Tag Archives: Wicker Park

Carhartt: Urban chic?

Recently, Carhartt opened a store on Milwaukee Avenue.

“Carhartt?” you may ask. Yeah, I asked the same thing, too.

In most places, like Indiana where I’m from, Carhartt clothing is worn mostly for practical reasons like staying warm or clean, often while doing construction work, farming or hunting. So it was confusing to see the store being perused by cool kids in the crux of Wicker Park’s shopping district, which is home to trendy chains like Urban Outfitters, Aldo, Levi’s as well as hip boutiques like Eskell and Una Mae’s. No offense, but it is hard to imagine that many customers in that neighborhood do the work or have hobbies that are commonly associated with Carhartt clothing.

What’s interesting, though, is that advertising for the new store seems to embrace the brand’s utilitarian roots.

I suppose the Carhartt brand is evolving a la Levi Jeans, which also has practical, utilitarian roots. I first heard about Carhartt’s urban presence on my recent trip to Amsterdam. A visiting pal from Oxford noted Carhartt’s European stores, and lo and behold, we came across one in Amsterdam. I didn’t go in this store to see what it offered, however, the Chicago store sells clothes you may expect from Carhartt like overalls, coveralls and coats, right alongside graphic t-shirts and hoodies.

When you think about it, wearing coveralls in Chicago during the winter could be a pretty smart way to keep warm. Maybe that should be Carhartt’s marketing angle instead of “Be a tough guy and wear these clothes.” No?

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Filed under Chicago, random, style, Wicker Park

Who is Weed Wolf?

There are a couple of burning questions that weigh heavily on my mind. Such as:

  • Did we really land on the moon in 1969?
  • How is it possible for anyone to remember all 50 state capitals or speak French fluently?
  • Is the world going to end in 2012?

Also: Who is Weed Wolf?

The latter is a question I’ve pondered since seeing this emblazoned on the side of a building at Milwaukee and Honore last summer:

(Photo via EMENFUKOS at Flickr)

Weed Wolf’s work has popped up all over Wicker Park and Logan Square. Some of the art includes a combination of a wolf, marijuana leaf and/or “2012.” But mostly it’s simply the name “Weed Wolf,” which reminds me a bit of the “Oh Shit!” graffiti around West Town.

Seen anything that looks like this?

Who are you, Weed Wolf? Are you this guy? Or this guy?

I’m guessing none of the above. Perhaps less like Teen Wolf. A friend of mine has actually met him. I guess he’s just some dude who happens to be into graffiti.

So, the mystery continues.

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Filed under Chicago, neighborhoods, random

Yum.

Tastes better than a heaping plate of bacon, eggs and toast. No?

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Filed under Chicago, neighborhoods, Weird

Chicagoans love their Macs

Last month, I read an article on CNN Money that listed Chicago as the sixth largest  market in the U.S. for Apple products. According to the article 29% of Chicagoans use a Mac, iPod or iPhone.

Does that number seem low to anyone else? I feel like almost everyone on the bus rocks an iPod and/or an iPhone. Just sayin’. Chicagoans heart Apple products. Point in case:

Who is this Apple whore?

Well, maybe not everyone shares the passion. For some, the spark of a new relationship seems to have already faded.

Woes in Wicker Park

Just curious: How many Apple products do you own?

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Filed under Chicago, city life, culture

Oh…!

There are so many exciting things going on around me that I want to tell the internets about, but I have to wait. It’s killing me.

Right now, I will distract with something that has been on my mind. An internet version of hold music, if you will.

Let’s talk about this lil’ piece of graffiti that’s made an appearance all around West Town, Ukrainian Village and Wicker Park:

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I feel silly asking this, but does anyone know:

1) What it means?

2) Who it’s coming from?

3) Am I dense for not knowing?

4) Why it hasn’t been subject to:

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Mayor Dailey's Graffiti Busters

Please someone Nancy Drew this mystery for me.

K. Thanks.

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Filed under Chicago, city life, culture, neighborhoods, Ukrainian Village, Weird, Wicker Park

MJ memorial pt. 2: Baked effigy

Just when I thought my little corner of the city couldn’t pay tribute enough to Michael Jackson, I noticed this cookie at Alliance Bakery on Division Street. Made with one teaspoon of hilarity and one cup of quirk. After much discussion about this interesting bakery treat, I finally had to bring one home to Joe to prove that I wasn’t making it up.

Fittingly, MJ looks like a corpse on the cookie.

Fittingly, MJ looks like a corpse on the cookie.

After arriving home, Joe enthusiastically broke the cookie in half and broke Michael's face. Also, very fitting.

After arriving home, Joe enthusiastically broke the cookie in half and broke Michael's face. Also, very fitting.

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Filed under Chicago, city life, culture, neighborhoods, Weird, Wicker Park

Neon sneakers—The new Chuck Taylors

This blog owes gratitude to Converse for a good portion of the traffic it’s seen thus far. Interestingly enough, every day or so, I’ll see search results for “Chuck Taylors” or the stylish combo of “Chuck Taylors and skinny jeans.” All thanks to my dude, Joe, who’s become a convert over the past year…and who let me announce that here.

Chuck Taylors are popular indeed. Especially with the kids who live in Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village/West Town/Bucktown. So, I don’t know how to tell you this, Mr. Taylor, but you’re starting to be replaced. And you’re being replaced by more colorful, trendy sneakers, like these:

Pay no attention to the crappy iPhone quality. Look at the pretty colors instead.

Pay no attention to the crappy iPhone camera quality. Look at the pretty colors instead.

The Reebok sneakers below are also quite popular with the Wicker Park kids. I’ve seen several pairs of feet sporting them.

Remember these? You probably had a pair in the 80s...except they were white and you wore them with stir-up pants.

Remember these? You probably had a pair in the 80s...except they were white. And you wore them with stir-up pants.

Neon, in general, has burst onto the scene, almost simultaneously with spring. I had a “you know you’re in Wicker Park when…” moment the other day when I saw two people wearing neon pass each other on the sidewalk. Word on the street is that kids in Brooklyn/NYC and other cities have been rocking neon for months though. So, we’re behind the times in Chicago. I blame winter and the necessity of ridiculous layers.

How long it will take for us to embrace the boldness of neon?  I, for one, would like to think I was ahead of the times when I wore neon pink biker shorts as a kid.

(Reeboks photo credit: polyvore.com)

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Filed under Chicago, fashion, neighborhoods