Posted: Sep 19, 2007 11:10 pm
Record stores: I think the Reckless on Broadway's the best of all three in the area. Hit it as often as you can tolerate and you'll find good stuff. Ditto if you go to Dave's once every month or so. Seems like the guy has a backstock of good '80s stuff that he's slowly trickling out. Beverly's in Beverly is good for old bubblegum and '60s garage (turkey) stuff. You'll occasionally find a '70s gem or two, but don't count on it. The Jazz Record Mart downtown is overwhelming for someone like me who knows nothing about jazz and soul and blues, but if that's your thing, you'll love it -- except for those prices. Three times the size of Dusty Groove and you'll pay for it. There are some other decent shops I've heard about in Hyde Park and south of the loop, but unless you have a car or know someone who does, you're not going there anytime soon.
Thrift: I have a lotta luck with the Value Village (or is it Village Discount?) on Roscoe -- the one that Lisa mentioned. The one on Milwaukee has a huge stash of t-shirts (and smells like an immigrant's unwashed ass). And then there are tons out in the NW 'burbs and far south.
Books: Looks like most of the old rocky-roll magazines have been picked over at Shake, Rattle & Read but there are some decent finds to be had in there. Not many records there, but some worth a purchase last time I nosed through. (Silicon Teens LP!) I like Quimby's OK and Chicago Comics on Clark is good if you are into indie press stuff or are looking for your Clowes/Ware/Brunetti/etc. fix. Never had much luck with Powell's. Myopic can blow me.
Pizza: Going through something of a moral quandary as of late as I'm no longer sure that Pete's Pizza is the best joint in Chicago. It might be Pequod's in Lincoln Park. I'm not normally a deep dish kinda fella, but theirs does not fuck around. Grab one of those and a pitcher of Blue Moon and you're on your way to an early bedtime. Then again, take that with a grain of garlic salt 'cuz I still haven't been to Chicago Oven Grinder Co. and some guy who was dressed like the Highlander informed me at work the other day that it was, hands down, the best pie in the city. I'm tempted to believe him because he looked awfully goddamned enlightened and he gestured crazily the whole time he spoke.
Good bars: Unsure if this is representative of popular opinion, but I really like Small Bar in Logan Square. It's never that crowded and their beer selection's pretty decent. Plus it always smells like delicious fried food and they didn't get sore at me about the time I ordered two helpings of wings and left before the food arrived because I was too high to understand the dangerous mechanics of the ordering process. Fuck the one on Division. If you are looking to "rub elbows" with fellow collegiates then head on over to the Rainbo on a Thursday and watch those "sparks fly." Jay from MOTO DJs at Club Foot on Wednesdays and if I didn't have to work Wednesday nights I'd go there more often. I know, I know, I know: I actually like the California Clipper, especially on Friday nights. Yes, I'm a glutton for punishment, but if you're anything like me you need something to stare at other than a TV while you're drinking in public.
Grocery: Sunshine will gouge the ass offa' you, even worse than Whole Foods. I've always liked Stanley's for fruits and veggies. Treasure Island has the best salad bar in the city, I think, taking price and everything into account.