Chicago Archives – Page 2 of 3 – A Little Leopard
Chicago Archives – Page 2 of 3 – A Little Leopard

Chicago Archives – Page 2 of 3 – A Little Leopard

Fall is here: we’re a few days into October and the air has officially turned crisp and cool. It’s by far my favorite season, and I can’t wait to see what this autumn has in store.

September was the perfect goodbye to summer, from the weather to the outfits. It also probably helped that I crossed a few restaurants and coffee shops off my “to try” list – here’s a look at my September adventures, via Instagram:

{ A Sunday afternoon blogging session at Heritage Bicycles with my friend Haley of My Funshine }

{ picking up juice + Asrai Garden flowers from my favorite, Owen + Alchemy }

{ spruced up my lovely card table with a coat of paint and some marble contact paper }

{ picking out fall lip shades with the help of my sister. The winners? Diva with Burgundy lip pencil and Peachstock with Oyster Girl lipglass }

{ new reads from Amy Odell + Mindy Kaling with coffee in my favorite Anthropologie mug – the gold version usually comes out around holiday! }

{ embarked on an impromptu West Loop food crawl with my friend Hailey – follow her for Chicago food + travel pics! –  and finally crossed Au Cheval off my Chicago dining bucket list. You guys. This burger so lives up to the hype. }

{ soaking up the last of patio season with brunch at The Winchester with my friend Stephanie and exploring one of my favorite neighborhoods, East Village/Wicker Park }

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Eat & Drink >> Hampton Social just opened in River North and it looks like the perfect summer bar and restaurant. I mean, there’s an entire section of the menu dedicated to lobster. It’s also fully embracing Chicago’s new Happy Hour law, with 1/2 price glasses of rosé (#thisissous #yeswayrosé) and 1/2 price pizzas from 4-7 p.m. on weekdays.

Do >> Pre-order Vogue’s September 2016 issue on Amazon.com – shipping before it hits newsstands in a limited-edition box! I collect September Vogues so this is particularly exciting for me.

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Explore >> Wicker Park is one of my favorite neighborhoods thanks to the amazing mix of coffee shops (priorities, okay), restaurants, bars and shopping. Refinery29 shared a list of seven cool boutiques to check out in Chicago. While the shops are all over the city, I noticed that a good handful were in Wicker Park. Penelope’s on Division is a personal favorite thanks to its effortlessly cool selection of both higher-end and more affordable options. I can’t wait to go check out Moon Voyage, window shop at RSVP Gallery, P.45, and even venture a little further north to Logan Square’s Tusk.

Read >> Books by comedians are one of my favorite genres (does that count as a genre?), so I was excited when Aziz Ansari threw his hat in the ring, so to speak. Unlike the fabulous memoirs of Lena Dunham, Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, et al., Aziz decided to take a sociological look at the way we date today. Modern Romance is both hilarious and insightful. Right swipe for sure.

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Watch >> Wet Hot American Summer had been chilling in my Netflix queue for awhile, but I never got around to watching it until all the hype around Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. I finished both in a weekend, and can’t wait to use choice lines like “You taste like a burger. I don’t like you anymore” in daily life. It’s a super weird visual joke to see actors a decade older playing the same characters, especially when you watch the show right after the movie, but both are campy, hilarious, and feature Paul Rudd. What more do you need?

Bonus: take this Buzzfeed quiz to find out which counselor you are when you’re done with Camp Firewood. In entirely unsurprising news, I’m a Susie.

image via La Colombe

My first job was at Starbucks. Okay, the Barnes & Noble Cafe Proudly Serving Starbucks Coffee, technically, but the point is, I developed a coffee habit at the relatively young age of 16 and have been going strong ever since.

Luckily, Chicago has a pretty darn impressive coffee scene. It’s the home of Intelligentsia (the original Broadway location isn’t far from my apartment!) and even our bike shops make a great brew.

While a morning cold brew is pretty great, I can’t wait to try one of the newest trends in iced coffee this summer: draft. Yep, like beer. A keg of coffee. Sounds like the best thing ever, right?

image via Beatrix

Two places in Chicago are doing it: Beatrix in River North and La Colombe (multiple locations). Well, right now, La Colombe’s Draft Latte is only available on the East Coast, but it should be rolling out to all locations soon.

Beatrix’s version is cold-brewed with Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso beans and treated with nitrogen. The result is a coffee that pours a lot like a Guinness, with a foamy head and lots of little bubbles. Plus, it’s got about three times the caffeine of a regular drip (a bonus in my book). It can be enjoyed plain or with a splash of syrup and the milk of your choice, much like a “regular” iced coffee. Or, if you’re in the mood for a different coffee trend, you can go for a cup of bulletproof coffee – basically, Beatrix knows what’s up.

Like Beatrix’s nitro coffee, La Colombe’s draft latte is also available on tap and cold-brew based. However, it’s a latte, so frothy microfoam milk is brewed right in. Instead of your typical milk and shot of espresso, draft lattes have the foamy consistency of a hot latte, just with a much lower temperature. Hopefully it will roll out to their Chicago cafes very, very soon!

Welcome to “Leopard Spots,” a series where I share some of my favorite places – mostly in and around Chicago, but there’s always opportunity to feature travel-based locations, too. 

When most Americans think of scones, they think of the dry, crumbly biscuit-y things you get at major chain coffeeshops. Those aren’t proper scones.

A proper English scone is delicious: light, buttery, moist, and unusually difficult to find this side of the Atlantic. For those of us in Chicago, however, it just got a little bit easier thanks to Scone City in Wicker Park.

The space is so very Wicker Park/Bucktown, with exposed brick walls, funky art and herringbone tile. These ain’t your mama’s scones, either (at least, not my English mother’s, probably): Scone City offers a rotating selection of eight to ten artisanal flavors per day, both sweet and savory. I sampled the brie, thyme and honey scone and it was to die for. Traditionalists can order a side of clotted cream, or a whole jar to take home with them.

Sorry ’bout the half-eaten scone in this photo…it was just that tasty.

Coffee is by Logan Square’s HalfWit, and my friend Stephanie declared her salted caramel latte one of the best lattes she’d ever had in her entire life. They make a pretty mean iced red eye, too (coffee + espresso because, you know, one of those alone isn’t enough for me). Also, the water is served in mason jar cups. Water everywhere should be served in mason jars, I think.

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There are about a million and one coffee shops in the Wicker Park/Bucktown area I want to explore (looking at you, Wormhole and Caffe Streets), but it will be very tempting to keep returning to Scone City for the vibe and sheer deliciousness of the scones whenever I’m in the area. Bring your laptop and/or a friend for a super-enjoyable Wicker Park afternoon stop.

Scone City is located at 1632 W Division St. Visit their website for menu, hours + info. (They’re closed Tuesdays, so sorry if scone cravings happen to hit on a Tuesday for ya.) 

Welcome to “Leopard Spots,” a series where I share some of my favorite places – mostly in and around Chicago, but there’s always opportunity to feature travel-based locations, too. 

I usually like to live in a haircut for a week or so before deciding whether it’s really working and still looks good. However, after Saturday’s visit to Sparrow Hair, I am basically obsessed with the salon and its Logan Square location. Day two hair is looking pretty good, so hopefully it will pass the week test, because I’m pretty set on this being my new Chicago salon.

First of all, the vibe of the salon is this wonderful combination of chic yet laid-back. It’s in an amazing century-old building that was a barber shop at one point, among other things. There are only a few chairs, which makes sense given that four stylists work there. I saw Tracey (after reading she was a curl wizard), but if the internet reviews are to be believed, everyone is equally talented – which is to say, very. I mean, one of the co-owners does Tavi Gevinson’s hair and the entire Tweedy family’s. Yes, the Tweedys of Wilco. Things like this may or may not matter to you, but going to the same salon as a fashion wunderkind and local rockstar family is pretty cool to me.

Sparrow interior | Image

I also love that their philosophy focuses on low-maintenance cuts that still look good. I literally sat down in Tracey’s chair and said, “Well, this is my hair, and it needs help.” I knew I was in good hands when she told me that I have almost exactly the same hair as her best friend, which is the first time a stylist has ever been experienced with my thickness and texture. She also had me in and out in an hour, a first for me since I have so. much. hair. I left armed with air-drying tricks that a lazy styling-challenged person like myself can do, and if the first couple days are any indication, I think I am going to like this cut. I think I am going to like it a lot.

I asked for easy, tousled, “slightly French” – and I think it turned out pretty well.

Other perks (besides a killer Logan Sqaure location in an awesome building around the block from Lula Cafe) include a super nice receptionist, good coffee while you wait and only one stylist working on your hair. I don’t know about you, but I am generally not a fan of frou-frou places where one girl washes my hair, another conditions it, another cuts and another blow drys. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but it does get to be a bit much, especially for a super-broke budget-minded girl like myself. I’d rather just deal with one stylist the whole time – that way she can really get to know my hair and what she’s dealing with.

Waiting area | image

So, overall, Sparrow Hair: 10/10, would recommend. It’s not super easy to get to from my apartment in Lincoln Park, but super worth it for the killer cuts and awesome vibe. Plus, it gives me an excuse to make a trip to one of my favorite neighborhoods.