Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary on Montrose Point – A tiny Eden in the city. I discovered this protected area on a meandering run one afternoon and now it’s my destination every time I hit the Lake Shore Path. Dense trees and plants line a maze of well-kept trails and the wildlife (bunnies! wild flowers! dragonflies! butterflies! all sorts of birds!) are a needed reminder of life beyond the pavement. Once you step into the mini-forest (or maxi-garden), it’s easy to imagine you’re in another world entirely. If you head towards the lake, the paths end at an open field of chest-high wildflowers with an incredible view of Chicago’s skyline. But be forewarned: there are rumors of untoward activities taking place in the brush, so perhaps not the best night spot.
The Underdog by Spoon – This song makes me really happy so it’s my go-to first song on just about every CD I burn. Foremost for the opening drums, but that’s followed up with horns, a great melody and some brilliant lyrics. It reminds me to keep going when the odds are stacked against, which in the world of the performing arts, feels like a lot of the time. It can’t all be wedding cake and beware the underdog.
Bar on Buena – This cozy beer bar/restaurant feels like a hidden gem. There’s over 50 beers to choose from, booths, couches, stools and other sitting accoutrements to keep you comfortable, outdoor seating when the weather cooperates, and absolutely delicious burgers that come off of what they boats is the “World’s smallest grill” (size doesn’t matter here). It also happens to be just a hop, skip and jump from my apartment, so the week-night specials are particularly appreciated.