Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Babymoon + Pitchfork = Pure Awesomeness!

1. View of Michigan Ave from our hotel room, 2. The Flaming Lips, 3. The Threadless booth, 4. Chicago by night, 5. Banana Royale, 6. Love the sign!, 7. Crowds, 8. The extraordinary foie gras hotdog, 9. Close enough to take a photo of the signage

I'm SO glad we took this babymoon- it was one of the best trips we've taken to Chicago and definitely a most wonderful way to 1) celebrate one of our favorite cities in the U.S.; 2) enjoy our last babyless vacation; 3) partake of so much good food we were barely ever hungry over the four days; and 4) indulge in some seriously rocking good music. On the food front, old faithful La Pasadita was as trustworthy as always to satisfy, to the point of actually defeating Jude with its Super Carne Asada Burrito which he astoundingly couldn't finish... Our high hopes for Hot Doug's were also more than fulfilled (despite an hour and a half wait)- the foie gras and Sauternes hotdog (with truffle aioli, foie gras mousse and Sel Gris) was, in a word, extraordinary, single-handedly the most exceptional tubed meat we've ever tasted. Honestly, someone should give the man an award... There were also a couple of serendipitous finds, the most outstanding of which was Hot Chocolate, a dessert bar we stumbled upon when looking for some late-night sweets. We walked in not knowing that pastry chef, Mindy Segal, is a three-time James Beard Award-winner for Outstanding Pastry Chef. And then we had her desserts and knew why (see here and here). Who knew chocolate could taste so complex and that a banana dessert could have so many more dimensions than just... well, banana?? And then there was Tweet, a quaint little breakfast nook in the Uptown/Edgewater neighborhood where we got brunch yesterday before heading out. Jude loved his Caprese Omelet and while my biscuits and gravy was a little on the rich side, it was delicious and satisfying, perfectly complimented by yummy decaf Intelligentsia coffee :)

And of course, there was Pitchfork, which really blew our minds this year (and which I was able to more comfortably enjoy thanks largely to the folding chair Jude had the foresight to insist we bring along...) I'm not sure it's actually possible, but every year we go, there seems to just be exponentially more people. And this year-- maybe it's just us-- we noticed more families than ever with young children, even infants. We also had more than a handful of people randomly start conversations with us either dispensing advice on how to bring a baby to a music festival (one woman has been bringing her preschooler to Pitchfork since he could crawl- in her words, "He thinks it's just one giant picnic with people playing music."); how to keep the kids occupied (a ball, bubbles, and the baseball diamond seemed to suffice...); or making us promise to come back next year with Baby in tow. It was sweet and communal and really, really nice :) The music was outrageously good, notably (for me anyway) The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and M83. BUT the band that truly blew out minds out of the water was closing act, The Flaming Lips. We've never seen them 'live' but have heard that they're an awesome performing band. See for yourselves why:



The Lips were part of Pitchfork's "Write the Night" concept where ticket-buyers got the option to choose songs for the setlists of the bands. 25 songs appeared on The Lips' list and they played about twelve. The #1 song was played last and stirred the whole of Union Park into a rapturous, reverent singalong. Ladies and gentlemen, The Flaming Lips play "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots":

3 comments:

the terrible child said...

foie.gras.hotdog.

serene said...

it.rocked.

jilly said...

Oh man.....