Saturday, February 20, 2010

H&M: A great shopping destination.

It was when I first moved to Chicago for graduate school is when I discovered H&M-a fashion retail store that hails from Sweden. This store has locations all over the world and features fashion that has a global sense to them as well. I went to school just right across the street from this store and usually after class I would just step on over and shop for outfits that I would plan out for the weekends in the city. As I said before,I was a grad student so that meant I couldn't exactly shop at its fellow neighbor Chanel or Gucci or any of those high end stores you would find on Michigan Ave.

H&M always rotates their storefronts and their layouts of the store as well,giving it a fresh new look each time. Some designers even have sold some of their items here such as Roberto Cavalli,Madonna,and now Parisian Sonia Rykiel,which just started featuring her clothing line today. The store on Michigan Ave. here in Chicago is three stories high,and has clothes for Men,Women,and children as well. Accessories can be found here ranging from costume jewlry to scarves to purses. I especially love their "Divided" line which provides comfortable,affordable,and stylish items.  And yes, the clothes are of good quality and last.

One thing I should forewarn people should they ever decide to come to this store:Saturdays are crazy busy because of all the tourists that come for the shopping on Michigan Ave. The best time to come here to shop is on a Sunday or even during the week. I don't know about you but I hate crowds when I go shopping. I like to take my time and stroll through,looking at different pieces in a relaxed atmosphere without being bumped into or wait in long lines at the fitting rooms.

I have to say ever since I moved to Chicago I also gained a great interest and appreciation for fashion. Where I come from,people don't dress as individuals but more like cookie cutter so they can blend in. No one takes risks and if you did it would just be thought of as odd or off the wall. But here,I noticed that fashion is taken on another level-it may not be Paris or NYC but Chicago definitely has style here. The numerous boutiques that are available at your fingertips is great and the shopping is extraordinary. Another reason why I love living here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sick of Starbucks? Try Bridgeport Coffeehouse.

 This past weekend,Tim and I headed out for my early Valentine's Day gift in Lincoln Park. Afterwards,we then gave a buddy a lift to the West Loop. Of course,my husband,being the spontaneous one as all Europeans are,decided to take a trip down memory lane as we head on over to Bridgeport Coffeehouse for a cup of java on the southside.As we gave our friend a tour of the first neighborhood he lived in when he moved from Jersey, Bridgeport, which is the home of the White Sox,we finally arrived and instantly the coffee-bartender(slightly pictured), Mike, greeted us with open arms as if it was yesterday. When Tim and I first started dating, he lived in Bridgeport and I read one day in Chicago Magazine that this was a pretty neat place to go for coffee,hangout,etc. Tim did not even know this place existed and it was right in his backyard. Instantly,we became a regular and after awhile all the employees there got to know us.

Bridgeport Coffeehouse was created when the owner saw an empty storefront one day and thought since the neighborhood didn't have really anywhere to go as far as coffee,it would be an ideal spot. And he was right. Everything on the menu is pretty good,but I have to say their coffee of the day is always a hit no matter what. Coffees from South America can be found here. They also blend and roast their own coffees daily.You can take some home to brew for your liking. 

The ambiance has that homey,cozy feeling where everyone knows your name. Free Wifi is a plus as regulars come and surf the net or  or type that 10 page college paper. Pictures and paintings of local artists are also featured on the walls. On Sundays,different musicians come and entertain the coffee dwellers. We have also come here in the middle of the week where musicians held small venues as well. 

I now live on the Northside,but no matter what we will never forget Bridgeport Coffeehouse,it's definitely worth the trip. Why go to corporate chain owned Starbucks when you got great local coffeeshops in your own backyard? Those are the best places to hit up in my opinion because they are unique and have that great neighborhood feel to them. And that's what makes them so special. 

Bridgeport Coffehouse is located at  3101 S Morgan St in Chicago.