InTheThickofIt guide to Logan Square, Chicago
I get a lot of requests about what to do in Chicago. It’s a huge city. I’m going to be doing a few neighborhood guides.
My first guide features Logan Square - a great neighborhood on the northwest side of Chicago - accessible by the California and Logan Square stops on the Blue Line. The neighborhood was started by Danish and Norwegan settlers in the 1830s, but has been a changing neighborhood with significant Polish, Puerto Rican and Mexican populations in recent years. Besides the actual square (at milwaukee/kedzie/logan) there are many beautiful parks in the area and some gorgeous churches built in the late 1800s. If you’re looking for both cultural significance, beautiful relaxing green spaces, and great food/shopping - Logan is a great place to spend the day.
These are just a few of the many places to eat, drink and shop in Logan. I assure you there are many many more. I’m just featuring my favorites!
- gaslight roasters - 2385 N Milwaukee Ave - a beautiful space to have unique locally roasted coffee. warning, there are no decaf espresso options.
- intelligentsia - 2642 North Milwaukee Avenue - a chicago classic, the new logan square location is a gorgeous glass-window setting with tin-ceiling interior. They offer a wide variety of pour-over, espresso, and teas. many decaf options availble and great pastries
- logan hardware - 2410 W Fullerton - the unusual name of this record store comes from the face that it used to be located in the old logan hardware store. It has since moved to a new and larger shop, but the name remains. They have a fantastic selection of both new and used records, but also cassettes, audio equipment, and VIDEO GAMES. Additionally there is a huge FREE arcade filled with 1980s/classic arcade games and pinball. You can easily spend an entire afternoon here.
- bucket o blood - 2307 N Milwaukee Ave - this great locally owned shop carries horror/fantasy/sci-fi books and lots of used new wave/indie records. i love the weird finds i come across there.
- chicago diner - 2333 N Milwaukee Ave - this vegetarian staple in chicago has a new location in logan square. they’ve got their usual vegan fare and delicious “milkshakes” but also a full bar with fantastic cocktails. A must for any vegetarian/vegan (and frankly i think anyone will appreciate)
- ground control - 3315 W Armitage Ave - another vegetarian restaurant in logan, but this one has both vegetarain AND vegan fare. Great food, super cute atmosphere.
- bang bang pie - 2051 N California Ave - a pie shop that also serves amazing buttery biscuits. I know. Amazing. They have a variety of toppings for the biscuits including vegetarian gravy, regular gravy, ham, cheese, homemade butters and jams. Plus PIE! They’ve got a great outdoor space to sit in if it’s warm enough!
- lula cafe - 2537 N Kedzie Blvd - this is farm-to-table dining at a price that won’t kill. It’s been around for a long time and they just keep getting better. Recently they expanded their space to include a gorgeous bar with crafted cocktails. They have lots of options for both meat eaters and vegetarian (I personally recommend the 6-course vegetarian tasting menu which is usually $45). It’s also a hit for brunch. Make sure to check out the artwork, which changes often
- reno - 2607 N Milwaukee Ave - if you’re looking for something easy for lunch or brunch, reno has great easy pizzas and salads. It’s got a very farm-to-table flair, but again the prices won’t break the bank.
- fleur - 3149 W Logan Blvd - this technically is a floral shop, but with all the amazing home goods (candles, stationary, ornaments) and easily portable plants, you’ll surely find something here to please yourself or a friend
- shop 1021 - 2650 N Milwaukee Ave - this shop features hand-picked gifts, stationary, cute ephemera. it’s well curated and a must-see.
- galerie f - 2381 N Milwaukee Ave - this is part gallery, part shop. They feature well-known national and local screen printers on their walls, but also they offer hundreds of prints by those artists for sale. Think Flatstock on a smaller scale. they also have cool events, so make sure to check out their FB if you’re planning a visit
- farmers market - in the square - on SUNDAYS between may and october the farmers market is the place to be. A huge variety of things from local booze, local honey, fruits/veg and lots of food carts. There is a winter market location - check this page for more details.
- wolfbait - 3131 W Logan Blvd - this shop has so many different kinds of items - jewelry, stationary, clothing, great gifts. they’ve got a lot of chicago-themed stuff that isn’t the traditional souvenier, which is great for anyone visiting.
- uncharted books - 2630 N Milwaukee Ave - this great used bookstore is a must-stop on your logan square tour. plus it’s owned by the partner of a fellow femme plus size person that I love. they host lots of events too - make sure to check out their page to see what is happening!
- the whistler - 2421 N Milwaukee Ave - this is the bar that really started the craft cocktail scene in logan square. They’ve got an amazing bar and back patio. Additionally, they host lots of great music nights, including several queer events each month. Very LGBTQ friendly.
- the owl - 2521 N Milwaukee Ave - it’s kinda divey and dank, but has great cocktails and music. It’s right on the square, so it’s hard to miss.
- Taqueria moran - 2226 N California Ave - big ass burritos and great salsa
- Cozy Diner - 2294 N Milwaukee Ave - true diner style food, fantastic pancakes and eggs
- Revolution Brewery - 2323 N Milwaukee Ave - locally brewed beer and fantastic upscale(ish) bar food
- the Gap OUTLET - 2778 N Milwaukee Ave - they carry larger sizes (up to 18/20) which aren’t true plus, but it’s still a good inexpensive resource
- Butterfat Tattoo - My tattoo artist runs this beautiful space. It’s by appointment only and good luck getting one, but i would be silly not to mention it. Plus there are often lots of guests that come in and do have spots available!
And dont’ forget to check out the amazing mural/graff art all over logan square.
90’s Vintage Plus Size Daisy Print Dress
It’s so hard for me to call 90’s clothes “vintage” since that was my teenage era and well, I just can’t admit that I’m vintage. But I am - I know. And I had a dress exactly like this in 1995 when I was a sophomore in high school. I loved it and I used to wear it with a flannel and my green suede Dr. Martens.
That old dress bit the dust many years ago, but I found this great version while shopping at Lovesickvintage. Owner Britteny has a fantastic collection of VINTAGE PLUS SIZE CLOTHES - I know, the holy grail, right? I highly recommend checking out her etsy site and for those in Chicago, stop by Market Days at Township on Sundays.
I’m going to relive my teenage years in the most adult way - by going to brunch and a few coffee shops. A perfect sunday for this outfit. I snuck in a photo of my sweetheart S - wearing his sunday favorite outfit.
Daisy print 90s dress - Lovesick Vintage
Flannel - thrifted (Men’s size L)
Denim Jacket - GAP
Dr. Martens - via nordstrom rack
Triangle Necklace - Forever 21
Purse - Forever 21
Crystal bullet necklace - etsy, lovelymusings
Glasses - SEE Eyewear
Earrings - etsy
S is wearing a denim shirt from H&M, Shorts are H&M, Shoes are Dr Martens canvas lace-ups, necklace from Forever 21
5’9” 220# queer fat femme
I’ve had so many requests and asks about my hair lately that I though I’d just do a quick write-up about it.
My hair is currently cut in a short pixie-ish style and dyed platinum. I do a few shades of platinum depending on the season, but right now it’s a pretty basic shade (since I’m doing a few interviews and such). My hair is naturally blonde, but not nearly this light.
I absolutely love having a short cut. It feels stylish and it’s fun to play with. I have noticed that I have to pay more attention to it when it’s short though - it requires more maintenance to keep it looking not shaggy and you can’t just throw it in a ponytail (to be honest i’m not a fan of that look anyway). I use headbands when i need to keep my hair out of my face, but that’s usually just a in-the-house look for me anyway.
My hair is styled by Patrick at Fringe Salon in Chicago. He’s an amazing friend and a great stylist. He’s one of those folks that will walk you through every step of what he’s doing. I love it. Plus he’s obsessed with fashion and music and art like I am, so he’s also great to chat with on that level.
You really should make an appointment with him if you’re in the Chicago area. Mention my name (Amanda or InTheThickofIt) so he knows I sent you!
Fringe Salon Chicago
1437 N Milwaukee Ave
Cloak and Parks
I’m not a religious person by any means, but if I was going to do any worshipping on Easter sunday, it was going to be at the Art Institute and Millenium Park. Nothing better than a little modern wing at the AIC. Seeing as how it was pretty much perfect weather, I was able to venture out in my new cloak and not have to worry about a giant puffy jacket.
I love that this cloak can be worn open or closed - giving it a fully different look each way. It was a great piece for going to the museum, because it could easily be slipped on and off as needed.
Cloak - Charles Gray London, XL (via nordstrom rack)
Black shirt - Forever 21, 1X
Jeggings - Target, 16
Wedge boots - Topshop (last year)
Necklace - Forever 21 (new)
Wallet clutch - Kenneth Cole Reaction (via nordstrom rack)
Sun glasses - SEE
Graphic Print Skirt in the Neo Alley
A day away from the office and I wanted to go out around the city. I had just gone dancing at neo the night before and decided I had to do a photo-shoot in the weird painted alley. Thursday nights at neo remind me of friday night at #’s (“numbers” - it was named in an era when hashtags did not exist) in Houston, which is where I learned to dance in the late 90s/early 00’s. I adore 80s dark synth, so a new wave night just takes me to the best places mentally.
I needed an outfit perfect for a cool, sunny day in Chicago - This elastic-waist skirt is heavy enough to not fly up at the slightest wind. I love the slight touch of neon - just enough to break up the all-black.
Print Skirt - Target, sz L (new/ mossimo/ runs big!) - available here
Sheer Neon Shirt - Forever 21+, sz 1X - available here
Faux Black Leather Jacket - Forever 21+, Sz XL
Black Tights - Target
Shoes - John Fluevog Selby
Triangle Necklace - Forever 21
Ring - H&M
Bag - Vince Camuto (via Nordstrom Rack)
Glasses - SEE