25 March 2010

Ridin' dirty

My Dad commented on my last post and suggested that perhaps I need an urban assault vehicle, such as this:

Handguns are illegal in Chicago, but I don't know if there's an ordinance against the scooter bazooka...

23 March 2010

While we're on the subject of two wheel transportation...

There are 21 shopping days left until my birthday. And I still want a scooter. As per usual, I am offering a helpful shopping list for those of you interested.

Like a minty spring cupcake:

Like a juicy tomato:

Like a blooming violet:

All scooter images via powderscooter!!!

What can I say - the 60's were a good decade for two-wheeled rides!

14 March 2010

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it where I liiiiike

3 years ago I found this bicycle on Craigslist.

It is a 1960's Murray Jetfire, preteen size. I knew a regular adult sized bike would be too big, so it took some dilligent searching to find one that would fit. $65 and a trip for Don to the NW side and that puppy was mine!

Needless to say, when we first got her, she was in a bit of bad shape. The rims were crooked, her chrome had started to rust, whitewall tires were tired, and the seat was about the most uncomfortable thing you've ever set your cheeks upon.

We got a new seat (which is like floating on a couch on wheels - I love), basket, and spiffed her up a bit, but I was still having some hub and brake issues. So she was parked until Don had some time to work on her (that would be post-wedding).

Last June, Don taught himself to build a bike wheel, ordered a new brake hub, and rebuilt my wheels! Then he scrubbed that chrome with steel wool, put on some car polish, and replaced my pedals & hand grips. I also got a white powder coated chain! (I've got my own bike mechanic. Jealous?) We had a photo shoot last fall:

(no, I absolutely do not ride without a helmet! unless it's for a fancy photo shoot on our one way street)

So this is my super sweet ride. And I'm stoked, because the eve of biking season is upon us, and I will be arriving at work in style once again!

(check out my chain, pedals and shiny goodness!)

(lucy the landlord's pug, with my bike)

04 March 2010

The value of $8000

This New York Times article really got me thinking - Just how far can you take your $8000 homebuyer's tax credit? Seems like a really good design challenge!

Here's an 'after' photo from the article, which cronicles a first-time condo buyer's journey from mish-mashed college furniture to a real grown-up space:

(photo courtesy of Emily Weinstein/The New York Times)

A great example of smart shopping, good design, urban living, and the ingenuity it takes to make a small city space work!

Be sure to check out all the interactive features in the article to really see the transformation. I'd love to see more examples of the tax credit put to work!

03 March 2010

Dear Sweet Tourist : Navy Pier

Dear Sweet Tourist,

Don't go to Navy Pier.

I know, I know - those brochures and commercials for Navy Pier - they make it look so fun and interesting. There's a giant Ferris Wheel! And other vomit inducing rides! And they have McDonalds! And Starbucks! And Bubba Gump Shrimp!


Here's the facts - Navy Pier is Chicago's best tourist trap. You want to be a generic tourist and not get any local flavor on your trip to one of the greatest cities in the world, be my guest. Then I don't have to deal with you making an ass out of yourself in my neighborhood.

There are only 5 reasons Chicagoan's ever venture to the Pier:
  1. Chicago Children's Museum - great for the kids. We actually love this institution. Thankfully they'll be leaving the Pier as soon as possible.
  2. IMAX movies
  3. Chicago Shakespeare Theatre - it's actually quite good (ignore the excessive use of oak...)
  4. To attend a fancy party in the ballroom at the end of the Pier.
  5. Your prom or event is on one of the big boats that travels up and down the lake and river and it boards at Navy Pier.
Other than that, it's over priced amusement rides, crappy food, overpriced souvenir shops, and screaming stinky tourist children. Chicago is one of the best restaurant cities in the nation - you will find none of that good food at NP.

But where will I go along the lakefront to get a good view of the city? Adler Planetarium. The lakefront trail. Buckingham Fountain. The Signature Room in the John Hancock Tower. Oak Street Beach. North Avenue Beach. Anywhere but Navy Pier.

So if you want to actually get a piece of the real Chicago, stay tuned for some of my absolute favorites.