Ryan and I flew to Chicago to see James Blake in concert and hang around for the weekend. This trip suited us well. I love travel. Ryan loves music. It’s fun to combine loves.
The weekend kicked off with James Blake, Ryan’s man crush. He has a bigger crush on him than I do (is that weird?). Show was GREAT.
The after show at Smart Bar was next. That’s right, AFTER show. That means grandma needed to stay up late. I mentally prepared myself for the late night and was determined to stay up, because you know, YOLO. James Blake is on the left and another DJ, FaltyDL, is on the right in the photo below. Ryan is behind the camera with a mini boner.
The after show involved a lot of dancing. Not pictured: drunk blond girls in mini skirts stumbling across the dance floor.
The next day was rainy and windy. We layered up and headed to breakfast at Nookies in Old Town. Reading the morning paper over our crepes, Ryan learned that Geoff Farina, one of his guitar heroes, was playing a solo set that night at The Whistler in Logan Square. Could it be THE Geoff Farina? The guy from Karate? After some googling, it was confirmed, and our evening plans were set.
After breakfast, we trekked over to Lincoln Park. Walked around in the rain. Popped into a few stores, including LUSH, a favorite of mine. We couldn’t bypass Glazed & Infused, a local donut shop, after a strong recommendation by the LUSH staff.
Next, time for a Cubs game. I had been to Wrigley Field once before with Lindsay, Mark and Zo, but it was Ryan’s first time. It’s a must-do for a baseball fan.
After the game, we hopped on the metro and headed over to Logan Square for Geoff Farina. Obligatory metro shot-by-girl-who-lives-in-city-without-extensive-public-transit:
We had some time to kill before Geoff Farina and wandered into Two Way Lounge for a pre-show drink. Our bartender – I’ll just call her Wanda – needed help with our order. Ryan explained that a whiskey ginger is just whiskey and ginger ale with a lime. Hopefully she wrote that down for future reference.
Six o’clock rolled around and after witnessing an odd altercation at the bar, we walked over to The Whistler. It was literally across the street from Wanda’s bar. The two places couldn’t contrast more. Two Way = Dive. Whistler = hip cocktail lounge. We can hang in both places, but I’d say the cocktail lounge wins over the dive bar for me.
Anywho, Geoff Farina was there, just hanging at the bar, waiting to go on. We tried not to stare, or look too overjoyed. Ryan worked up the nerve to talk to him for a bit, which was cool. Geoff started his set with a song that was familiar to me, and after contemplating it for nearly an hour, I realized it was The Tennessee Walz. I know it from Kelly Clarkson’s Grammy performance, which is one of my fave performances of the year. I love her.
After his set, Geoff came by to talk to us some more which was a nice surprise. He and Ryan geeked out over (what else) music for the next hour or so. He was really nice, and it was a big highlight for Ryan. I’m glad I got to be part of it.
After the show, our hungry tummies guided us to Wasabi in Logan Square. A sushi bar where you can BYOB!! YES! Ryan went off to get us a bottle of wine while I ordered some delicious rolls and a bowl of fancy ramen. Later, Ryan confessed to buying two bottles of wine, one which didn’t make it past the steps of the liquor store. Total Ryan move. We spotted the broken bottle in its black bag the next day. Here’s Ryan walking away from the scene of the incident:
Saturday, our final full day, was the day of delicious eats. We started with brunch at Longman & Eagle, a happenin’ Michelin rated restaurant just around the corner from our place. Delicious.
After brunch, we hit up Logan Hardware, a record store recommended by Geoff Farina during our chats at The Whistler. I picked up a Waylon Jennings record and Jimmy Reed record. Ryan got a handful more. Records in hand, we headed over to Wicker Park and ended up at Antique Taco for lunch. The tacos and margaritas were really good, but the highlight for me was the horchata milkshake. Major danger if these were available locally.
After some shopping on Michigan avenue, we headed back to Logan Square for dinner. We chose Lula Cafe after multiple recommendations from locals. It was worth the hype. I had the spaghetti, which sounds super boring, but it turned out to be the best meal of the trip for me. It even dethroned Noni’s spaghetti as my favorite spaghetti ever! So yummy. Sadly, no photo was snapped of said spaghetti. Just imagine it.
Sunday was our last day. We had just enough time to grab Ryan a coffee and me a tea at Intelligentsia before heading to the airport. It was hard to leave on such a beautiful day!
Looking back on the trip, I’d say it was most definitely a success. The concert, the after party, the cubs game were all great – but it’s the unexpected surprises along the way, the moments we didn’t plan for, the Geoffs, the horchatas, the spaghettis, that made the trip most memorable. I’m so very thankful it happened that way.