I’ve had a blast at several of Mark Bazer’s monthly Interview Shows at The Hideout, where talk-show guests from all walks of life, from top chefs to best-selling authors to SNL-tapped comedians to fashionistas have walked the boards. The roster is always a mashed-up bag of treats, interspersed with musical performances and videos. (I’m tempted to say you never know what you’re going to get, but that would be a bold-faced lie, considering the lineup is usually posted weeks in advance.) Tomorrow’s program features cool-cat Larry Vodak from Andersonville’s vintage-modern-curiosity shop Scout, and he’ll be waxing poetic on design, collecting, individuality, and all things Vodakian. “I’ve known Mark and his lovely wife, Gina [as in Chicago Home + Garden’s Gina Bazer], as part of the Scout constellation for many years,” Larry told me. “They’ve become good friends and I can’t imagine what Mark might surprise me with, but I’m up to the challenge of not screwing up! I have a few surprises of my own to reveal, and will save them for the show.” Sounds good, Larry. Other guests tomorrow include Attorney General Lisa Madigan and author Wendy McClure. Admission is a mere eight bucks, and it’s usually crowded: Get there early for the 6:30 show if you don’t want to stand in the back.
Pow, Right to the Moon!
Want a fun Friday, after a rough-and-tumble Chicago “spring” week? Head over to the Gage Park neighborhood for some mid-century merriment at An Orange Moon’s opening reception for artist Steven Shay (owner Lynne McDaniel has been thinking about showcasing contemporary artists for a while now, to complement the vintage furniture she sells). There will be live musical performances, a sweeping 50-percent-off sale on selected inventory, and street theater and sustenance from the Tamalli Space Churros, a mobile food truck manned by actors in Mexican wrestling masks. No fooling. The shop recently helped re-create swinging sixties interiors for the Chicago filming of the Playboy TV pilot. Make a full night of it and have dinner at Garifuna Flava, a terrific Caribbean restaurant at 2518 West 63rd Street that Lynne recommended and we ate up. (P.S. Mention Domestica for free delivery.)
This Saturday, April 2, the Kohler Store in the Merchandise Mart is having an all-day open house geared to homeowners looking to clean up with bathroom design ideas and advice. Radio personality Eric Ferguson, from 101.9 FM’s Eric and Kathy Show, recently finished a custom home with Orren Pickell design/builders, and he’ll be clearing the air on that experience and hanging out, starting at 10 a.m. You can go tête-à-tête with a Kohler designer for a bathroom consultation, slip into a nice warm raffle for a weekend trip to Lake Geneva, or win one of these new Flipside handheld showerheads (for that you’ll have to lather up some in-the-shower karaoke, fyi). Enter the sweepstakes, schedule a consult, and RSVP here.
Walking along the street last weekend, I said to myself, “Self, when did this bumper crop of bambino stores spring up in Chicago?” Some neighborhoods seem to have birthed one on every single block. While there aren’t any mini Mr. Domesticas running around, I do have lots of occasions to shop for friends’ and relatives’ young’uns, and one of my favorite places to pick up gifts, onesies and tutus, toys, small furniture items, and even local artwork is Green Genes, just south of Foster Avenue on Clark Street. The friendly owners, Heather and Christina, fill GG’s shelves with a great selection of eco-minded products, and I’m goo-goo for the earthy way they giftwrap. Monday was the third anniversary of the shop, and to celebrate toddling out of the not-at-all-terrible twos, the gals are throwing a playdate this Saturday and Sunday. Stop by for recycled crafting demos from Wishcraft, compost-class-action by The Compost Office, tips on trimming your home’s electric bills, and snacks and raffles. A complete schedule of events can be seen here.
Wining and Dining
A trio of handsome, raised dog-bowl holders caught my eye in the window of the Dog-a-Holics pet shop on Southport Avenue. They’re handcrafted from repurposed wooden wine crates that still carry the vintners’ labels, come in varying heights and colors, and they ain’t cheap (prices start in the low three figures). But pick one up and you can tell they are constructed and finished like high-end furniture, with non-skid rubber feet and sturdy stainless steel inserts. Vets will tell you, elevated chow servers are great for older pets with creaky joints that might have trouble stooping and straining, and these are some that you won’t mind having around the house. Thanks be to dog!
Photograph: (Larry Vodak) Matthew Gilson