A Few Random Chicago Spring Links

Lynne Kiesling

I haven’t said much in the past few months about the personal life, although I do still have one …

This past weekend was a lovely spring weekend here in Chicago, and we took advantage of it to do some local exploring. We started off Friday night at Dr. Vino’s meetup at Juicy Wine Company, which was great fun! His summary tells you all you need to know. We drank a Barbera from California and a Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah blend from California called Barn d’Or (hee hee!), we ate a variety of Italian cheeses and delicious olives, and had a splendid time.

Saturday morning we went to the 2nd annual Arts & Crafts Chicago Show and Sale at Concordia University in River Forest. Lots of antiques dealers and modern artists who draw inspiration from the American Arts & Crafts movement (as well as related aesthetics, like English arts & crafts, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, art nouveau, and Japanese art). This was a wonderful show, and everyone we met was friendly and knowledgeable. We bought a lovely Motawi tile landscape triptych in a gorgeous oak Dard Hunter frame, to go in our not-yet-built master bathroom. This is only the second year of this show, and I hope it becomes a regular annual occurrence, because it was really enjoyable.

We then followed the intelligence of a colleague of mine and headed to Forest Park to Todd & Holland Tea Merchants, to replenish the woefully depleted stocks of tea in the KP household. What a spectacular place! The proprietor is extremely knowledgeable (we eavesdropped on him explaining the concept of astringency to some tea-newbies, and it was an excellent explanation that would suit a wine tasting too!), the selection is wonderful, and the accoutrements (pots, cups, scone mix, linens) are very well-chosen. We stayed firmly in the terra cognita of Indian teas: Assam, Ceylon, and blends of such. We drank the Abbot’s Blend on Saturday afternoon and enjoyed it, but make sure it only steeps for 3 minutes and that you only use 3/4 teaspoon per cup without adding “one for the pot”, as is my habit. They also have a great selection of Chinese black tea, green and white teas, and herbal tisanes. They also do mail order and online ordering.

Conveniently enough, there’s a yarn store, Chix With Stix, across the street from Todd & Holland, with an ice cream parlor next door. Now you see why it was the best day! I think we’ll be going back to Forest Park sooner rather than later … especially since we could stop at Get A Grip Cycles on the way home and drool over the Serotta bikes.

Next week and weekend will be full of cycling and farmer’s markets; the Green City Market opens for the season this Wednesday, and the other Chicago and Evanston markets are soon to follow. Early asparagus and berries, anyone?

So what makes the perfect spring weekend for you?


5 thoughts on “A Few Random Chicago Spring Links

  1. Sounds lovely, but my weekends tend to be much simpler. [After all, I commute weekly.] Hey, I’m good if I can find my way to [new!] Trader Joe’s on Saturday so I can pick up a load of Two-Buck Chuck. On the other hand, we’ve had spring since February, with just a few cold snaps, so we’re getting into summer here. Everything’s green and growing, and a late afternoon out on the gazebo is a wonderful thing, especially with a drink and a good book.

  2. Now that my weekends are 7 days long, everything is simpler. I agree with D.O.U.G. that afternoons on the screened porch (“Nana and Pop-pop’s Tree House”) with a good book, or a good blog on the laptop, and a glass of “Five Buck Bob” are super. Our trees are mostly recovered from the late freezes which killed many of the new leaves.

  3. KP Spouse, wine, crafts, tea, yarn, cycles, veggies. Sounds like a life of woman that’s solitary, poor, mean, brutish, & short.

  4. KP Spouse, wine, crafts, tea, yarn, cycles, veggies. Sounds like a life of woman that’s solitary, poor, mean, brutish, & short.

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