ChiTown


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Chicago has always intrigued me. Ever since I was younger and my dad came back from business trips with stories about the clean, modern city in the midwest. So some twenty years later I finally got to travel to this city of skyscrapers.

I honestly had no idea it was such a tall city but after an architectural boat tour it was made clear that this city claims some of the tallest buildings in the world (one of which I went to the top of and literally hung off the edge*). To me the best part about Chicago is that it doesn’t feel big. This must be in part because of the wide streets where light passes through the buildings (almost the opposite to Manhattan’s streets). This city, to me, felt cozy and inviting.


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We were able to explore several neighborhoods during the extended weekend. As one would expect, each had a different flare, architecture and people. You could definitely notice the differences, which is something I love about NYC’s various neighborhoods as well.

Although my concrete jungle has water surrounding it, Chicago’s lake felt so much better than the rivers around Manhattan. First of all, it is clean water and you can literally jump in off the Gold Coast walkway. Second, it transcends into the city center making for lovely boat tours and bridge walks through center city.

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Selfishly, this trip was also a chance to check out another city’s “booze scene.”** With the help of colleagues living in the area and social media suggestions, I was able to curate a nice list of bars and restaurants, most of which we ventured to. The highlights included the swanky high-profile Aviary, the amaro selection at Billy Sundays, tacos at Mercadito and the surprising dive-bar we ended up singing karaoke in on the last night.

Chicago, I will return. There is more on my list to explore…

*formerly the Sears Tower

**I did mention I sell alcohol in NYC..right?

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…always a good idea.

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Oh Paris. You’ve captured my heart one too many times but always at different capacities.

This time, activities included…Wandering the streets without a destination. Checking out some trending coffee shops* (courtesy of Ms. Lost in Cheeseland). Sitting at cafés for hours to people watch with an espresso and a rosé. Eating macaroons. Falling in love with Le Marais. Seeing old friends. Meeting new friends. Not going to any museums. Gazing at my favorite Sacre Coeur from the window of a friend’s apartment (evidence above). Capturing the many images of graffiti on my Instagram. Discovering Le Canal Saint-Martin.

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*Foundation Café and Telescope are two trendy, english-speaking coffee shops brewing up delicious jo.

Wherever you are, Be all there.

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I am learning to be in the present.

People today are connected to those across the world the same as those across the street, and at an instant. Social media has made it beautifully easy to communicate with any and everyone, allowing for fruitful relationships and rekindled connections. But it has also made us distant to what is right in front of us. It seems harder than ever to remain present in today’s technology crazed society.

Be honest. How many times have you been with one other person and both of you are head down on the phone? Maybe you were even talking to one another but you were also liking a friend’s post or chatting with someone far away on Skype, checking work emails or searching the web for a fun café where you could go to together. Whatever multitasking you’re doing, you are most definitely not in the present.

Recently I have noticed this taking its toll on my job. I am in sales in the city of Manhattan where most days it seems the present is already in the past and I am always swimming upstream while looking down…at my phone of course 🙂 Multitasking is a skill that was necessary in obtaining this job, but I find it is harder than ever to focus on one single task. To have an actual conversation.

So last week I tested myself. While talking to a client one afternoon, I closed my phone cover, flipped my watch over so I couldn’t see the time and let myself get lost in conversation with him. Maybe there was an email I was missing, perhaps I was going to have to listen to a voicemail when I left, but I was in the moment and able to really connect with this person, asking questions and listening to the answers (REALLY listening).

My tip: Take a deep breath and appreciate the person you are with at that moment or the task you are doing. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.