Yay... we got our construction permit! Of course, it didn't all go with out snags, but our architect did a great job coordinating all last minute changes and hiccups, working with the city to get it through. However (there's always a "however" it's starting to seem), the space hasn't been turned over to us by the landlord yet, so we still can't begin our work and we're waiting on an update of their schedule and when they think they'll be done they're work. Still, not slowing down, we'll be sending out all the plans for bids this week.
In the meantime, my mum came for a visit this week from Philly which was great as I hadn't seen her in ages (over a year). We mostly puttered around the house while she was here, making just a few jaunts out into the chilly world... to Hopleaf for mussels on Thursday and to the MCA on Saturday for a performance of Chekhov's play, Uncle Vanya, which was pretty interesting. The set design was unusual, very modern, clean and architectural (I believe it was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merill). She also brought out some of her home-made baked goods for us (banana bread and whisky cake) plus a couple jars of her Lemon Curd and Gooseberry Jam, and some other British snacks I loved growing up like Jaffa Cakes and chocolate Smarties. So, basically, it's time to start going back to the gym to work it all off.
Speaking of eating (too much), about a month ago we went to a Ghetto Gourmet ("underground") dinner which was a total blast. It was in a loft almost exactly like where Miguel (and some friends) used to live in Wicker Park, just a block up Milwaukee Ave. Unfortunately, other than us, none of our friends were able to get tickets before it sold out. The food was delicious and the whole experience... entertainment, atmosphere and opportunity to chat with other "guests" really made for an fantastic evening. This video on their site really gives you a sense of what they're up to.
Actually, the day we went to the Ghetto Gourmet we had been hanging out with a friend of ours who was telling us about this totally awesome human beatboxer he had seen the night before at the Hothouse (and who was connected to some mutual friends of ours from grad school). It so happens, the guy sitting next to us at the Ghetto Gourmet dinner was that guy. His name's Yuri Lane and it turned out he was one of the two performers during dinner. Totally worth checking out... absolutely everything you hear is really coming from this guy's mouth!?!
Anyway, Fox News Chicago was there filming a little and it looks like the segment aired recently. It isn't as good as the video that I mentioned above (it is Fox News) but we're actually in the Fox segment here and there (we're sitting all the way at the left and then about halfway through you get a glimpse of me chatting with Yuri and then there's a quick clip of Miguel being interviewed). Anyway, if 'The Ghet' comes to your neighborhood... just go.
Lastly, we want to give a shout out to Steve for the mention on his coffee blog (we've never met, but I love his great flickr photos)! Great things are happening in the Chicago coffee scene...