remember correctly and if you go straight to the bar instead of taking the tour then you don't have to pay the fee. Be prepared to wait, the line can be pretty long depending on when you get there,

ayaz said...
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ayaz said...
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