Category Archives: friends and family

love you, ms. whitney

I’m at a loss. I didn’t know Whitney Houston. I’ve never seen her in concert. My memories of her are strictly from albums, radio, television, movies. And her voice brings up Mama. All Mama.

I remember dancing to How Will I Know, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, I’m Your Baby Tonight.

Breaking it down with my siblings to I’m Every Woman.

My mom took me to see The Bodyguard in the theater four times. Waiting to Exhale came out right around the time of my parent’s divorce. I saw the book on my mom’s nightstand. I read it when she was done. My mom had a six disc changer in the trunk of her VW. The soundtrack to that movie was in it almost always.

Whitney Houston has passed. One of the leading voices of the soundtrack to my childhood, maybe yours, too. I hope she is at peace.

Thank you, Ms. Whitney.

love peace & soul

Soul Train line!#soultrain line in #wickerpark last night#dancing #night #city #igerschicago #chicago #wickerpark #soultrain line#soultrain #wickerpark #chicago #igerschicago #city #night #dancing #hamburglar@urbancasita and @earthseed taking in the action...

At 4pm on February 1st, the day the great Don Cornelius passed on, we got word via social media that there would be an impromptu Soul Train line in his honor on Milwaukee Avenue at 9:30. About 200 people showed up to pay their respects and make their way down the line in thirty degree weather. You can view much better photos here and here.

Then read ?uestlove on Don Cornelius.

Soul Train started in Chicago. What a blessing to see its creator celebrated here in such a worthy way. Rest in Peace, Don Cornelius.

brother & sister

I have a little brother. Even though we aren’t technically Irish twins I pretend that we are. At exactly seventeen months apart, we experienced a lot at the same time growing up. Chicken pox was one such experience I remember vividly. I was probably around 4 when I caught it from someone in pre-k and I distinctly recall my mother plopping he and I into an Aveeno bath, hoping that he would catch the virus from me so she wouldn’t have to go through it twice. He caught it, we itched together and she was pleased.

We shared a room before our baby sister came along when I was 5 and he was 4. We had twin beds pushed against a wall of clouds, wallpaper that my grandfather put up for us. I had a red pencil lamp on my bedside table and he had a blue pencil lamp on his bedside table. The sheets were covered in clowns. We would smash our beds together to make one big one when we weren’t fighting.

I tried to hurt my baby brother once. My evil moment was right after he was born. I was a mommy’s girl until that day and when my father went to hold my brother I must have realized his existence. I didn’t like that baby brother was getting attention from this man I knew was important somewhere in my periphery and I stuck my fingers down baby brother’s throat. From that day on I paid my dad a lot more attention.

He once was on television. Around the time he was five, baby brother was playing baseball at daycare. He slid into third base (maybe home plate?) and a rusty nail lodged into his knee. Because my mom had started the first workplace daycare center in the state of Wisconsin (and I believe one of the first in the nation, if not the first) while pregnant with me, she was able to be by his side in minutes. The news showed my brother’s injury and my mom talked about how great it was to be able to work and be within a quarter of a mile of her children during their formative years. She was profiled in a Japanese magazine for her contribution to working mothers around this time as well. I was very excited to see the two of them on the big screen though a little jealous that I had not been the one to receive a rusty nail to the knee.

No. 18 Making your little brother look like an idiot #1000thanks The caption for this photo when I snapped it: No. 18 Making your little brother look like an idiot #1000thanks

My baby brother goes to Barnes and Noble to read books instead of buying them. He read every single Easy Rawlins novel in this way: seated in a comfortable leather chair for a few hours until his work or schooling called, remembering the page number he was on, and coming back the next day to finish up. Well, he used to do this until the Barnes and Noble near his apartment got rid of the leather chairs forcing him to the hard seats in the cafe. I am so pleased that we share a love of books even if I could not fathom reading my own inside a busy store.

He will arm-wrestle anyone at anytime and any place. He is hilarious, often without meaning to be. He loves the Green Bay Packers and the Milwaukee Brewers. He gets off work at 5am and occasionally goes to dive bars for a “nightcap” where his drinking buddies are third shift nurses. He gets his hair cut once a week. You will never catch him in a pair of dirty sneakers.

He is like our mother was: refined, tough, sharp, classy, bright, quiet and a bit closed off but tender and caring all the same.

My baby brother overthinking. Bless his heart.

We argue constantly. We are competitive. We have spelling bees. We use humongous words when we’re together to one-up each other. Sometimes our sentences lack sense and we laugh at our efforts. He texts in full sentences, always ending them with at least two dots because they “add emphasis to the meanings.(.)”

#familyLate night #taqueria run... @urbancasita and her brother

All that to say that he came to town with his gal this weekend and we had a great time.

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weekend indulgences

YumDay dating with @okjey

Saturday Brunch: Longman & Eagle in Logan Square
Three kinds of Bloody Marys
A Ransometta: Ransom gin, Carpano Antica, Luxardo Maraschino and Angostura bitters
Bar seating with Chad, an former co-worker to took great care of us
Biscuits and gravy, bacon, duck egg hash/duck confit, sausage, clam chowder with pork belly

#streetart #art #mural #colors #logansquare #neighborhood #igerschicago #chicago #cityCute, little @urbancasita.... #mural #art #streetart #blue #wife #neighborhood #logansquare #chicago #igerschicago

A walk around Logan Square


Viva Riva via Netflix Instant

Bacon doughnut !

Sunday Brunch: Nightwood in Pilsen
Tea for Zazzles, she’s on a cleanse
Bacon doughnut!

#architecture #chicagoarch #pilsen #neighborhood #city #igerschicago #chicagoBest. Hat. Ever.

Some light vintage shopping
Do you think I bought this hat?


Sunday Dinner: The reconcepted and reopened Tuman’s in Ukrainian Village
Skeeball, Pac-Man
Saison Dupont
Beet and goat cheese salad, panko-crusted chicken tenders, fries, so good the fries

Happy Monday.

hello, 2012

Me & @okjeyNo musclesCome on fishies!!!Megan and Kate miss @earthseed & @mariel_victoria & @thisiskatinthehatKate and EvanI will be wave running out there in a bitNative Son ExpressPaddle ball!

If you are my pal on Instagram you have probably already seen these photos but in case you are not, this is how we rang in 2012; same as the last few, with a quick jaunt to St. Thomas. This time we had friends in tow and it was made all the more memorable with their presence.

I’m hoping to get my life together enough to start posting regularly again. Lots going on in the new apartment… off to dye some curtains. Happy New Year!

new prints from vigilism

Lek has new prints in his shop. The above is part of his Sky Lines series, ‘eerily serene and whimsical architectural elevations from future cities.’

I’m waiting on one for Chicago. It better be just as good– I’m having none of this Second City BS.

Chicago > New York.

Buy these and more at the Vigilism Etsy shop. They’re going fast!

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day trip to milwaukee

I grew up seeing this poster everywhere: living rooms, basements, schools, churches, or wheat-pasted onto various surfaces around the city. I don’t believe Milwaukee has a city flag so this comes pretty darned close in terms of civic pride.

With the poster on my mind and with great Milwaukeean pride, The Mister and I drove north this past Sunday with two friends in tow. Both had been to Milwaukee briefly but never with a local to guide them and I was excited to show them around my old stomping grounds.

First stop was Honeypie Cafe, a newer place in Bay View on the south side of the city. Papo has been telling me about Honeypie for quite some time — they feature Sweet Water Organics microgreens after all– and we attempted to visit a few trips back but the crowds kept us away. Honeypie has seasonal outdoor seating in the back of the restaurant which finally meant no wait for indoor dining. I was a little bummed that we couldn’t perch outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weather but everyone was way too hungry after our ninety minute drive to wait for an al fresco opening.

The service was prompt and friendly and the Bloody Marys spicy, extra delicious with a chunk of salami on a toothpick. The interior of the cafe is cute and comfortable, and various needlepoint works decorate the bathroom. My kinda place. Everyone was pleased with their breakfast and we waddled out full, half wanting to drive to a park to sleep it off.

Next up was Antique Center, a kind of mini-flea market without the crunch of people in Walker’s Point. I gather each seller has a small stall but only one person mans the store. The shop is on the second floor of a large warehouse type building up some rickety wooden stairs. It’s on the pricier side for Milwaukee but if you’re looking for serious antiques this is where I would go first. They also carry a large selection of well-priced vintage clothing, accessories and clothing. The Mister walked with a fresh pair of Bucks for $30. Not sure how ‘vintage’ they are but damn if they don’t look good on him.

Just two doors down is Clinton Street Antiques. This is my favorite resale shop in all of Milwaukee: I’ve already posted about them and our Cuba sign! Evan purchased an anvil for $7. I’m wondering what exactly he plans on using it for. As always, Clinton St. had a great selection of housewares and smaller furniture.

Next up was the East Side. We drove through downtown to the lakefront and made our way to Lake Park where I pointed out my old soccer field (lasted two practices, lame!) and baseball field (lasted three years, yay!).

We kept on driving, down Newberry Street to Oakland, to Locust to Holton, back down Burliegh, where we stopped in at Art Bar for some cocktails and games. When I was little, Art Bar’s location was home to Lava Java, a small cafe that served the most delicious waffles topped with strawberry yogurt. I have very fond memories of the space and love visiting when I’m in town. It’s across the street from a church I played basketball at and a ten minute walk from my childhood home.

Jenga!Jenga #2Welcome to Bizarre Land. While in a random Milwaukee bar, I came across familiar handwriting on a Jenga piece: that of my baby sister. It's her old # so don't bother calling. How weird!

While stacking pieces for a round of Jenga I spied familiar handwriting on one of the blocks. Bry-Bry? Surely this was NOT my sister’s phone number on a damn game piece. Homegirl has changed her number so many times that this one wasn’t in my phone– but I grabbed The Mister’s and there it was. Her old number matched right up! After a call to berate her, we made our way out.

Brewer's Hill #milwaukee #creamcity

One last stop: the Brewer’s Hill neighborhood on the northeast part of Milwaukee to gawk at the gorgeous old homes. Wouldn’t you just love to live in this beauty?

I barely scratched the surface of Milwaukee on our small day trip and can’t wait to bring them back for an overnighter. Milwaukee, I love you. See you soon.