Tag Archives: Chicago

Chicago Public Library Card: FREE!

This one is for my Book Club Gals…

I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t had a library card in over 10 years. So, this year, when I joined a Book Club started by a group of friends, buying books started to become a little expensive. After several months of buying books from Amazon and Target (and lotsa money later), I FINALLY broke down and made a special excursion to the Harold Washington Library on Saturday.

For those of you not from Chicago, let me just tell you, the Harold Washington Library is gorgeous. Enormous brass doors, a giant marble lobby and books as far as the eye can see. My inner librarian practically reveled in reading the call numbers and hunting for my book.

Not only can you check out books, but there are TONS of periodicals, DVDs, and CDs at your disposal. Next time Josh and I take a long road trip, you can be sure that I’ll be checking out an audio book or two!

One of the greatest benefits of having a Chicago Public Library Card is the online tools. You can renew your book online and place books on hold – you arrive and simply pick them up.

I can’t believe, as a taxpayer, I haven’t been making use of the library. Shame on me. And shame on you if you don’t have a library card, either!


Renwood 2004 Barbera: $6

Renwood 2004 Barbera

Yay, finally a wine under $10 worth writing about! Tonight, I had dinner with friends at Coalfire Pizza (you HAVE to go, if you live in Chicago – it’s super chill and offers delicious pizza) after a failed attempt to go to Piece (March Madness is STILL not over – argh!). We arrived at Coalfire to realize it was BYOB. My wine connoisseur friend, Chris, and his girlfriend Suzelle, immediately made a beeline for nearby Randolph Wine Cellars to pick something up. According to their account of the events, Chris headed to the fancy wines he knew. Suzelle, meanwhile struck up a conversation in the front of the shop. After she mentioned that she was dining with friends at Coalfire and asked for a suggestion, the staff recommended a 2004 Renwood Barbera.

Fast forward 20 minutes… With the wine open, we all toasted Suzelle’s birthday as Chris recounted the goings-on at Randolph Wine Cellars. He got to the point of the story I recounted above, when he stopped, and said, “Have a few more sips. Then I’ll tell you the rest of the story.”

So, we had a few more sips, deemed the wine delicious, and Chris continued triumphantly: “So, the last part of the story is that the wine cost $6 a bottle!” A little background: Chris does not skimp on quality when it comes to wine. The night before his birthday, he generously shared a couple bottles of Stag’s Leap Artemis with us. The Artemis averages about $50 a bottle, depending on the year. And it’s quite good.

I had tasted the Renwood’s Old Vine Zin on several past occasions, and it was not particularly memorable. But the Barbera was delicious – I’m not an expert at identifying tasting notes, but it had a lot a fruit, and almost a caramel-y, smooth finish. And just a touch of smokiness, probably from whatever oak whence it came.


February at the Art Institute & Field Museum: FREE!!!

Art Institute lion

Why is there an “r” after the “b” in February, anyhow??? Shouldn’t it be pronounced feb-ROO-airy not feb-YOO-airy? BUT… I digress.

February is a quite the bargain month, here in Chicago…

For the entire month, admission is free to the Art Institute of Chicago AND the Field Museum! Yay! This, of course, does not include special exhibits. However, at the Art Institute, you can get a special ticket for $10 that gets you into two special exhibits: one featuring Edward Hopper, and the other, Winslow Homer.

Hooray for art! Hooray for Sue!