When I left the house Friday afternoon, I didn’t know I was starting on a treasure hunt. That’s exactly what my walk turned into!
My 1st stop was my neighborhood branch of the Chicago public library — Merlo — at 644 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago. Merlo’s best how-to, fashion and beauty books are in the Recent Releases upstairs—just to the right of the door. They don’t have a super selection, but it’s a quick way to scan the freshest books.
Close to the recent releases are the movies. They have a quite a few titles. Here’s a secret: due to limited space, they have more titles than they have on display. Use the online reservation system to check availability and/or inter-library loan to get the movies you want.
Going to the birds
In route to my next destination, I saw two white doves in the window of Abbot Hotel. The ‘Hotel’ hardly deserves the name – their sign advertises, “Color TVs”! It is a hold over from the days when the neighborhood was less polished. I can just imagine an elderly clerk putting the cooing birds in the window to get some winter sunshine. As I watched, the birds whispered sweet nothings to each other. I raised my cell phone and the doves became shy!
The next photo opportunity was literally around the corner at Design. It is in the old location of Jonathan at 3161 N Halsted St, just south of Belmont. They had an awesome window display of furniture, home accessories and – my favorite – necklaces. I loved the combo of elegant furniture and textured necklaces. I wanted to include a link, but I couldn’t find them online.
Delilah cut my hair
A few minutes later, I reached the Aveda Institute for my scheduled trim. My student, Delilah, shampooed, trimmed and primped me with Aveda’s natural products. At just $16 (with a no-tipping policy), a basic hair cut is one of the best deals in the city. Since they have been taken over by Michigan-based Douglas J, I think it’s better than ever. For those who remember the biblical story of Samson and Delilah, I’m happy to report that after the hair cut I felt no loss of strength.
Heading to my next errand, I saw a sign on the door of Two Sided. It said something like, “Hey you…something, FREE gift…something, something.” I had to stop in. Two-sided is one of my favorite vintage-flavored gift shops. They offer candles, cards, books and ephemera. The woman at the counter explained that I needed to “Like” them on facebook to receive the free gift. She showed me the most adorable wooden figures and pointed to a poster with a QR (quick response) code that linked to their facebook page.
Ooh oh! My cell phone is only half smart. I don’t have the QR ap and I don’t want to pay for the mobile ‘net on my phone. My phone can text and take pictures: that’s it. So, what did I do? I rationalized! I knew I would “Like” them when I got home and second, I would tell people on my blog! I took a picture of the poster and smiled at the lady. She asked me which adorable critter I wanted: owl, rabbit or squirrel. I chose the squirrel. Here are a few more shots of the shop.
I hope you have the opportunity to visit Two Sided or one of its sister stores, Four Sided. Those stores also do framing. (True to my word, I have now “Liked” Four Sided. http://www.facebook.com/Foursided and told you good people about the store!)
Two Sided is at 2958 N. Clark, Chicago, IL (at the SW corner of Clark and Wellington).
Across the street is Ulta. As I opened the door, I saw a fun display of OPI’s spring nail polish. Their spring line is called, “Holland.” Their color names are always so witty (some people would say “punny”). Here are a few:
- “Wooden Shoe Like To Know?” (a shimmery medium chocolate brown),
- “Gouda Gouda Two Shoes” (a dark rosey pink) and
- “A Roll In The Hauge,” (a bright, smooth orange).
If you would like to see a review of the entire Holland collection, check out this blog:
You might have noticed that I have a thing about packaging and displays. The OPI display had the cutest folded paper display of a 3 dimensional windmill. After whipping out my phone to take yet another picture, I finally got to the task at hand: I had visited Ulta to redeem my quarterly points.
A point program I like
Based on how much you spend, you earn points. At the end of the quarter you can choose a free product from a pre-set list. For my level 2 gift, I chose a bottle of Nicole by OPI in Enchantress, a sheer opalescent pale pink. A few minutes later I checked out with my free polish and finally headed home.
I feel thankful to live in such a fun corner of Chicago. Thanks for walking with me!