The day started with a plan, get my morning workout done, meet my brother to pickup a package for my sister then make a stop at Le Labo fragrance on Milwaukee Avenue. The reason why I was going to Le Labo was because of a blog I recently read by my friend Stephy Liu, whose blog is Adventurer Stephy Liu Stephy mentioned a unique and very different perfume store by the name of Le Labo Fragrance and I decided to check it out plus I needed a gift.
So this is the reason I found myself at the bustling intersection of Damen, Milwaukee and North Avenue in the Wicker Park neighborhood, which is also a Blue Line train stop.
My intention was to do a quick, military style insertion, find a potential gift and exit as I had planned to do other work later in the day. I found parking quickly and proceeded to the store less than a block away. I immediately felt the vibe of the community as I meandered across traffic, through the flow of people conducting their Saturday errands and final Christmas shopping.
Restaurants were packed with patrons enjoying coffee, brunch over conversations muted from the sound traffic and of the L trains above. These ubiquitous city sounds were complemented by the sight of colorful donuts through the window of Stan’s Donut, a stop that I would later visit for a sweet treat back home.
I arrived at the touted perfume shop whose staff welcomed me as they closed out a customer. To be in a perfume shop is somewhat strange as my sense of smell is compromised. However, the staff was understandably helpful and throughly explained the unique science behind their perfumes. I completed the special purchase with excitement and looked forward to my drive back to the west suburbs.
The Discovery Set
However, the vibrant nature of this neighborhood of small shops captured my attention. It invited me to take a detour, pause and explore a little. And ventured I did, first on a people watching stroll along Milwaukee Avenue, then a stop at Volumes Bookstore, this bookstore with cafe was bustling with customers of all ages and had titles for all taste. My book selection today was “The Perfect Nanny.”
I then made a quick stop at Bonci’s Roman style pizza where I filled-up on a deliciously light pizza for the drive back to Naperville.
I could have spent the entire afternoon exploring Wicker Park but I will save that for another day. Reflecting, I can recall my UIC college days when I would drive through this area without much thought to stop. It is now an exciting neighborhood, filled with small businesses and diverse cultures. The urban feel that is so attractive to Millennials is here and real estate values have appreciated in step with the housing demand. I encourage you to give Wicker Park a stop as you venture around Chicago.
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