Friday, May 23, 2008

Je suis fou

I've never met little Remy Lichtenstein, but whoever he is, he's well-dressed. Yesterday, I picked up a few more of his castoffs at the Treasure Store -- most of it is European-made Oilily or Petit Bateau in excellent condition (save the name labels stuck onto the waist/neckbands). And the Treasure Store guy put the "children's clothing reduced to 50 cents/piece" sign up right before I checked out, so I got a huge bag of stuff for less than $16. My neighbor calls the Treasure Store "retail therapy." I know I talk about the Treasure Store a lot, but it combines three of my favorite elements: shopping, adventure (especially when accompanied by 3 kids), and fantastic bargains.

Speaking of adventure... as if shopping the Treasure Store in late afternoon with 3 small kids wasn't adventurous enough, I took them all to Wicker Park's Piece pizza afterward. I've said before that I often find myself in situations where I'm the only person with small children in a given establishment. Maybe the problem is not my children, but my taste/proximity. I often go to Wicker Park because it's easy to get to. But it just isn't a kid-friendly or kids' neighborhood the way Lincoln Square is. Still, I was there yesterday and while our destination was actually Penny's Noodles, with the chilly weather, no stroller, and three tired kids, we stopped at Piece instead because it was 4 blocks closer than Penny's and a friend in our MDO co-op had recommended it.

As soon as I walked in the door, I realized my mistake, but we were already inside and I was tired. I even said to the host, "Oh, I we are so not in your target demographic." They were pretty nice about it and lead us back to a table above the main floor. Along the way, we passed another baby and a stack of highchairs, both of which were somewhat reassuring. Still, last night, The Boy and The Girl were the only kids in the place (the couple with the baby had only one and she was definitely a baby, about 6-months-old or so). The upper-level banquettes were set up to look out over the main floor through "windows" in the wall at the end of each booth. This amused both The Boy and The Girl. The Baby couldn't seem to get an edge in.

Our server was pretty nice; he showed The Boy where the bathroom was when he had to go. Piece serves New Haven-style pizza. I am not a pizza connoisseur (I didn't eat it at all for about 10 years straight), so I don't understand the differences between it and Chicago thin crust, but everyone, including The Girl (who also doesn't like pizza) ate it. I ordered a small, with fresh basil and goat cheese on one half, and plain cheese on the other. Between the four of us (and three trips to the bathroom!), we managed to finish it all. Since I had to drive home, I didn't sample any of Piece's microbrews. The pizza, tax, and tip came to just over $20.

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