Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chicago My Kind of Town - Posh Revisited

So a couple of weeks ago I was back in Chicago for work and unusually had not allowed for any time in my schedule for “personal meandering”.  I was attending the National Restaurant Show and had two packed full 14-hour days scheduled.  Now, realize this tradeshow is phenomenal and really hardly constitutes working but it is huge and takes all of the two days I had scheduled to even come close to seeing it all.  Just imagine every kind of food sample you can imagine as well as kitchen equipment & supplies in 1,000,000 sq ft of exhibition space.  My feet are aching just remembering it….yes, I did wear cute shoes (not cute in a crippling painful way, but cute none-the-less).

And as a special bonus former President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker!  Put politics aside he is a fascinating man with a compelling perspective of food as it relates to our politics, healthcare and the world at large.
Photography is definitely not my strength...but you
get the idea
Usually when I visit Chicago I like to stay right on Michigan Avenue with all of the hub-bub of its shops, restaurants & hotels.  I also tend to have an affinity for the historic, non-chain hotels – it’s a wonderful old city with wonderful old hotels.  This visit I decided to shake it up a bit and opted for the Embassy Suites on State St – I knew this was in a desirable location but really did no research to see where it was and what was around it.  I figured I had no time so it really didn’t matter.
Imagine my surprise when I looked out my hotel
window and spotted Posh (2nd storefront from
the left in this photo).
So, imagine my pleasant surprise when we arrived and I happened to spot my favorite spot from my last summer visit to Chicago…Posh (see earlier post here) right across the street from the Embassy…talk about serendipitous.  I just knew that somehow, some way I was going to sneak a few minutes away and pop in.  It took me a whole 24-hours before I found my opportunity but find it I did.
Phenomenal Selection of oil paintings at
great prices!
Vintage Fire King!  
I absolutely love this selection of reproduction vintage maps
And…..my opinion is officially the same as my first opinion.  I LOVE this shop! 

Enamelware...can't you just picture yourself making
coffee around a campfire with this?
On this trip I happened to be travelling with one of my colleagues and he was not so impressed.  His concern was that since this is a shop that mixes authentic vintage (he loves vintage) with reproductions you can’t really be sure what is old and what isn't.  My take is a bit different – I take it for what it is and pay what I would consider fair regardless to its authenticity of age.  I like what I like and it doesn’t need to be old or new to work in my house.  I’m not selling fine antiques here…just finding fun decorative items for my house. 

This so almost made it on the plane with me!
I love, love, love this pink Fire King!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Plan B in Rowley MA - Village Antiques

Ever have a day when the best laid plans for a girls day out just wash away with the rain and you have to move to plan B?  Well this was the case when a couple of weeks ago my best girlfriends and I had planned to spend a lovely spring Sunday morning at Todd Flea Market in Rowley MA.  It seemed like the perfect laid plan, breakfast, beautiful day walking the fields looking at goodies, girl bonding time…and then it rained L.

Luckily we’re not the kind of girls to let it rain on our parade so we headed off to the Agawam Diner to caucus over eggs & pancakes and formulate said plan B.  Now when I tell you the Agawam Diner was packed out I am not kidding…line out the door…sure sign of good food…and it definitely did not disappoint. 

166 Newburyport Turnpike (U.S. Rte 1)Rowley, Massachusetts
photo courtesy of Yelp
Although I had really not spent any time in Rowley (shamefully since it’s just around the corner from my house) I had done enough reading in local publications to know that there were several antique & consignment shops that were worth a stop & luckily I had included the information for these on my “shop bucket list”.  So off we went…

First stop was Village Antiques and I knew as soon as I walked through the door this was going to be good.  I barely crossed the threshold when I spotted a small stack of Woods & Burslem red transferware.  The only question was…were these plates my pattern, Colonial or the ever more popular English Scenery?  Well, they were Colonial!!!   I was so excited, I didn’t even hesitate they were mine! 
Woods Burslem Red (Pink) Transferware
Colonial Pattern
These dishes are the same pattern that my great-grandmother had when I was growing up and she was such a good cook that I am convinced that everything I make automatically tastes better on these dishes.  After my great-grandmother passed away her dishes were sold with the rest of her estate.  So when a few years later when I stumbled upon some in an antique shop I decided to make these my every day china.  Finding pieces in good shape at a reasonable price is not always easy but so gratifying when I do score a find.  These were a find.

How fun is this suitcase bar...I can think of plenty of
business trips I would love to take this on :)
Now, this was a great start to a really fun visit to Village AntiquesKate, Pam, Cheryl & I all loved the mix of items Village Antiques had and the shop owner was such a fun lady.  It was such a pleasure to support her business.

Love this FDR bust...I was so tempted!
This "unfortunate" lady really got us laughing
We visited several other shops this rainy Sunday..Salt Marsh Antiques, The White Elephant Shop & The WhiteElephant Outlet.  It was such a fun day!

And of course I spotted this fabulous
lamp...I just love the pop of color!