30 September 2012


Hello blogworld, it honestly feels like it's been months since I've posted - but it's all for good reasons, I swear. The last month has been ridiculously busy. I was in Michigan for a week with my father, and then upon returning, I began the hot pursuit for a new apartment.

Yes, that's right, I'm moving! I've decided to take the plunge and try living alone. I found a darling place on the north side of Chicago, and will be living in an adorable studio in Lincoln Square. It has three huge closets, a beautiful little bathroom, a giant stove, a kitchen filled with light, east/west windows, gorgeous hardwood floors, and built-ins!!

It's going to be a bit of an adaptation for me to get used to a new commute to work, and an entirely new routine - but I welcome the challenge. So far, I've discovered that there is a branch of my gym walking distance, a large grocery store nearby, a handful of cute cafes, and plenty of choices for delicious takeout (Thai and Indian food nearby!!).

I signed my lease last week, and have begun the task of moving my belongings from both my old apartment, and my parents house. Electric has been set up, and I'm going to be having Internet installed next week. Once I'm all moved in, I will post more pictures, I promise. But here's what I have now.

More apartment porn. Hi this is my perfect little kitchen. It has built ins.

Can't talk too busy unpacking kitchen things with Jens.

The view from my new kitchen windows

28 September 2012

This Weekend

-moving moving moving (phase 1)
-listening to records
-writing more of my homecoming talk

13 September 2012

Dinner and Karaoke at BellyQ

In the last two weeks, I have had the extreme pleasure of dining at BellyQ twice! BellyQ is chef Bill Kim's latest creation, a new take on the Korean barbecue joint, and as always he's doing things with a twist. After taking over the former 160 Blue location, Kim and his crew completely gutted and revamped the space, adding in a beautiful wall of south-facing windows, a gorgeous bar, a walk-up dining area, and a karaoke den. Yes, my prayers have been answered, now I can eat the cuisine of my favorite local chef AND sing my heart out all in one location.

If you're not familiar with Bill Kim's work, my sincerest apologies - but, if you happen to live in Chicago, you are in luck! This is chef Kim's third restaurant, after Urban Belly on California and Belly Shack on Western. I'm a self-proclaimed fangirl of Bill Kim's restaurants, and the opening of BellyQ was something I've been anticipating since news leaked of his plans!

Two weeks ago,  after visiting one of the closing nights of Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, I headed over with my dad and his friend for a late night dinner the first week BellyQ was open. We started in the bar with cocktails, and happened to snag a spot at the communal table, where we ordered the Thai fried chicken, the seafood pancake,  and Kim's delicious house kimchi. The hostesses and waitstaff were incredibly friendly and accommodating, constantly checking that everything was going well with us. Thanks, we really appreciated it!

We requested a grill-top table, and started with wine, which came to us from a tap. Apparently wine on-tap is a new trend that is happening in Chicago, and I totally dig it. We started with an order of this amazing salad with avocado, rice crisps, and a yuzu sauce. We ordered a Chinese style tea smoked duck, and while we waited we grilled our own BellyQ beef (Kim's mother's recipe). Everything came out in a really well-choreographed manner, at exactly the right time. The flavors of each dish complimented one another, and grilling our own food was fun! I mean really fun. We also ordered just the right amount of food, and everything was made for sharing. I felt as though we truly worked our way through the menu, and I  even managed to save room for dessert. Though I was skeptical of a dessert menu that was completely soft-serve based, I couldn't stop cooing over the huckleberry ice cream dish.

Seriously, this place is top notch.
  BellyQ Bar1 BellyQ Bar2 Thai Fried Chicken Seafood Pancake Grill Top grilling meat Full Plate pork buns pork bun 2 Fro Yo

When I returned the following week - Moriah mentioned to the GM that we were very interested in doing karaoke in the den. And lo and behold, he heard her (Mo is very convincing). After we finished up yet another amazing meal, we were whisked away to the lounge for an hour of uninteruppted singing. And heads up, the book does have "Call Me Maybe".

06 September 2012

#DNC2012 Greatest Hits (or why I love the Internet & Obama)

Because we all felt this way hearing our First Lady speak via bobbyfinger
Because Mayor Julian Castro's daughter playing with 
her hair on the jumbo screen deserves her 15 minutes via buzzfeed
 The Power of A Hug via the New Yorker tumblr

RUN DNC via the Barack Obama tumblr

 Because we are all thinking it via debramorgan


Just for kicks, these are for reals my favorite political gifs via ZAIYNK

05 September 2012

Oh Happy Week

So many crazy amazing wonderful things are happening this week in art/culture/literature/my life/etc. that I can hardly contain myself. Here's a roundup of everything fantastic happening, and why you should care about it.

Jens Lekman's much anticipated LP I Know What Love Isn't dropped. If you don't know me, then you don't know that I love Jens with my whole self. I remember the first time I heard him/saw him at Pitchfork in what must have been 2006, and holy hell, A Postcard to Nina changed the way I listened to music. It also changed the way I thought about love, falling in love, friendship, and everything that ever mattered to me at the tender age of 18.

I have had the pleasure of seeing Jens (yes we are on a first name basis, deal with it) in concert several times, and each time is filled with joy, laughter, singing, dancing, call-and-response, and confetti. I am not even kidding. He'll be performing at my favorite Chicago venue, Lincoln Hall in October. If you like him, no if you love him, I strongly suggest you buy your ticket NOW.

Emma Straub's much anticipated novel, Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures hits book stores and bookshelves nation-wide! Having read (twice) and loved Other People We Married in 2011, you can imagine how patient I had to be in order to read another full-length work by one of my favorite authors. No worries, I managed to keep myself busy while waiting. I follow her fantastic tumblr and twitter, was stoked to see her as a contributor to Rookie Mag, AND I even had the pleasure of meeting her and having my book signed at the Magnetic Fields show in March.  And if you want a book signed by the lovely Emma, you are in luck! Flock to 57th Street Books on September 20, where she will be giving a reading and - you guessed it - signing books! All Rookie crowns are welcome!

Davey Rothbart has done it again. The creator and "found"er of Found Magazine (now in it's 8th issue!) has released a book, My Heart Is An Idiot - a collection of essays. I cannot wait to dig in. Rothbart is a funny strange man, and a sometimes contributor to This American Life. I saw him present at the Music Box last fall, and had to stop myself from peeing multiple times as a wiped tears of joy and laughter from my face. I have every expectation that this book will have me squealing with delight!

Image via Good Reads

A show of Chris Ware's illustrations will be opening at Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago! I'm not going to lie, this is THE show I am most excited for of the major openings this weekend. And what's better is that the exhibition is in conjunction with a release of Ware's latest book, Building Stories - to be released on October 2.

You might recognize Ware from various covers of the New Yorker, illustrations in the New York Times, or even some of the animation that he did in conjunction with This American Life - but his work on it's own is tantalizing, fantastic, architectural, both funny and sad all at once. It's fitting that an artist who's "background" or architectural spaces seem to be more important than the characters themselves should author a book devoted to architecture and buildings.

Image via GraphicDefiner

01 September 2012