Going back to Chicago always feels really nice. I get to do my favorite things and experience the best parts of the city without having to take any of the stuff that weighed me down when I lived there. Here’s the rest of my Chicago trip and a visit from Liz Prince when I got back to Philly.
We woke up on Monday ready to have a work day. We went to D’s studio and worked on our own projects for most of the morning. Then we took a lunch break and took Daniel’s motorcycle downtown to get fancy coffee at Intelligentsia.
Fancy coffee places like Intelligentsia and Cafe Streets in Chicago, that always serve sparkling water with heavy espresso drinks, are what got me hooked on seltzer water. Now it’s all I ever want to drink.
Back to the studio for more work. D started grad school this fall for an MFA from UIC. He’s doing interdisciplinary art rather than strictly photography.
Coooool. The hand-me-down helmet from the friend that D bought his motorcycle from.
Later on on Monday, Matt Walsh and I went to get matching tattoos from Matt Wes at Family Tattoo.
We got the logo of an iconic produce market in Chicago. Matt lives at a house called the Juicer that he works hard to book shows at. Matt and I were cohorts in booking shows for a long time before I moved away. We would also frequently walk to Stanley’s, buy lots of produce, and then go back to his house to make juice.
I don’t even think tattoos really hurt (well, not all tattoos) but I still always clench onto something as tight as I can. I am not brave.
After tattoos we got deep dish pizza because Matt insisted since I’m no longer vegan. It was good. I prefer thin crust.
Then I went back to Daniel’s and we laid on the couch watching the Fugazi documentary, The Instrument. The most notable thing that I took from that movie is that Guy Picciotto from Fugazi could dance, like really well.
On Tuesday we went supplies shopping for some sculptures Daniel was planning to work on. We went to a hardware store in the suburbs because you can’t buy spraypaint in the city of Chicago. It’s actually illegal so stores don’t stock it. Then we wandered around some junk yards.
This hand-painted sign was really cool.
Back at UIC, being a weirdo, like usual.
Also being a weirdo.
Daniel made himself a standing desk in his studio, how progressive.
Daniel continued to work and I went to a coffeeshop called Buzz to work on projects with other people. I met up with Jen Twigg and we had some much needed real-talk.
Then Kate Grube came, and then Leslie. It was really nice to get to hang with all these ladies, some of my Chicago favorites. Leslie and I went straight from the coffeeshop to the Crossfit gym where we killed ourselves, and then I had a quiet night because I was really sore and tired!
In the morning at Cafe Streets, my favorite coffeeshop in Chicago.
Followed by a trip to Stanley’s with Matt. This is the inspiration for our tattoos!
We went back to his house and made pineapple, kiwi, apple, orange juice. It was delicious.
I met Matt’s new roommate Paul, and our buddy Will stopped by for a bit. I’m glad I got to see him! I hope he moves to Philly like he’s talking about.
After juicin, I went to my old nanny house and met up with my friend Lisa, who took over my nanny job. I couldn’t believe how big Ravi looks! I worked with his family since before Ravi was even born, and he was a baby for a good majority of the time I worked with him. Now he looks like such a little boy.
We walked to his brother Rishi’s school to pick him up. I started working with Rishi just after he turned one and now he’s 3 and started Montessori school. Little champ. I walked up and he burst into tears. I think he didn’t really know how to process what he was feeling. He wouldn’t talk to me for like ten blocks. He just kept pouting. Haha. We walked to a local coffeeshop that has vegan pastries, a place I would often take the boys for a treat.
We also met up with Leslie, who is also a nanny for a rad little gal named Ari. Leslie and I would have playdates with Rishi and Ari all the time and they became best friends.
Rishi, after he stopped pouting at me. Rishi is such the wise guy.
Ravi is such the innocent little brother.
Rag tag bunch
Look at those little crossed legs and pink shoes. So much personality. This is why he was legitimately one of my best friends, two years old or not. We had so much fun together and he always made me laugh, even if he was a HANDful.
Sweet little Ravi. I showed him where the button was on my camera and he snapped this self-portrait.
He also snapped this photo of his Lisa Didi (I used to be his Ramsey Didi, it means older sister in Hindi).
Ari totally looks like a spawn of Leslie. People always think she’s Ari’s mom, and you can really see why in this photo.
Always on an adventure.
My old place of employment.
My last night in town, Daniel and I went on a classic DPS/RJB date night, except this time we took a motorcycle.
I snapped these while we were cruising along in traffic.
At Uncommon Ground. Classic date night usually includes going to some foodie restaurant we’ve never tried, going out to an action or superhero movie, and going to the beach at night.
D is inventing quite the persona for himself. I kind of love it.
Walking to Fullerton beach.
On the Lakeshore Trail. If you’ve never been to Chicago, the entire eastern edge of the city is a trail winding through parks and sandy beaches. It’s pretty incredible. Even right downtown.
Out on a pier.
Morning smoothie before heading to the airport.
Igon, Daniel’s roommate, Bouchard’s, dog.
Bouchard and Igon.
Taking the Blue Line to Ohare.
I got back to Philly and have kept it really low-key, mostly just working on drawings and scanning all my Year One comic pages. On Friday night, Liz Prince came to town for Riot Fest. We ate Luckys, which is bad West Philly chinese food that’s open late, and went to bed.
In the morning, Karen, Liz and I went to the Gold Standard for brunch.
Then we went to B2, a coffeeshop where our friend Jon works.
Liz said I always manage to take pictures of her while she’s texting or using her phone, so I took this cheesy one instead. She looks real cute.
Jon and Liz. It looks like Liz is scolding Jon.
After B2, we went to Beautiful World to look at records. Then I came home and haven’t really left my house since. Livin the dream.