Thursday, April 23, 2015

Day Trip: Wicker Park

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Not going to lie, I’ve been a tad (closer to absurdly) busy lately, and I haven’t had time to write or brainstorm much. I haven’t slept in my own bed in almost a week nor have I eaten more than one home-cooked meal. However, despite the fact that I have mountains of things to do, I decided to be a mature adult and shirked my responsibilities for a day excursion to Wicker Park with my friends.
So I thought you guys might be interested in my Wicker Park excursions because hey, why not.
Wicker Park is a really trendy neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. It’s Chicago’s chiller, less fussy hipster-infused response to Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The neighborhood is dotted with vintage shops, quirky bookstores and coffee shops, hip restaurants, and anything else you can imagine. Wicker Park also has a great music scene, with many cafes hosting open mics or acting as concert venues, and the neighborhood stages a yearly music festival in the summer. It’s pretty easy to get to Wicker Park using public transport. Usually, using CTA I take the Blue line to Damen or the the #9, #50, or #56 Bus. I don’t recommend driving to Wicker Park because it’s really hard to find parking, nor do I recommend taking the Metra because the station is really hard to find.
The day started off with us meeting up at the Wilmette Metra. We took the Metra down to the Clybourn station, and somehow managed to avoid paying for a train ticket because the conductor never passed through our car. From Clybourn we walked down North Avenue, where we stopped in a few stores.
And cue main stop number 1, Quimby’s bookstore. Quimby’s is an alternative bookstore that sells less mainstream media, such as alternative magazines, books, and hand-made zines. My friends, Mia and Ellie, and I particularly enjoyed geeking out over a book exploring David Bowie’s sex life. Apart from spending almost an hour reading to each other from various zines and poetry tomes, we discovered a vintage but still operating black and white photo booth. The following malarkey ensued:

From Left: Mia, Ellie, Me. Enjoy our funny faces forever enshrined on in the pages of my Moleskin.

Following Quimby’s, we grabbed lunch at Umami Burger, located on Milwaukee Avenue. Umami is a Japanese word that means savory, and Umami Burger definitely fits that description. I had the namesake Umami burger, which felt like a flavorful explosion in my mouth, and I honestly have no other way of describing the wonderful thing I tasted that day. If you have $10-$20 to spend on a meal, Umami burger is worth it.
Next, we decided to hit up a series of vintage/thrift shops, such as Buffalo Exchange and Vintage Underground. I think the best part about thrifting is that you can give life to new pieces that you think are beautiful in an eco-friendly way and while saving a buck. Plus, vintage stores in Wicker Park are actually amazing. It’s like a trip back to the 1920s, 30s, 50s, you name it, and we all know how much I love that.
Our final stop for the day was Myopic Books. This place is any book lover’s paradise. It’s three floors of used books, all cradled in homey, light brown shelves housed under low ceilings. On a rainy day, I like to come down to Myopic and just sit between the stacks of books and read, even if I don’t buy anything. Also, reading used books is kind of like thrifting; you’re enjoying something that has already been loved before you, which I find very comforting. You’re giving a book a new life in your mind, which is pretty epic.

There was a sign that said no photos, but I'm a rebel and I do what I want, so there.
So that’s my day in Wicker Park. I hope you enjoyed it! I think it’s such a cool place in Chicago and I love sharing it with people. If you ever come to Wicker Park, tag your pictures with the #theyouthemisms on social media so that I can see them!

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