This weekend I went to Open House Chicago, which is one of my favorite weekends of the year. Basically, the Chicago Architecture Foundation arranges it so that you can nose around a ton of beautiful, sometimes private, buildings, seeing hidden gems around Chicago and taking in some breathtaking views. I usually skip the ones in the Loop, because while the buildings are majestic and the skyline shots incredible, I like having an excuse to explore neighborhoods and buildings I wouldn't normally go into.
This year we went to the Elk's National Memorial (majestic), the Park Castle Apartments (underwhelming, even with the indoor 1920's art deco pool), and Agudas Achim North Shore Congregation, a breathtaking synagogue that while structurally sound, has been closed since 2008. Afterwards we just went to the beach because it was the perfect gray day and I just like hanging out at the dog beach as much as I possibly can.
And for one more gratuitious Chicago shot, I finally snuck in an architectural boat tour. I try to do at least one a summer, but nearly missed this year's. Turns out, going in October has its perks, because you catch the sunset! If you're going to go, I highly suggest the 6:00 pm River & Lake Tour from Wendella, because it does a lot of the architecture facts, but then just kicks it on the lake for you to take pictures for a half hour, giving you full skyline shots from every angle.
Otherwise, I'm loving...
- Crepes of Wrath's Pumpkin Caramel Swirl Cookies with Sea Salt, pictured above
- This Chrome add-on that picks up on certain keywords and blocks all spoilers for you from various forms of social media. I know that Breaking Bad is over, but fret not, I'm sure something else will be along soon that will ruin your day if you learn the ending of it.
- Oh Happy Day!'s set of well-executed but totally unintentionally terrifying children's Halloween costumes. Though, I don't know why I'm surprised, since dressing a child up like Andre Leon Tally can only yield one result.
- I think I'm the last one to find out about Humans of New York, but I love it so. I'm a sucker for well-done portraits of real people, accompanied by quick stories, be they funny or sad.
- On the tenth anniversary of his death, Pitchfork has compiled an Oral History of Elliot Smith.
- "Now We Are Five" - David Sedaris's story in the New Yorker of gathering with his siblings after his younger sister committed suicide.