It seems strange to me that the most wonderful of seasons (You know, that one bookended by Memorial Day and Labor Day?) is officially at a close. Summer holds a favorite spot in my heart, but this one seemed particularly brief, with remnants of the polar vortex continuing to inflict unseasonably cold temperatures and lingering bouts of fog hanging around the shoreline. But during these recent weeks, Summer has finally broken free and shown herself to be truly beautiful, especially where beachgoing is concerned.
Undoubtedly, the best part about living in Edgewater is…well, living on the edge of said water. Well, not quite– I’m a block away, but that’s close enough! Whenever possible, I’ve gone to the beach after work and during the weekends (weather and rehearsals permitting), and I now feel unable to live in a locale unless it’s in close proximity to water. That’s it– I’m ruined for life.
It is all too easy to become consumed in daily anxieties and get lost in the hustle of “making it,” but reconnecting with the natural world really does work wonders for your spirit and mindfulness. I love my evening walks along the shoreline, those rare afternoons reading sand-filled magazines, and the occasional morning paddle board excursion. Oh yes– this weekend marked my first time trying stand-up paddle boarding, which was made rather difficult due to high winds and choppy water, but was so fulfilling (especially since I did not fall during the entire hour!). Check out Chicago Paddle Company if you live in the area for an amazing experience– I recommend doing the beginner’s lesson, which is taught by seasoned pros, and then advancing to individual rentals and group socials. I’m gearing up to tackle the sunrise coffee social sometime in the next few weeks…waking up at 5:30 a.m. will make the actual act of paddling look like a cakewalk.
I dedicated my Labor Day weekend to exploring my neighborhood and patronizing local businesses, using my EdgeCard along the way. There are several fantastic vintage stores, including the Edgewater Antique Mall and Broadway Antique Market–you can really get lost in nostalgia and make great finds at both. Equally amazing dining options abound, including Summer Noodles, Pete’s Pizza, Waterfront Cafe, Moody’s Pub, Ann Sather, Susupuato Restaurant, Metropolis Coffee Co., and Lickity Split Frozen Custard and Sweets…(Disclaimer: I didn’t hit ALL of those this weekend, but I am a frequent flier at several). For those looking to explore their craftier sides, I recommend checking out Blue Buddha Boutique for jewelry making classes and Sifu Design Studio for knitting classes and supplies.
Sometimes, being aware of your local history is just as important as supporting local commerce. On Saturday, I had the opportunity to explore the Edgewater Historic District and the Edgewater Beach Hotel (Apartments), a true gem of Chicago culture that boasted guests such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Marilyn Monroe, and played to acts such as Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. With the extension of Lake Shore Drive mid-century, the hotel lost its beachfront and became an apartment residence, but the remaining building is still a sight to behold and a reminder of a beautiful, bygone era.
Summer is amazing for that reason; it allows you to warm your soul with joyful, sun-soaked memories and reconnect with the thrill of simply being in the moment. Let’s keep that vibrance going throughout the upcoming months, shall we? #ForeverSummer