Tag Archives: wine club

Where everybody knows your name

Growing up, I learned the ins and out of city living from watching TV sitcoms. My TV taught me that every city dweller had:

1. One token quirky, funny friend

2. An amazing job for which they weren’t qualified

3. A hangout to spend time away from the job for which they weren’t qualified

My TV was half right. I don’t know anyone who landed their dream job automatically (or anyone who has their dream job, for that matter). But quirky and funny are two traits I require in friends, and it is quite common for people to frequent the same coffee joints, restaurants or bars.

The closest we’ve come to our Central Perk, Monk’s Cafe or Cheers was a kitschy bar in Lakeview called Holiday Club. No one knew our names at Holiday Club, but we certainly spent a lot of time there—and a lot of money on beer.

Though not technically a hangout, a shop in my neighborhood called A. Vision has started to feel like one. It’s a unique retail concept that pairs fine wine with flowers. Owners Marta and Maria are lovely people who know everyone in the neighborhood and will pull up a seat for you, pour a splash of wine and listen to you celebrate or lament the events of the day. Moving into the neighborhood, I quickly learned about the free wine tastings on Fridays. And that the worst of days can be turned around by an incredible bottle of wine and some flowers. I know if I was wining and dining a lady for Valentine’s Day, I’d pay them a visit. (Is my husband reading this?)

Recently, I hosted the infamous Wine Club at A. Vision. The gracious owners even had one of their knowledgeable wine reps pour at the tasting. An evening of friends and delicious wine? Yes, please.

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Filed under Chicago, city life, neighborhoods, Ukrainian Village

How grown-ups make friends

My little sister left for college yesterday.

I am jealous of her for many reasons. Partially because college was the time in life where I experienced incomparable fun and major growth (yeah, I know…not literally). My sister is going to IU, my alma mater, so I have a good idea of all the parties, nights at the library, nights out, delicious food (read: not dorm food) and sporting events that lie ahead of her.

I am mostly excited for all the friends she will meet. There’s no easier place to meet friends than in college.

“Want to grab food at the dining hall?” Friends.

“We’re going to a party tonight. Wanna come?” Friends.

“Do you know how to set up your phone?” Best friends.

Why is it so easy to make friends in college? Most likely because everyone is going through the same new-kid-finding- yourself-missing-home experience at the same time. It’s an unspoken empathy and connection with thousands of people you don’t even know.

Somehow, I assumed that meeting friends in the city would be as easy as it would be in college, and it would happen while you’re riding the subway or even while you’re eating in the sandwich shop, Subway. This is not necessarily the case. When you’re in the real world, everyone is in a different place in life and may not necessarily require new friends as they once did in college.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been lucky enough to meet some fantastic friends since I’ve been out of college. I’m lucky to have a core group, but it didn’t come as easy as I’d hoped. Many friendships have actually sprouted from college-like activities and situations…you know, ones that revolve around making chitchat and drinking.

From what I’ve seen and experienced, people meet a majority of friends through work. Or through friends from work. So it’s no surprise 4 out of 5 of my post-college pals are art directors/design kids. We live on the same floor in this metaphor.

The best part of having art director friends is that there's never a dull moment, or at least a moment that can't be created through the magic of photoshop

The best part of having art friends is that there's never a dull moment, or at least a moment that can't be created through the magic of Photoshop. Name the work pals in this oldie, but goodie.

Besides being geniuses at Photoshop and wizards in InDesign, art friends are pretty much the biggest bad asses I know.

Besides being Photoshop geniuses and fitness fanatics, art friends are pretty much the biggest bad asses I know.

I’ve also met friends through the often-asked-about, seldom-discussed wine club. It’s certainly a classier version of the college keg party. I’d love to tell you more, but of course, the first rule of wine club is don’t talk about wine club. So I’ll let pictures do the talking.

There's much eating involved...

There's much eating involved...

...and, um, a little wine drinking...

...and, um, a little wine drinking...

...chitchatting...

...chitchatting...

And as a result of aforementioned wine drinking, shoulder dancing, Hennessy drinking and red wine spilling on white carpet have been known to occur. And certainly, friendships have emerged and are becoming more refined with age.

And because you can’t have enough friends, I went to Craigslist searching for a book club. Yes, you’ve counted correctly, that’s two clubs. You would think I’m running for homecoming queen sometimes. This is my second book club, actually. I’ve met some nice ladies I wouldn’t have otherwise.

Not so much a picture of book club as a picture of books at book club.

Not so much a picture of book club as a picture of books at book club.

I’m curious…how else do grown-ups make friends?

This is also a long-winded way to say that I’m grateful to have such great friends. Thanks :/

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Filed under Chicago, city life