Being a Tourist in Chicago

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I brought my camera to work the other day, so during my lunch break I went for a little stroll – tourist style. (: Chicago is so BLUE and beautiful! To be honest, I never liked bringing my camera into the city because I didn’t want to give off an impression as a tourist. This is my house and I’m going to put my feet up on the coffee table if I want, kinda thing. But I realize that mindset is pretentious and not to mention, stupid. Because when you’re a tourist, you look at the town with a different pair of lenses and you’re a lot more open-minded to do things that are out of your comfort zone. Suddenly all those free, crowded events don’t sound so lame, and the new restaurants popping in look enticing, and sitting in Millennium park after a food truck makes for the perfect Saturday afternoon.

My motto for this summer: 
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What does that mean for me? Run a 5k, attend a summer festival for a different city/state, have a picnic, make a video, go on a road trip, host a board game night, make s’mores, watch a movie at a drive-in, play sports regularly, go fishing, win free tix from a radio show, rent a bicycle for the day, purge my closet, find a hike path, run a 100 miles, frisbee on a beach… just to name a few. Hold me to it? 
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Being a tourist in Europe was great and so fun. But this, this is the beautiful town I live in and am so proud to call home. (: And I’m ready to unlock its secrets the same way.

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What’s on your summer bucket list?

XO.

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Life of an Ad Intern: Day 2

Day two was INSANE. Let me tell you about it.

The Insane Story of Day Two:

I boarded the 8:00 am train (per us), found a seat, opened my purse to pull out my train ticket and realized that my wallet wasn’t in my there! -Along with all my cash, cards, train and bus tickets… I had a mini-panic attack unsure of how I was going to get through the rest of the day, let alone pay for the train ride I had already boarded. I was like… should i run off, should i stay on, should i lie, should i cry… I felt like I was in Italy again illegally riding those trains to Milan. Anyway, I rummaged through my purse and found a crinkled $10 sitting at the bottom, (lucky instance #1)  so I was like nice and I decided I would use that for that train! …And figure out the rest later.

So, the ticket master stepped in going around to see some everyone’s boarding pass. By the time he got to me, I explained to him that I had already purchased a monthly pass but accidentally left it at home so I didn’t have it with me that day, but I assured him that I ride that train every morning, yadda yadda wink wink pulls shirt down — no I’m totally kidding. He asked me if I’d be there tomorrow, and I responded yes, and he let that ride go. (lucky instance #2 — ticket master pulled through that morning. ps: i saw him again a later day and said “HI” and flashed my monthly pass in the air for a few seconds to show gratitude for the previous day… he didn’t remember who i was and sort of cringed for being so enthusiastic. end note). So I was like okay, I can use this $10 for the ride back home then.

AND THEN, the train was delayed. Like I said, I hopped on the 8:00 train which is supposed to arrive at 8:34…  BUT we didn’t get to union station until 9:40!!! Two trains broke down on the track and one of them had to be tied up to the train in front and dragged into the city. Our train just followed slowly behind that whole ordeal. It was a mess. Do you follow? Picture oregon trail on the train tracks, because that’s pretty much what it was.

When I found out the train was going to be delayed for such a long time, I panicked because I didn’t want to be late on my second day of work, and decided I would use that $10 to pay for cab fare. I emailed my supervisor letting her know about the metra delay and that I would be in ASAP. She responded by telling me to just take a nice walk cause it was beautiful outside. “no worries” she said. So I was like, okaaaay!  So I took that 30 minute walk to save that $10 for the train ride home like I originally planned. (lucky instance #3)

Then I came work, read some blogs, stapled all these packets (i’m becoming an EXCELLENT stapler, btw. I started to play this game to see how quickly i could get through packets… and the time is honestly pretty impressive.) So after I kept winning I got bored and lunch time came around. I had luckily thrown in some granola and decided to just munch on that to save monies. BUT THENNN, one of my supervisors came in and told me that there was a client lunch happening and that we could go out to eat on the company card!!! Just my luck. (: So, we went to Nordstrom Cafe and each enjoyed a $15 dollar meal. I got this amazing chicken pasta and a red velvet cupcake. It was freaking perfect. (lucky instance #4) Way to be clutch, havas. 

Then the afternoon is kind of a bluuuuur and the work day ended and , I walked back to union station, and payed $8.75 for the train ride home. What a day. Now all I remember is a blur of mini-panic attacks; but luckily, somehow everything aligned and it was a-okay. (:

Anyway. That’s my ridiculous story for the day. Now I will show you my outfit which has nothing to do with said story… HOWEVER, I am linking up with Mix & Match Fashion to daily document how I do biz casual. (: 

DAY 2 OUTFIT: 

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DAILY TAKEAWAY: 

  • PC STILL sucks. My eyeballs hurt so much from staring at this dim screen for 8 hours. And you can’t take screenshots. And you can’t zoom in/out with your trackpad.
  • It’s hard to type quickly with long nails. I should probably cut them because they keep sliding off these cheap, plastic keys and falling into the cracks in between. ESPECIALLY BETWEEN “k” AND “i” AND “f” AND “t.

 

xo.

Love at First Sight — Wicker Park

Although I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, my family always lived a comfortable distance away from the city. Specifically, Lombard and Naperville — neighborhoods that were both tucked away from the heart, but still attached by a strip of highways. So it was an odd relationship, between the city and I. I called Chicago home but I never understood it. Not the language, not the culture, not the street names. I was still a tourist snapping shots at the bean and eyes glued to the GPS… but it was my “home.”

Last summer I had the opportunity to find a corner of the city when I landed an internship downtown. I took the 7:46 am train every morning from Naperville to Union Station, stopped by a nearby coffee joint, and walked my 20 min commute to my building, gaining a sense of ownership and familiarity with each step. And throughout the duration of my internship, I started to feel less and less of a tourist. I started to walk the talk — sit in a quiet car to avoid loud children, choose Marianos vs. Au Bon Pain,  respond to emails within the hour you receive them, avoid Jackson at all costs, and ignore pushy taxi drivers. Head straight, earphones in. My taste and knowledge of Chicago was limited to the Loop and that language.

Today, I had the opportunity to see another side of Chicago — a much, much different side — Wicker Park. I spent the day with one of my girlfriends from college, who lives right near the city and is very familiar with it, and  she showed me “her neck of the woods.” It was so fascinating to me that there could be cultures on such opposite sides of the spectrum in one city. If the Loop is fast-paced and pretentious, then Wicker Park is easy-going and liberal. And as much as I admired and adapted into the Loop, I felt immediately accepted and inspired by the ways of Wicker Park.

The air there is inspiring. Brick walls covered in beautiful graffiti. Criss-cross streets jam-packed with sushi bars, cafes, boutiques, thrift stores—

But rather than me tell you why it’s so amazing, let me show you…

This is why I love Wicker Park:

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What’s your favorite part about Chicago?

XO.