Tuesday, February 22, 2011

back from chicago, back to reality

carbide and carbon building
one of my favorite chicago landmarks, the carbide and carbon building on michigan avenue

well, we've returned from our scouting trip to chicago! i'm kind of wishing we were still there but alas, it's back to reality for the time being. it was a great weekend filled with good food, dear friends, some sightseeing, and a whole lot of getting a better feel for where we might live/work/eat/play as we consider another (permanent!) cross-country move. although we still have a couple other places we want to check out, chicago is definitely at the top of our list because it's so easy to see a future there for ourselves and our careers. that, and we are just itching to get out of the suburbs and back to city living where our friends are. time.could.not.be.moving.any.slower! as we spend the next few months getting our ducks in a row.

cultural center
inside the chicago cultural center

one of my favorite things about downtown chicago is all the amazing historical architecture from the turn of the 18th century. on a whim, we ducked into the cultural center after lunch on saturday which i'd never been inside of before and was amazed at the gorgeous stained glass dome. there was also a little exhibit tucked away in there on the life and work of the architect louis sullivan who designed so many chicago landmarks. the metal work on display was particularly brilliant (above on right). maybe we can find an apartment that looks like that?...mmm, or perhaps i will just settle for plenty of studio space and natural light...i already can't believe how cheap rents are compared to what i've paid in nyc, dc, and boston. i must be dreaming!

the needle shop, chicago
inside the needle shop in bucktown

we got a bit rained out on sunday/monday so our plans for walking around more of boystown (and heading to molly's cupcakes) were a bit of a wash. among other things though, we went walking around downtown on saturday...along the river and millenium park where we did not take touristy shots of the bean/cloudgate, haha. we got to hang out with so many friends we'd not seen in a while, plotted endless moving possibilities with the friends we stayed with over meals (cuban, thai, deep dish pizza, and truffle oil grilled cheese, o my!), and went to one of my favorite museums, the oriental institute (unfortunately i could not remember any of the cuneiform i'd learned from a distance learning class i'd taken there while working as the manager of a georgetown antiquities gallery...so much for my former life!). perhaps my favorite thing though, and what you'd be most interested in, was our trip to the needle shop. it's a completely drool-worthy local fabric shop that i could have dropped our life-savings in but alas, i just got a few things to add to my stash:

needle shop loot
my loot from the needle shop including some echino laminate, denyse schmidt,
new AMH quilting cotton, an echino remnant, and some free bits from their scrap bin! ooo ahh

i hope we will be back soon for interviews and apartment hunting but i'm not betting on anything moving too quickly in this economy. in the meantime, we'll just hold our breath, cross our fingers, pray a lot, do raindances, make trips to the other places we want to check out, and send out a bajillion +1 resumes. hopefully that will do the trick   :)


Meeling said...

Great photos!!!
Sounds like a fab trip...food and friends = great combo!!

That fabric store looks lovely...dangerous on the pocketbook kind of lovely!
That min scissor print is too cute!!

I hope things will all work out sooner than later for your move. Keeping all my extremities crossed for you!

Bethany Dirksen said...

Wow! Good luck to the both of you, Kat. I know that moving can be extremely exciting, but also filled with anxiety and stress. My husband and I are currently starting the discussion about what will happen when we move back to the States. Ugh. He will be finding his first official job after 8 years of higher education. Nervous to say the least. Let us know how your plans go!

Joelle said...

You're giving me a 10th reason to visit chicago regularly with this new plan. I hope this one works out for you guys, you deserve all the happiness in the world!

thestoryofkat said...

thanks meeling :) i totally love that little scissor print too and am going nuts trying to find any online!

you are so right bethany, we're definitely somewhere between excited and stressed right now. thanks so much for the good wishes, it is appreciated and i wish you guys all the best as well...the academia/9-5 and europe/us transition all at once has got to be a lot to have on your plate at once!

thanks joelle, we want this to work too! and you know you are welcome anytime :)

DK said...

Oooh that fabric looks awesome. I wantttt. I passed so many fabric stores in Japan but I couldn't really bring any home, made me a sad panda.

Angela said...

How fun!!! I LOVED our short stay there! I was amazed at how safe it felt, even late at night. So, what are some other towns on your list?

thestoryofkat said...

we are also considering philly and burlington, vt. our big decision is really more about lifestyle instead of location as we have always felt torn between city/country life. all we're sure of right now is that we don't want to live in between in the 'burbs...this whole coming from different places thing is so confusing when it comes to settling down! :)