Have I mentioned on this blog how I love Lincoln Square?
I love Lincoln Square.
It has a great central business district with restaurants/bars and shops, parking, access to the Brown Line, a fantastic library, a giant park, and the Old Town School of Folk Music. The German presence of earlier settlers to the 'hood is still felt in some of the bars and shops along Lincoln Avenue, giving the neighborhood a European, cultured feel. It is one of my favorite areas to go to within the city, and I suspect that that'd be true even if I didn't have children.
Tonight, The Boy, The Girl, The Baby, The Dad and I visited Lincoln Square to attend a free folk concert in Giddings Plaza, the little plaza adjacent to Cafe Selmarie. We found out about the concert from a mom in our playgroup; her husband used to work for the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce and is, in fact, developing a condominium building on the other side of Giddings Plaza, in the former Martin's Big & Tall retail store and parking lot.
I was unprepared for how well-attended the concert would be. When we showed up at just after 7 p.m., Giddings Plaza was crowded with people sitting in portable lawn chairs, on blankets spread along the cobblestones, resting on curbs, and milling about. Kids played in the plaza behind the stage in the center of the lot. Chicago Brauhaus had a tent selling beer and brats.
We ran into The Boy's former MDO teacher and her two children. I chatted briefly with Kerri and Zach, co-owners of Bloom Yoga Studio in the Rockwell Crossing area of Lincoln Square. We later caught up with our friends; S. and I nursed our babies while sitting underneath a tree at the edge of the plaza while her older son, The Boy and The Girl went with The Dad to romp around with the other kids in the plaza during intermission. The Dad bought a beer from the tent; I bought The Boy and The Girl each a cupcake at Cafe Selmarie. We listened to the folk group; I greatly enjoyed a sweet song about adopting baby girls from China.
Later, The Dad took The Boy and The Girl home to bed. The Baby and I stayed and met my friend B. for a beer at 42 degrees N. Latitude. It was the only bar that had patio seating available on the north side of Montrose, such is the popularity of Lincoln Square on a temperate summer evening. I've been to the bar on several occasions previously, and although it's beer list is mostly of the uppity import variety, the kitchen rolls out some good stuff. I lamented my inability to eat cheese while reading the menu tonight. However, it was nice to get out without the kids, although B. and I spent much of the evening talking about our children.
I had great public transportation karma/timing getting home. I walked straight down Lincoln Avenue, which was well-lit and well-populated--although I (perhaps naively) wonder who would mess with a woman with a newborn baby strapped to her front--to Irving Park Road and then caught the 80 bus home.