Apr 21, 2011
Rad Retro, Wedding Fare, Urbanest Closing Sale
By Bradley Lincoln
Rad Pit Stop
Design-seeking Andersonville strollers (with or without strollers) usually troll up and down Clark Street to get their shop on, but there are some eclectic, deserving destinations tucked into storefronts on easily accessed side streets as well. If you’ve been watching sitcom reruns on MeTV, and waxing nostalgic for some 1940s−1990s kitschy apparel and collectibles, come and knock on their door at Rad Vintage, where they’ll be waiting for you with a neatly organized, not-at-all musty 1,700-square-foot flashback of a shop packed chockablock with walls of mid-century clocks, shelves of dishware, glasses, and globes, racks of Royal Tenenbaum–tinged Lacoste polo shirts and athletic wear, and display cases such as this one, that called out to me with its collection of Mickey, Bart, and Alf character telephones. After breaking his hand in a bicycling accident last summer, RJ, the owner and a longtime vintage enthusiast, decided to open this shop a few months later. I’m glad to finally have a chance to tune in.
If you’re going to the chapel, and you’re gonna get maa-aaa-aaa-ried, I propose that you also attend the engaging afternoon wedding event Tabula Tua has organized in conjunction with the Park Hyatt Chicago, set for Sunday, May 1, from 1–4 p.m. in TT’s sparkling Armitage Avenue location. There will be a panel peppered with wedding planners, florists, color and bridal-registry consultants, and tabletop stylists, and an introduction to NoMI’s tea-infused bubbly. Sweets and savories from Bittersweet pretty much vow to provide for thee a delightfully civilized and educational afternoon. Tickets are $25; RSVP to email@example.com.
Next weekend, the annual spring hat trick of antique and fine art exhibitions known as Artropolis hits the Merchandise Mart. It’s composed of the International Antiques Fair, Art Chicago, and NEXT, and it pulls dealers and collectors from around the world to our fair and windy city. I look forward always to the parties, the people watching, and obviously all the pretty and pretty-provocative things on display on three sprawling floors of the Mart. I’ll get back to you with more on that later, I expect, but in the meantime, take heed: tickets for general admission range from $15 to $25, with additional add-on fees for some special preview events and lectures. Check the Mart’s site for information, and check out this sweet deal for Domestica readers (thanks, and you’re welcome): Courtesy of fair organizers, go here to register for a complimentary pass for two or all three shows.
After five years and two Clark Street locations, the Andersonville home store Urbanest is fleeing the coop and closing its brick-and-mortar location at 5212 North Clark Street by the end of this month, with plans to molt into an online store. Everything in the shop is dramatically marked down, with the exception of the local art and handmade furniture it has always admirably featured. Get there fast if you want to snag great deals—I popped in on Saturday and picked up some lampshades (the entire collection has been democratically priced at $9.99 each, including wood veneers and faux suede, from desktop to Jerry Kleiner–dining room scale), and a weighty crystal-ball lamp base; the place was humming. They’ll be restocking a bit with more merchandise from the warehouse, so for those in the market for modern mirrors, rugs, or occasional chairs, this sale is definitely worth a stop.
I punch-in to The Office every week and love it. (Can the show survive when Steve Carell gives notice after a few more episodes? I’m cautiously optimistic, as there’s not a pink-slip player in that cast, but I’m still definitely going to miss Michael Scott.) I’ve never been particularly fond of office-supply stores, however, with their unforgiving lighting, myriad of tech-ticulars to angst over, and alarmingly large plastic barrels of cheese puffs. But when you need a cyan printer cartridge at the 11th hour, you need it, and so I found myself at Staples last weekend. Guess what? It wasn’t so bad. There are a lot of unexpected products that were obviously designed to help us winsome up our home or office workspaces, including this display of Pink Ribbon breast-cancer-benefiting office supplies. It had everything from pushpins and staples to desk lamps and high-heeled tape dispensers—sassy accessories to make reports rosier and broadsheets blush in a kid’s room or the boardroom..