What I Did This Weekend: Chicago Edition

This weekend I was in Chicago aka Chi-town aka The Windy City aka the place where bread with a hole in the middle gets to pretend it's a bagel!

I was there for this purpose, however I had a whole day free to tour around and Chicago is a pretty awesome city.  Here's what I did:

Saturday Morning: Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise

What better way to learn all about flying buttresses, the true meaning of the nickname "The Windy City" and how much Chicago loves Mies Van Der Rohe than to take an Architecture Cruise?!!!

Since I knew I'd have the marathon the following day, Saturday was all about butt time and this river cruise was perfect.  Chicago's architecture is truly spectacular and a fitting lens through which to view the history of the city.  If you find yourself in Chicago, I highly recommend this tour through the Architectural Foundation, whose tour guides are particularly passionate and knowledgeable.

Saturday Afternoon: Jayson Flea Market

Jayson Home is a pretty awesome blossom home, gardening & decor store based in Chicago but also online.  I've never had the chance to visit the flagship, so when I noticed they were having their annual flea market the exact same weekend I was going to be in Chicago, I knew I'd have to stop by.  When we got to the tents Saturday afternoon there were still many items left; really beautiful, one-of-a-kind, mostly European antiques.  Lots of brass, lucite, aged leather and linens.  My faves were the burled wood nesting tables, which were about $2000 altogether, and the brass and pony hair bar stools.  So beautiful but I was way out of my league. Mostly everything was in the "if you have to ask you can't afford it" price range, except for some french linens and silverware.  But I was happy to just browse.  Jayson is an excellent merchandiser so the whole store made me happy.  If you love antiques and homewares, definitely visit Jayson!  Oh, and the unsold flea market items are going online October 15th and I have a feeling some of these items will still be available!

If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Saturday Evening: Trenchermen

Finally, we needed to have an early dinner reservation on account of my 4am wake-up call.  But it was actually a good thing.  If it weren't for 5:30PM dinner, we never would have been able to get a reservation at Trenchermen.

Chicago is known for excellent restaurants.  I haven't been to 99% of them, but Trencherman was fucking fantastic.  Like amaaaaaaaazing.  I couldn't sample the cocktails, which was probably a crime against humanity, but everything else was delicious.  Just try to look at their menu without wanting to crawl into your computer screen and end up there on the other side, Mary Poppins-style.  We tried half of the menu, and everything was exciting, unique and had excellent presentation (can you tell I've been watching my Top Chef?).  I'm just kicking myself for not remembering to take pictures of our dishes (though we did try to Pickled Tots, pictured below by TimeOut Chicago).  Since we were literally the first people there for dinner (it eventually filled up), Executive Chef Patrick Sheerin stopped by our table, which is always exciting!

The decor, designed by Kevin Heisner, had an industrial deco speakeasy vibe.  This design motif made sense when I learned the building was built in 1923 and was originally a Turkish bathhouse frequented by the city's most powerful figures. Indeed the white-glazed brick walls looked like a remnant of the building's naughty past.  I particularly loved the vintage wine jugs lining the bar and the large-scale deco light fixtures in the main dining room.

Seriously go here if you're in Chicago.  But if you want a real restaurant review, complete with literary flourishes check out this one from TimeOut Chicago.

Sunday: The Chicago Marathon

Oh so how did the marathon go?  Weeeeellll I finished.  I also did this all over Chicago:

At least I'm in good company.  Throwing up is so hot right now:

Note to readers: Rioting for Design while Running may be hazardous to yourself and to others around you.
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