Thursday, July 29, 2010

gnat continues to move across town, solely by virtue of the chicago transit authority

i spent this week lugging suitcases back and forth across the city on the bus and i'm down to two more trips worth of stuff at the old apartment. while here, i took some scissors to the leftover ugly chair and made some improvements:

now it's convertible!

for ugly chair comfort either sitting upright or lying down.

yesterday while hanging out at the new place i decided to explore food options in the immediate vicinity. a quick trip around the corner brought me here:

johnny's grill. home of possibly the greasiest food i have ever eaten. i decided on the gyros special, the first greek food i've eaten since arriving in chicago. (there's a LOT of greek food in chicago and you'll be hearing about more of it sooner than later.)

on my way home i noted that there is a small cupcake shop just steps from my front door called more and decided to check it out. i selected a cupcake that cost almost as much as my lunch.

bleu cheese walnut praline. sounds ridiculous, i know, but i was between this cupcake and a blt flavored one (yeah, blt like the sandwich) and the girl who rang me up said the blt had ranch dressing flavored icing. no thanks.

after examining the cupcake for a bit and photographing it from several angles i finally brought myself to taste it. maybe you can't tell from this picture, but... the cake is definitely bluish.

the frosting was delicious but the cake tasted like, well, bleu cheese, and while i do love me some bleu cheese on a nice cobb salad i think i've decided that bleu cheese cake is not for me.

living so close to a (ridiculous and exorbitantly expensive) cupcake shop with so many silly flavors promises to be dangerous, but i figure if i try one every few weeks i'll have made my way through their lineup by the end of the year. therefore, more cupcake (get it) stories to come, i'm sure.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

gnat comes to you live from the new apartment

the previous tenants left behind a hideous but comfortable chair, which is currently the only furniture i possess, so here i am.

the ethernet cord i borrowed from my roommate is like three feet long so i'm pretty much tethered to this spot but there's a nice breeze coming in through the windows so i don't mind. right now the people next door are wondering who are these crazy new neighbors who are blasting queen at 9:30 on a sunday morning.

i'm waiting on bed bath and beyond next day delivery to bring the basic kitchen/bathroom stuff i picked out yesterday, in the meantime i'm trying to elucidate what furniture i'll need and how the heck i'm going to get it here (not to mention when).

more pictures to come later.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

gnat hideously overcompensates

probably owing to a month of pedestrian-ing i seem to have dropped a pant size since i got here. upon coming to this realization i decided that today i would go on a pant-shopping and chipotle-eating extravaganza. however, i got derailed on my way out the door by my roommate's offer to borrow her car.

naturally, i accepted, and the first thing i wanted to do was go to my very favorite place: the grocery store. it was the first time in almost a month that i've driven a car and it felt really good so i celebrated by going way overboard at the jewel.

if you know anyone in the greater chicago metropolitan area, or really anyone in the state of illinois, by all means send them to my apartment for dinner. one person cannot eat all of this food.

but dammit, i'm going to try.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

gnat sees more free art and hears more free music

i know, i know, enough already.

the museum of contemporary art, which until about a week ago i had no idea even existed, is free on tuesdays so yesterday i paid (ha?) a visit. they have an awesome exhibition of alexander calder's mobiles which is mostly cool because, well, alexander calder invented the mobile. photography wasn't allowed in that particular exhibition, unfortunately, because they were really something else. (the photos in those links really don't do them justice)

post exhibit i settled on the lawn in the sculpture garden and listened to the jazz stylings of mwata bowden while reading my new book - alton brown's gear for your kitchen. there will most definitely be more on this later.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

gnat tries crack (not actual crack, guys)

and it came from garrett's popcorn shop - a chicago tradition! they're scattered all over the city and we walked by one during our wandering today, so i made daniel stop in so i could try some.

i opted for the chicago blend, a mix of cheese and caramel flavored popcorns. and i can't. stop. eating it. i don't even like caramel (which is probably why you'll notice the cheese are looking a little outnumbered).

today was the first and hopefully the last time i will ever buy this popcorn. not that it isn't delicious (and addictive), but i think i can feel the cellulite forming with every bite.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

gnat decides never to eat again. ever. no, seriously.

so i felt really proactive about going down to the jewel and getting sandwich making supplies so i wouldn't have to keep getting the nice people at the little market downstairs to make them for me, but last night i made a terrible discovery:

i accidentally bought fake cheese. or at least, i was pretty sure i had, until i double checked the label... i'm still not sure whether or not this is real cheese but if it is i think i can settle this debate once and for all. wisconsin cheese sucks. the happy cows win, suckas.

after another long day of apartment hunting, cara, aleck and i went to a celebratory dinner at pizzeria due (a block away from pizzeria uno). this was cara's last meal as a visitor to chicago - when she gets back we'll move into our new apartment! you know, if we find it.

we opted for the spinoccoli which is exactly what it sounds like (spinach and broccoli... with some other stuff like garlic):

we ate two hours ago and i still never want to look at pizza again. guys, i think that i may be a new york style pizza girl. i just can't handle all this food masquerading as pizza. i mean, you have to eat it with a fork.

not to say that it wasn't COMPLETELY delicious.

so i figured out how you can tell when it's going to go from sunny and beautiful to dumping buckets of water. for about five minutes in between the two, the sky looks like this:

see how theres a little bit of blue hanging out in there behind the grey, taunting you? yeah. that means you had better get inside because pretty soon it's going to do this:

taken from the safety of my bedroom. that looks like fog but it isn't - it's a bajillion tiny droplets of water whipped into a frenzy by the wind on its way down to terrorize innocent pedestrians in shorts and sundresses.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

gnat demolishes the entire spider population of apartment 2110 in one fell swoop

remember the spider that was living in my window? well he brought all his friend spiders and kid brother spiders and today when i pulled up the window shade i found a spider city, nay, a spider metropolis, booming in my window. i know, completely disgusting.

a can of raid, a roll of paper towels, and 983568 plastic shopping bags later, we are spider free. it was a spider genocide. i am never, ever opening that window again.

Monday, July 5, 2010

gnat fears life without vegetables

yesterday it was about 34007509 degrees out, so naturally daniel and i chose to spend the day sitting outside in direct sunlight listening to (yep) free music. we watched fireworks from the lake then from daniel's apartment. i guess fireworks aren't illegal here, because the whole skyline was all lit up with fireworks being set off all over the city from nightfall until past midnight.

i spent today with cara, the future roommate, who is out in chicago for a visit to look at apartments. we did some preliminary hunting and will be continuing the quest for the perfect place tomorrow.

then i paid a visit the jewel-osco, the midwest equivalent of ralph's. the produce section was a little depressing, which worries me because it's june so i can't imagine what it will be like in january. a full 1/3 of the section was apples, and the only fresh herb in sight was parsley. sooner than later i am going to be hurting real bad for some cilantro. i need to find a mexican market somewhere.

after selecting all of my items, i had to carry them the eight blocks back to the apartment. i am going to have to learn some serious self control when it comes to grocery shopping.

and i cooked! i had forgotten how much cooking improves my mood. i've been showing you pictures of food that everyone else in the city made, so here's some that i made:

the best pastitsio i have made in my entire pastitsio making career. seriously. i put on my big fat greek wedding while i was making it, you know, to set the greek food mood.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

gnat contemplates the futility of modern art

my parents are visiting! they're on their way to canada to visit my aunt so they stopped in for a couple of days to check out chicago. naturally, my dad had two things on his agenda. the first was food, which we will get to later, and the second:

the art institute of chicago. my dad, in case you did not know, is a wonderful painter but he hasn't painted anything in about five years. he says he has no inspiration. he set out to find some in the modern wing of the art institute, which houses some real gems like this one:

yes folks, i paid $12 to see this. and this one, only marginally more stimulating:

actually, the art institute's modern collection is pretty excellent and i've enjoyed it every time i've gone. i've just chosen to highlight a few of the less... exciting pieces that i saw.

anyway, my dad wasn't the only one who was inspired, i headed over to blick discount art supply and picked up brushes, canvas, and this:

but no pencil. oops?

also notable on this parental visit was some ridiculously awesome food. we went to buddy guy's legends for dinner and saw live acoustic jazz while enjoying this:

half a bbq chicken, fries, cornbread, coleslaw and collard greens. like one person really needs all that food.

then later, a lamb burger on a pretzel bun with house made chips at kitty o'shea's.

which makes me realize that it's a good thing my relocation has stripped me of my car and forced me to walk miles and miles every day, because this food plus sedentary lifestyle spells coronary at 24.

Friday, July 2, 2010

gnat has lunch with the love of her life

you read correctly. the love of my life. and here it is:

the chicago dog. a hot dog that eschews ketchup (my single least favorite condiment) in favor of onions, relish, mustard, a pickle, and tomatoes. yes, tomatoes in their pure, delicious, unadulterated, non-disgustingsugaryketchuped form. and next to it - sweet potato fries. i'm hooked.

nothing else remarkable happened today, except that i got punched in the face on the bus. (but that was an accident... i think.)