Wednesday, May 06, 2009


This weekend I decided to head down to Hyde Park. I have to admit that I have not been back to Hyde Park since I lived there for graduate school. It was an incredibly beautiful day so I hit the gas.

One of my favorite things about Chicago and Hyde Park in particular are the greystone buildings. If I had a million dollars I would buy one of these to live in.

Since our President was elected, Hyde Park has gained a bit of notoriety. You are no longer allowed to go into the neighborhood of the Obama residence unless you are a resident of the block. There are many business establishments that are now using Obama for advertising. Mind you, Hyde Park is not very big and I think that the majority of people (especially those who attend the University) frequent the same places. Anyway, here are a few highlights.

This is one of Obama's favorite restaurants. He frequented it pretty regularly. On election day, they offered free breakfasts all day. Of course, they now offer an "Obama special" breakfast. The fact that this is one of his faves always makes me laugh. Not because it is a bad restaurant, because of the name. I used to live only a few blocks from this place. I never went in, but every time I went past it I had to laugh. Can you see the name? You might think that the name is Valois, but actually, many people use the entire phrase as the name. "Valois 'See Your Food". Am I the only one who finds this amusing. I had a friend who had lived in Hyde Park her entire life. I finally asked her what was with this restaurant? She replied, "Valois See Your Food? That is (her hubby's) favorite place." See? She used the entire phrase as well. I guess what really makes it funny is that the "see your food" part is due to the fact that it is a cafeteria. I am sorry, that really makes me smile. Anyway, I have read several reviews on yelp and metromix, etc and it really seems to please the masses. So, next time I head back to Hyde Park I guess I am finally going to dine at Valois. Barack must know of what he speaks.

The Medici on 57th. Yes, I did eat here a time or two when I lived here. You gotta love a place with such great medieval architectural accents. They are so bold as to have the employees wear t-shirts stating "Obama Eats Here"

This time around I did not hit the restaurant, but only the bakery next door and then sat outside at the sidewalk cafe seating area. It is a pretty good bakery. The espresso was good, but really, paper cups? I hate being given a paper Dixie cup for my espresso.

Oh, how I miss the great bookstores that surround every university campus. I briefly went to Powell's and walked right past 57th Street books in order to save my bank account. I have gotten too comfortable with going to Border's or Barnes and Noble. I forgot what it is like to walk into a large bookstore full of a truly diverse selection...especially the photography and art history section. Sigh.
I decided it was best to not hang around and browse because I was sure to get into some kind of trouble. But hey, look what I snagged in the free box outside the front door.
I hit a little traffic on the way back home, but I didn't care since it was such a beautiful day.

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