Liz’s Birthday Day

We had a lot of things planned for Sunday, to continue celebrating Liz’s birthday. First up: breakfast at Plein Air Cafe, a spot that opened up near campus this year.

Funny thing – I ran into Christen a week or two back, when we happened to be at the Logan Square Home Depot. On mentioning that we had moved down to Hyde Park, she mentioned Plein Air, and that it was open/run by a friend.

On arriving, lo an behold – we run into a Busy Beaver Button-O-Matic.

Our delicious breakfast. Everything was very tasty, and very light. They also served up custom coffees (and offered drip vs pourovers).

A brief look at the interior, shortly before we left. We got there around 9:15 AM, and it was markedly more crowded by the time we left.

Though it was a little too cold today to sit outside, there were also some fantastic outdoor seating spots too. Something to look forward to, for next time.

Next up: driving downtown, to go to the Randlph Street Market. Given the time of year, this market was still indoors (and located at the Chicago Journeymans Plumbers Union).

I am Gobbo – the God of good Luck.

Spotted at a booth run by 29 Palms, The Collectors Oasis (5033 Red Fox Trail, Rockford, IL). The head was actually separate from the base, but the vendor explained to me that people were always taking the head on/off. So to prevent constant movement/damage, they were set up as two different pieces.

With the base exposed, there was a small groove that I originally thought was for a cigar or something. But turns out, you burn incense on the base – and then cover it with the head. The resulting smoke comes up and out through the figure’s mouth.

The hall for the Chicago Journeymans Plumbers Union is really an incredible space. The large hall is enormous; the lower hall has this fantastic bar; and along the North stairwell, there is this fantastic mural with the caption: “The Plumber Protects the Health of the Nation.”

Up at the top of the stairs, looking down onto the mail hall/floor.

Spotted some chain jewelry and leather accessories at VK Armoury.

On seeing the chain jewelry, I was reminded of Rebeca Mojica and her fascinating talk on fractals.

An old storage box for lenses, I’m assuming. Not sure what I would do with this, but I kind of wanted it.

The “American Optical Company Kryptok Chart.” I don’t know what I love more: the word “kryptok” or the fact that it’s impossible to read anything at all on this chart without a magnifying glass.

A random vendor who was selling old flashlights. But to my inner 13 year old, I secretly was hoping these were old/antique lightsabers.

Even now, looking back at this, I still wish they were lightsabers.

I knew photos on my phone weren’t going to cut it, but I snapped this photo anyway. This is the booth for adorn512, and it was full of very small, very detailed necklaces.

While I did see a lot of other booths that had small bits of jewelry, none of them stood out quite like adorn512. Much of the jewelry wasn’t even designed for someone like me, but I still found the pieces incredibly lovely and light – muted and understated, but still incredibly detailed.

And I was right – tons of great photos on the website.

Funny thing – Liz and I met up and split up several times, during our visit at the market. And when we regrouped to leave, she was showing me the things she purchased – one of which was a necklace from this booth! I guess we both ended up liking this seller.

A booth by Kevin Francis. I forget what these were officially called, but the heads separate from the torsos. Inside each figure is a quotation (usually one by the famous person depicted).

And a tongue in cheek ceramic figure, based on Banksy’s Laugh Now.

Next stop: D/Vision on Division, where Liz went to get a pair of new sunglasses.

And after that, we stopped briefly at the Lincoln Park Zoo to commune with the seals.

One bonus: we learned that parking in the zoo lot is free for up to 30 minutes, but after that it’s $25 for the first two hours. We were able to walk (briskly) to and from the seal area, and back to our car in time. We zoomed a little bit towards the exit gates, and when the arm raised up without us having to pay for anything… it felt like we had won a mini-lottery.

After the day’s activities, we headed back home for a bit of a nap. For Liz’s birthday dinner, we had early reservations at Bavette’s.

This was a place that Liz had originally wanted to take me to, for my birthday. But she was unable to get reservations at the time (so she went ahead and made reservations for her own birthday).

Despite an early meal time (we showed up at 6PM), the place seemed already fairly crowded.

The meal was amazing – the steak was fantastic, and definitely ranks at the top of my list of favorite steaks in the city. Prior to our meal, I ended up splurging on some oysters – as it’s something I like, but rarely tend to get. Really quite tasty, and just thinking back on our meal as I write this… I wish we could afford to go back here all the time.

We got some coffee and ice cream for desert, and they came out with a nice sparkler to celebrate the occasion. Happy Birthday, Liz!

Liz Birthday Day: Architectural Artifacts, Edgewater Antique Mall, Broadway Antique Market, Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits
Liz’s Birthday Roadtrip to Michigan – Day 1: Hammond Salvage and Resale, Rabbit Run Inn, Lakeside Antiques, and Harbert Antique Mall
Liz’s Birthday Roadtrip to Michigan – Day 2: Great Lakes Antiques Mall, Sweet Pickins, Sunset Junque, and Blue Star Antique Pavillion

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. Thanks for such a great & indulgent day, my honey. :)

    Liz Reply

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