After kicking off his #makeyousmilestyle US book tour in NYC, Will Taylor of Bright.Bazaar jumped on a quick flight to Chicago for the next stop on his trip across America.
Since it was his first time in the Windy City, Will met up with Danielle Moss and Alaina Kaczmarski of The Everygirl for an introduction to the three main themes of Chicago – food, sports, and architecture.
Read on for Will’s account of his city safari with Danielle + Alaina, and see their 8 destinations for an afternoon in Chi-town!
Cloud Gate | Millennium Park
“As the sun dipped in and out from behind the clouds, we kicked off the tour at one of Chicago’s most famous landmarks, Cloud Gate. More famously known as The Bean, this reflective sculpture was designed by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, and is the centerpiece of Millennium Park. It took two years to construct using 168 stainless steel plates that were welded together so that the highly polished exterior has no visible seams – this allows for flawless reflections of the city’s skyline.”
G&T Fish & Oyster | 531 North Wells St.
“I quickly discovered that when it comes to food, Chicago is known for much more than deep-dish pizza! Our first foodie stop was at GT Fish & Oyster, a restaurant run by Michelin starred chef Giuseppe Tentori, offering a menu that’s half-traditional and half modern. The continually evolving small plates format gave the brunch setting a relaxed and sociable feel, each of us catching up over delicious brioche French toast, chilaquiles and monkey bread. Black rope lighting fittings and paneled walls give the restaurant a subtle, sophisticated and stylish nautical vibe.”
Chicago Waterfronts: Walking The River + North Avenue Beach | Start at Michigan Ave. and Wacker
“Deciding the bracing icy winds were too cold for us to take the architectural boat tour, Danielle and Alaina were kind enough to give me a personalized architecture walk along the Chicago River; I couldn’t believe it when I discovered that the river is dyed luminous green for St. Patrick’s Day! Along the walk I also learned that the neo-gothic Tribune Tower is home to CNN and the Chicago Tribune, and was designed by New York architects John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood after they won the Chicago Tribune’s competition in 1922. The competition was held in order to find a designer to create ‘the most beautiful and distinctive office building in the world’. We also saw one of the only buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, The Old Water Tower.”
Hotel Lincoln | 1816 North Clark St.
“In order to warm up we made a quick stop at the recently renovated Hotel Lincoln in Chicago’s North Side, Lincoln Park. After admiring the cozy, colorful and slightly whimsical décor of the lobby, we grabbed a quick coffee from Elaine’s coffee house, which is adjoined to the hotel. From 4pm they open their rooftop terrace, J.Parker Lounge, which offers fantastic views over the lake and across the city’s skyline.”
A New Leaf Studio & Garden | 1818 North Wells St.
“Tucked away just behind Hotel Lincoln on a charming street is an equally charming florist called A New Leaf. Known to be one of the best florists in the city, the team has been creating floral displays for over 30 years. Inside the atmosphere was welcoming and friendly, with an abundance of blooms creating a scent so good I wished I could have bottled it up to take home with me. In addition to the array of flowers there’s also a treasure trove of colorful vases, vessels, candles, ribbons and patterned tiles to be found in the basement.”
Divvy Bikes | Locations Across The City
“I was excited to discover that Chicago also has a rent-a-bike service similar to what I know as ‘Boris Bikes’ back home in London. After grabbing a quick cab to North Avenue Beach in order to take in the nautical surroundings by the lake, we hired bikes to take a ride through the park. Given Chicago is so passionate about their sports – it was hard not to notice that a Black Hawks game was playing – we felt it only right to include a little sport in our city safari! I felt like Chicago was the perfect city to take in by bike and made a mental note to ride alongside Lake Michigan, should I return to the city in the summer months.”
Rebar | 401 North Wabash Ave.
“With an hour or so before our dinner reservation we had time to take a seat and relax with a drink at Trump Hotel’s Rebar. Located on the mezzanine level, the bar oozes chic sophistication and offers stunning views of the Chicago River and Michigan Avenue Bridge. It was the perfect spot to watch the golden hour light shimmering on the skyscrapers and water beyond.”
Bavette’s | 218 W Kinzie St.
“We closed out the day with a delicious dinner at a jazz age, lounge-style restaurant called Bavettes. Entering inside the deeply atmospheric setting hits you immediately thanks to flickering shadows that dance across the exposed brick walls, with golden glowing grand chandeliers hanging low above cozy booth seating. After enjoying the social nature of our sharing plates earlier in the day at brunch, we opted for the same approach at dinner. Choosing from the European-style steak house menu was tricky, but we eventually settled on crab and avocado salad, fillet steak and buttermilk fried chicken, all washed down with a tasty mint julep.”
Thanks Danielle + Alaina!
Based in LA? Come celebrate with Bright.Bazaar + friends, and pick-up a signed copy of Will’s book! And if you haven’t already, subscribe to Front + Main for more city safaris to come.
Photos: Stoffer Photography