Archive for September, 2007

Last Weekend In Photos

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Dinner with Trey and Rachel

On Friday night, we had dinner with our friends Trey and Rachel. My goodness, this was a delicious meal. Apryl and I are still talking about the yummy spinach soup!

Oak Park Farmer's Market

A few weeks earlier, Trey and Rachel had told us about this great farmer’s market in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago. According to them, the highlight was the fresh donuts. So, on Saturday, we took the short trip over to Oak Park.

Donuts Saturday

I knew I was in the right place when I ran across this sign.

Donuts Line

When I saw the line for the donuts, I knew it wasn’t just hype. They recommend that you get at the market before noon if you want donuts because they will sell out. In fact, the day we visited the donuts were all gone around eleven thirty.

Donut Band

When you got further along in the line you came across a group of musicians entertaining the patient ones.

Donuts Are Brought To You By

Thank you Pilgrim Community Nursery School for the donuts!

Donuts

Okay, so here are the donuts! Trey had recommended cinnamon while Rachel had preferred the plain cake donut. Both are great donuts. First all, the donuts are extremely fresh, literally being eaten minutes after being cooked. The best part, however, is their softness. Usually when you get a donut from a store it’s stiff. Not here. These donuts are perfectly cooked yet so soft inside. My favorite? Definitely, the cinnamon!

Apryl looking at apples

After donuts, we checked out the farmer’s market. Above, Apryl searches for different apples to test out for the Bucktown Apple Pie Contest.

Lustre Elstar Apples

Are the Lustre Elstars the perfect apple for an apple pie? We shall see…

WEVL Subs

Friday, September 14th, 2007

For the past couple of Fridays, I have been subbing for the WEVL program “It’s Always Something”. As I mentioned in the past, “It’s Always Something” was one of the first programs on WEVL that got me excited about the station. In high school, I would tape each week’s episode and listen to it throughout the week on my way to and from school. If you have never heard the program, it’s an eclectic mix of the odd, obscure, and bizarre. Well, the last couple of Friday’s I have been doing my best to keep in the spirit of the program. Here are my past playlists, including today’s episode. Today’s highlights will include the infamous Beach Boys sessions of “Help Me Rhonda” with Murry and Brian Wilson bickering in the studio, Murry’s failed attempt at a Kentucky Fried Chicken jingle, a drunk John Wayne, an instructional record on how to pick up women at a department store, ukulele version of “Teenage Kicks,” Elvis Presley’s lost gem “Dominic the Impotent Bull” among others… You can listen to today’s show from Noon-2pm on WEVL 89.9FM or online.

Brian Roper on WEVL

“It’s Always Something” host Brian Roper.

Vienna Beef Factory – Bike Trip #2

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

Vienna Beef Factory

A few days ago, I finally ventured over to the Vienna Beef Factory. Since the Vienna Beef brand is Chicago’s official hot dog, it’s odd that it’s taken me this long to make a trip over to the factory, especially since it’s less than a mile from our apartment. At first, I wasn’t aware that it was open to the public, but I must admit I found out the contrary several months ago and have done nothing with the new information. Well, I decided it was time to give it a try. I grabbed Lady Blue and peddled over to the factory, crossing my first major intersection in the process.

Inside Vienna Beef Factory

Once inside, I instantly noticed that there were a large percentage of construction workers on their lunch breaks, which my dad always taught me was a good sign and a clear indication at how good the food was at an establishment. There are three places to order from: take out deli meat, sandwiches, and hot dogs. Well, I was here for the hot dogs. I ordered a double dog which is two hot dogs on a poppy seed bun with all the trimmings. Chicago style trimmings are neon green relish, mustard, onions, sport peppers, tomato wedges, pickle, and celery salt. See below:

Vienna Beef Hot Dog

Man, it was good! We’ve been here for over a year now and this is probably the most authentic Chicago hot dog I have eaten. Which makes sense since the dog comes from the factory/corporate office of Chicago’s official hot dog. Now, I still love the other hot dog stands in our neighborhood, but the Vienna Beef factory is where I’m taking visitors who want an honest-to-goodness Chicago hot dog.

Labor Day – Photos

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Hayden and Apryl at Cafe Loveless

Check out our photos from our Labor Day trip.

The Bike

Monday, September 10th, 2007

A while back, my dad and I picked up an old Schwinn bicycle at a garage sale. I don’t recall the exact price but it was practically pennies. The only thing we added were some new tires. For the past few years, the bike has been resting in my dad’s storage unit. Well, not anymore.

Before leaving Memphis, I grabbed the bike so I could ride it around Chicago. At first, the thought of riding a bike through Chicago traffic was a bit intimidating. But with some encouragement from my friend Trey, I was ready. So after working on the brakes and installing a new rear flashing reflector, I took to the road.

The new ride is a women’s Schwinn 1979 Collegiate 3. Yep, a female’s bicycle. The main difference between a men’s and a women’s bike is the crossbar. The fellow’s crossbar is straight while the lady’s slopes. Actually, there are advantage’s for a guy riding a female’s bike. The main one is that it’s easier to get on and off the bike. And there’s no threat of accidentally racking yourself in the crotch. Ouch!

Now, I’ve only been riding the bike for a few days but it’s already got me thinking why has it taken me this long to start riding a bike here. Not only is it quicker to get around but it’s a great way to see the neighborhood. As for the bike, I’ve given her a name: Lady Blue.

Check her out:

Lady Blue

Labor Day

Monday, September 10th, 2007

Well, we made it back home safely. It was great seeing everyone over the Labor Day weekend. I only wished that we had had more time to see all of our friends. Along with the obvious highlights of hanging out with our friends and family, the weekend was made even greater with a Redbirds game (thanks Adam), Wii introduction (thanks again, Adam), doing a show at WEVL, and a Shirley burger (thanks Brett).

Shirley Burger

(The infamous Shirley burger!)