This Weekend: Bike Races, Food Trucks, and 16 Candles – The Glencoe Grand Prix

The forecast is 80 degrees and sunny for this Saturday’s 8th annual Glencoe Grand Prix!  Come to picturesque Glencoe for the bike races – both amateur and professional – and stay for the food and fun.  Or come for the food and stay for the races and fun.  One of the great additions to this year’s event is the presence of twelve food trucks, and the good news is: they’ll be around for the entire event.

Start the day by cheering on riders while noshing on doughnuts and biscnuts (a doughnut/biscuit hybrid…um, dying to try this) from Endgrain or gourmet egg sandwiches from Eastman Egg.  Before stopping by the highly popular kid races at noon, you can lunch on just about anything – Lillie Q’s barbecue, The Salsa Truck’s classic Mexican street food, Grill Chasers’ chicken, Tamale Spaceship’s authentic Mexican cuisine, or Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese from Chicago Lunch Box.  And don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth with cupcakes and gelato from Flirty Cupcakes and Gelato Italiano!

Though you can visit any food truck at any time during the event, I’m planning to save Chicago Pizza Boss’s wood-oven pizza and arancini, Chubby Wieners’ hot dogs and fries, and gooey gourmet grilled cheese from Toasty Cheese (with gluten free options!) for my evening and late night meals.  I’ll need to pre- and post-dance carb load for the can’t miss 80’s cover band 16 Candles who will perform at the event-closing Block Party.  Don’t fret if you haven’t stepped foot on a dance floor since the actual 80’s – a beer from Goose Island or a glass of wine from The Bottle Shop in Wilmette will help you lose your inhibitions.

Click each link within the post to view corresponding food truck information and menus.  Prepare to get extremely hungry.

Click here for the full schedule of Glencoe Grand Prix events and here for a story I wrote two years ago on the history and evolution of the Glencoe Grand Prix and the event’s founder, Jon Knouse. 

The funds from the Glencoe Grand Prix directly support the Glencoe Schools and their technology initiatives.  Illinois Bone & Joint Institute is this year’s title sponsor.

Photo via the GGP website.


First Snow

DSC_0048The first snowflakes of the season fell this afternoon, bringing with them a familiar mix of emotions.  Like boarding the ferry after saying goodbye to a romance that was never meant to last, you know beautiful days lie ahead but you’re still not quite ready to let go.DSC_0029

Go See: Picasso and Chicago

Picasso's Nude Under a Pine Tree, Cannes or Vauvenargues, 1959, oil on canvas
“Nude Under a Pine Tree,” 1959, oil on canvas

ONLY SIX DAYS LEFT!  Run to The Art Institute of Chicago to catch “Picasso and Chicago,” an expansive exhibit that explores the integral relationships Picasso had with both the city of Chicago and the AIC.  Having interned in the museum education department during college (giving tours to school groups), I was aware of Picasso’s strong presence at the Art Institute, but did not understand the depth and breadth of their affiliation until I viewed this fascinating show last week.

"Bust of a Woman (Fernande)," 1909, bronze
“Bust of a Woman (Fernande),” 1909, bronze

From the Art Institute’s site:

A century ago, in 1913, the Art Institute of Chicago became the first art museum in the country to present the work of a young Spaniard who would become the preeminent artist of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso. This February the museum celebrates the special 100-year relationship between Picasso and Chicago by bringing together over 250 of the finest examples of the artist’s paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, and ceramics from private collections in the city, as well as from the museum’s collection, for the first large-scale Picasso exhibition organized by the museum in almost 30 years.


The Art Institute of Chicago is located at 111 South Michigan Avenue

Open everyday from 10:30-5pm, Thursdays open until 8pm

Picasso and Chicago closes on May 12th

Sunday Brunch at Little Goat

It is just as amazing as you imagined.  Stephanie Izard, Top Chef champion and genius behind Girl and the Goat, has nailed it again with Little Goat Diner in Chicago.  She’s so good that when you eat anything she has created, you think, “I thought I knew what great tasted like, but I was so wrong.  THIS is great!”.  And you are sad for a minute because you know she has ruined you, but your plate of heaven quickly distracts you from this miserable thought.

Little Goat 1 blogClockwise, from top left: (1) Husband to the rescue with lattes from adjoining Little Goat Bread.  (2) Kids loved the rotating goat sign.  (3) Smoked Corned Beef Hash with Poached Eggs.  Trust me when I say no hash will ever compare to this.  (4) Waiting for our table with mini-me.  (5) Hannah’s Smoked Pork and Toffee Crunch Milkshake.  Yes, you read that correctly.  (6) A glimpse of the inventive comfort food menu.

Little Goat 2 blogClockwise, from top left: (1) The best 14-year-old on the planet, our son Will.  (2) Chicago el tracks and blue sky.  (3) Leftover hash.  We had to save room for dessert!  (4) Clever check-holding magnet board and the remains of a warm butterscotch caramel-topped banana gelato sundae.  (5)  I wasn’t kidding.  (6) Tempting treats to go at Little Goat Bread.

all photos via the aesthete and the dilettante

Little Goat Diner: 820 West Randolph Street, Chicago, 60607.  Sadly, no reservations.  Open breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night.  Click this link for hours.

The Sartorialist in Chicago

Last night, famous style photographer and blogger Scott Schuman of the Sartorialist visited the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago to give a talk and sign copies of his new book, Closer.  The MCA was clearly unaware of his enormous popularity.  The barely publicized event drew throngs of fashion and photography lovers all dressed to catch his eye (which made for fabulous people watching) and left hundreds of disappointed fans without books to buy (they sold out almost before it started – thank goodness I received one as a birthday gift from my super chic friend Samantha) and on a wait list to hear the talk.  All were invited to stay for the book signing, and wait they did!  Worries of blocked fire exits forced museum workers to move the most stylish single file line you’ve ever seen from one end of the museum to the other.

Having my book signed.

Luckily my friend Cynthia and I were at the front of the line for the signing as we were both wearing what my friend Kelley calls “five-minute shoes”.  He was gracious and amusing, indulging enthusiasts who had questions or simply wanted to snap his photo.

Exiting the MCA, happily on our way to RL for a late dinner.

The following are some of my favorite images from the book:

Photographer becomes subject. How can you resist a man in a trench?

A Day Off in Chicago

Yesterday our family played hookie and became tourists for a day in our own backyard.  We visited famous landmarks, cruised along in a double-decker tour bus, took a ride on a giant ferris wheel, and got in everyone’s way while taking a million pictures.

Our first stop was Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower).  We took an ear popping elevator ride up to the 103rd floor and marveled at the views alongside tourists from all over the world.  When you love a city as much as I love Chicago, it gives you great joy to see others appreciate its extraordinary beauty and architectural significance.

Views from the top – North, East, and South.

Marina City, famously depicted on the cover of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Wilco being another Chicago treasure).

Cloud Gate at Millennium Park.

Snapping a picture of my children in the reflection of Cloud Gate (a.k.a. The Bean).  The Bean polishers must have been off over the holiday weekend because it was filthy.Millennium Park’s Crown Fountain, an ultramodern interpretation of traditional gargoyle fountains.

The Frank Gehry designed Pritzker Pavilion.

I really wanted to see the Lichtenstein retrospective at the Art Institute, but I was outvoted.  I promise to get there this summer and report back.

Lunch at The Gage, above and below.

Architectural detail on the surrounding buildings.  I fell head over heels for the stripes.

Last stop – Navy Pier.

In line for the Ferris wheel.  It was modeled after the very first Ferris wheel, which was built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.  (If you haven’t read Devil in the White City which takes place in Chicago during the construction of the 1893 Exposition, I highly recommend it.)

A view of the John Hancock building from the Ferris wheel.

A final view from the Pier.

All photos via the aesthete and the dilettante


The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago provided the perfect respite from last Saturday’s bone chilling rain and cold.  Our family spent the afternoon exploring most of the hands-on exhibits in this vast museum, including the Baby Chick Hatchery.  We could not peel ourselves away from these tiny creatures making their way into the world.  The little guy above had just emerged from his shell and was beginning to take his first steps when he stumbled backward and capsized out of sheer exhaustion.  My daughter was not going to leave until she was certain he had righted himself, so we waited patiently, whispering encouraging words and cheers of motivation to the scrawny little newborn.  What we found most amusing was his adopted pattern of fierce determination and rest, almost as if he had narcolepsy!  Mid-struggle he would simply close his eyes and take a quick nap only to wake moments later and resume the drill.

In a true feel-good moment, the baby chick’s efforts were finally rewarded.  He flipped himself over, causing the gallery of onlookers to erupt in applause.  My daughter and I decided he was a wise little bird.  He showed his audience of jaded humans that sometimes you need to take a break and gather your bearings in order to succeed.

Lake Michigan

Today Lake Michigan traded its traditional sapphire uniform for this spectacular aqua and cerulean display.  Walking along the beach and soaking in the crazy 78 degree warmth brought daydreams of summer picnics, sailing expeditions, and bike rides to the ice cream shop.  Impossible that this is Chicago and we’ve just reached the second week of March.

Girls’ Night Out

Yippee!!!  Tonight I am joining seven spectacular women in Chicago to celebrate a friend’s milestone birthday.

Quintessential denim and heels pairing?  Check.

The birthday girl’s favorite champagne?  Check.

Fabulous dinner reservations?  Check.

Dance-all-night plans?  Check.

Requisite morning-after advil/think thin bar/coconut water/blister band-aid rescue kit in the suitcase?  Check.

À votre santé!

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